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  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Shinn wants Hornets in OKC

    Big surprise: Shinn wants to stay

    By Berry Tramel
    The Oklahoman

    This just in. Dog bites man. Kids like candy. George Shinn wants to keep the Hornets in Oklahoma City.
    Last weekend, the Hornets flew some OKC sponsors to Houston for NBA all-star festivities. During a private reception, in a small group setting, Shinn mentioned something along the lines of how it would be nice if the Hornets were still in Oklahoma City 10 years from now.
    Apparently unknown to Shinn, a couple of fans from New Orleans were on the trip, having last spring won an auction for a road trip.
    Those fans told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that Shinn indicated he wanted to stay in Oklahoma City long-term and even talked of hosting an All-Star Game at the Ford Center.
    Shinn wants to stay in OKC? No kidding. Thatís a revelation only to someone who hasnít been paying attention.
    The Oklahoma contingent didnít even express excitement at Shinnís statements, although the New Orleans fans told the Times-Picayune one Oklahoma Citian cheered Shinnís words.
    David Thompson, publisher of The Oklahoman, was at the reception and described Shinnís statements as ďjust making small talk, making people feel good ... There was no innuendo or hidden signals. He didnít say anymore than what heís already said.Ē
    Another Oklahoma businessman, who asked not to be identified, said Shinn merely was complimenting Oklahoma City and suggested that while the Hornets owner has been capable of putting his foot in his mouth, this was not one of those times.
    Hereís the simple truth. Shinn has been dropping hints, both subtle and bold, that he wants to figure out a way to keep the Hornets here. His reasons no doubt are rooted in economics and competition.
    But itís no easy mission, for these reasons:
    Legal issues with what appears to be a bedrock New Orleans Arena lease.
    Political issues with the NBA, which is not crazy about the New Orleans market but also is not crazy about franchises hopping cities like a carnival. The league most wants stability, and thereís nothing stable about the Hornets going from Charlotte to New Orleans to Oklahoma City in the span of half a decade.
    Sensitivity issues. New Orleans got a raw deal from nature and from the feds and from their own leaders. New Orleans is an American tragedy, and Shinn has an affinity for his home of the previous three years. Shinn doesnít want to pile on.
    But heís a businessman. He most definitely wants to stay in Oklahoma City. The two New Orleans fans found out that in Houston.
    Hal Braden said that after Shinn welcomed everyone, ďhe starts basically alluding to the fact that he would like to stay there long-term. He said, ĎI have my accountants looking into it, and weíre trying to figure out the best place to be businesswise, but you can only guess where I want to be.í Ē
    That could be interpreted in various ways, as Shinn just pandering to his audience.
    But this canít: ďIn 10 years I hope to see an All-Star Game in Oklahoma City, and Iíd like for the Hornets to be the host,Ē Shinn said, according to Braden.
    Shinn canít hold a press conference and tell everyone what heís thinking. NBA commish David Stern would blow his stack.
    But Shinn also canít keep everything suppressed all the time; thatís not his makeup.
    The Hornetsí fate doesnít rest solely with Shinn. Stern will have a say, and I donít claim to know who holds that edge. The NBA owners will have a say, too, although I think they in the end will support Shinn, knowing that there but for the grace of God go them. The courts might even have a say.
    Shinnís say, we know for sure. He wants to stay.
    Berry Tramel: 475-3314, btramel@oklahoman.com; Berry Tramelís radio show, the Writerís Block, can be heard Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m. on KREF-AM 1400, KADA-AM 1230; and KSEO-AM 750.

  2. Default Re: Shinn wants Hornets in OKC

    Frankly, when I read Berry Tramel's columns (like this one), I weigh its value as to what a "homer" might say. His observations are pretty thoroughly entwined with a main thread of "what would the people in Okc want me to say", IMO, even though I certainly enjoy reading a "homer's" point of view. But, as to the weight to give his thoughts, as far as I'm aware, nothing objective has been presented in the media / internet which gives cause to give his opinions any greater credibility than, say, that of yours or mine.

    I'm much more interested in what those OUTSIDE Okc and New Orleans have to say.

    The story broke in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. At first, the story was only picked up by a few TV stations and some non-NBA-city's newspapers. But, now, it's been reported at such places as SI's website, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...nets.shinn.ap/

    The reporting of the same story doesn't do a great deal more than keep the debate an on-going and visible thing, which is good for Okc, since New Orleans has its lease, which demotes Okc's position considerably. But, over time, and I'm talking about not just this season but the next, if Okc keeps on keepin' on, who can say what might happen? And, to be sure, it does no harm to our Okc psyche's to think that the team's owner REALLY does want the team to remain in Okc in the meantime.

    In the end, if a debate still exists at the end of next season, the "national sentiment" factor could loom large in whether the NBA would be seen as a "bad guy" in abandoning New Orleans, or a "good guy" as making the logical and practical decision to allow the Horents to remain in Okc.

    It ain't simple. But, George Shinn's private company remarks certainly do no harm to the Okc cause.

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Shinn wants Hornets in OKC

    Couldn't help that the rest of the season is pretty much sold out. And I'm in! Yeaaaaa!

  4. Default Re: Shinn wants Hornets in OKC

    Royce Webb's column at ESPN.com dealt with the trade implications for all 30 NBA teams, and the section on the Hornets begins as follows:

    Stoked by their unexpected success in their new, perhaps temporary, hometown, the Hornets looked to be buyers, not sellers, this time around, a year after trading Baron Davis.
    "Perhaps" temporary?

    Apparently at least one scribe (with a small s; do not confuse with any other Scribe) thinks it's just about a done deal.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2342775

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