NBA buys majority stake in Hornets

Dec. 6, 2010 at 5:30 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The NBA will purchase a majority share of the New Orleans Hornets, Commissioner David Stern said Monday.

The move comes after minority owner Gary Chouest decided not to buy the majority stake held by George Shinn, Stern said.

The deal has to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors.

"The Hornets have a strong management team in Hugh Weber, Dell Demps and Monty Williams, and we have recruited Jac Sperling -- a seasoned sports executive and New Orleans native -- to be the team's chairman and governor," Stern said in a statement.

"The league has assured me that management will have the necessary resources to build on that success and grow the business through increased ticket and sponsorship sales, keep the team competitive and further the team's relationship with the fans of New Orleans," Sperling said.

The Hornets came to New Orleans from Charlotte before the 2002-03 season and has made four playoff appearances since.

Its best season came in 2007-08, when it won the Southwest Division title but lost to San Antonio in the conference semifinals.

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