David Stern Says “Some Owners not Opposed To Contraction” Of the Hornets

Just a day or so away from the official start to the NBA All-Star break, David Stern had an interview with ESPN where he stated that some of the NBA’s owners would not be opposed to contracting the Hornets in upcoming labor negotiations.

Although he stated the league’s goal was to keep the franchise in New Orleans and not dissolve it. He did confirm that there are several offers to purchase the Hornets and move them to another city.

Stern also states the league isn’t as involved in the day to day operations as one might think.

“You’d be surprised at how uninvolved we are. The only place we get involved is advice on ticket sales, groups, renewals, suggestions when they ask us if we have additional personnel they can hire. They set the budget, we approve it, and we’ve approved anything that they previously wanted to do on the player side. It’s kind of interesting.”

I’d assume that the  likely scenario in all this if for the NBA to allow the franchise to be moved elsewhere. Clearly New Orleans can’t support it and ultimately it what’s the bigger loss? To the city whose barely supporting a team or the NBA to lose it as a whole?

Stern also touched on a few other issues that are sure to come up during talks this weekend:

  • should there be a lockout next season, he wouldn’t stop players from going overseas to play.
  • He’d like to see a few changes made to the current drug-testing requirements to ensure that the use of performance-enhancing drugs does not seep into the game. Although he is quick to point out that he doesn’t believe it’s a problem in the league.