Is George Shinn looking to sell?

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Published: April 7, 2010

According to Peter Vecsey in the New York Post yesterday, Hornets’ majority owner George Shinn is looking to sell the franchise. Vecsey’s words yesterday, emphasis added:

Don’t put any stock in Avery Johnson interviewing for the Nets job unless he’s the sole candidate under consideration. At least, that was his haughty stance when the 76ers approached agent Tony Dutt about his client before (now outgoing) Eddie Jordan was hired. Should the Shinn family sell its majority share of the Hornets, a prospect gaining thrust, sources say Johnson is almost guaranteed to be first choice to succeed Jeff Bower, who figures also to be out as general manager.

I’m taking this with a huge grain of salt since the first we’re hearing about it is from a columnist — albeit a highly respected one — 1,300 miles away.

But just for kicks, let’s consider why Shinn might be looking to sell. First, there’s his health. Although he’s reportedly cancer-free now, that whole ordeal may have forced him to reevaluate his priorities a little bit, and perhaps being the owner of an NBA franchise doesn’t appeal to him much anymore. Second, the Hornets aren’t exactly doing so great, and the future looks cloudy and uncertain at best. There is no guarantee that the team will be able to reload and compete for a championship in the coming years. Perhaps Shinn has grown tired of the waiting and feels that the potential payoff of a title is no longer worth all that time and stress. Third, basketball is Shinn’s only business, his only way of making money, and that business is struggling. He can continue to try make it work by streamlining and trying to cut corners wherever possible, or he can cash out and forget about money troubles for the rest of his life.

All the above is speculation of course, since I have no idea what’s really going on inside the mind of George Shinn. And one thing that really gives me pause here is the fact that Shinn gave birth to the Hornets franchise way back in the 80′s. He’s been doing this a long time, and he’s stated before that he’d die happy if only he could win an NBA championship. He started with nothing and became a millionaire business man through hard work and persistence, and he just got done beating cancer. I’d be surprised if he’s suddenly decided to give up on that NBA championship dream, a dream he’s had for almost 25 years now.

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