NBA Ownership of Hornets is affecting our ability to compete

By:
Published: March 5, 2011

Even though I’m a staunch Hornets fan, I rarely comment on the blogs and I never write anything of my own.  But I just felt I need to get this out.  Either the NBA needs to do something to level the playing field, or we’re all wasting our time.

There’s an article on the NY Daily News website again today about Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson complaining about the Hornets taking on salary.  Well, according to the article, it seems we tried to get Juwan Howard from the Heat at the trade deadline and the league nixed it.  

First, Jackson has no business even commenting; he’s not an owner so it doesn’t affect him at all.  Cuban’s another thing.  He’s going to complain about the potential $25K it could cost him as his share of the Landry transaction (which isn’t actually money spent), but its OK for him to be $20 million over the luxury tax cap? That means he’s going to have to come up with another $20 million at the end of the season?  But yet, he can sign Peja, he can sign Corey Brewer, and its all ok?

Obviously, the Hornets don’t have any chance of operating like a normal team until there is a new owner, and that won’t happen until after a new CBA is in place.  Our hands are tied.  Don’t you think the other owners know that if they drag their feet long enough, that we won’t have the time to build the team into something that would make CP3 want to stay?  Seems like we’re between a rock and a hard place.

I guess the bottom line is, its OK to not have a level playing field, as long as the field is tilting in YOUR direction.  Any thoughts?

This post was submitted by RobertM320.

13 comments
RobertM320
RobertM320

Thanks for the comments, all. I guess my views are slanted by the fact that the teams I've supported all my life have been the ones that have fewer resources, less money, and smaller markets, so I've always been on the wrong side of the tilted playing field. No Lakers, Yankees, Cowboys or LSU for me. Try supporting the Saints, the Hornets, the Houston Astros and Tulane. After awhile, you sorta feel defeated, so on the rare occasion where one of them actually HAS a good season, to see one of the "haves" messing with it just aggravates me.

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Graduating from Tulane for the third time soon...

sportnlife
sportnlife

The issue with Cuban is actually not really so much about the $. It's about the fact that he's being asked to subsidize a competitor out of his own pocket, a competitor that he may be financially supporting enough to be able to beat his team in a playoff series. So, he does have a point, when you think about it. Phil is being Phil. His artificial hip joint makes his ass hurts. Being a pain in other people's ass is his way of getting even. Your main point is the important thing. I really do believe, despite all disclaimers, that the Bees were not active in free agency after Cuban put out the media hit on us. Did they blackball us, or did we just not have any assets that anybody wanted other than Marcus? I really suspect that after Cuban popped off we were blocked from taking a shot at the personnel that might have helped us make a significant upgrade. We're the "Obamacare" of the 2010-11 playoffs. It sucks all day long.

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The owners approved the purchase of the team. He's not being asked; he agreed ahead of time.

sportnlife
sportnlife

Do we know for a fact that this scenario was fully vetted before the League made the purchase? Is it written into the purchase agreement somewhere? If it were, wouldn't we have heard about it then or now? Cuban certainly agreed to the league purchase of the team and the financial burden that came with it. But that's as much as we know for sure. Still, Cuban does not feel that his agreement constituted carte blanche for the Hornets to incur additional debt, at the other owners' expense, and at the additional potential cost of his own franchise's competitive advantage. You can maybe make a case that he should have sussed out the hypotheticals in advance, but it seems likely from his comments that the deal might have been a harder sell if the issue of additional debt acquisition had been addressed up front. I'm not sympathetic to Cuban's behavior on this issue, but I can concede his point that there's a conflict of interest. As a smart businessman, he and the other owners decided that the aggregate value of the league with a Hornets franchise restored to profitability in New Orleans in a year or so and everybody recouping on their investment after the franchise sale at a higher price tag is a better way to go than the alternatives. I think he should continue to see a strong Hornets franchise as a benefit to the league. But if he feels he was misled, he should be able to call Bullshit on the League Office for not explaining contingencies like this. In the end I think the flap went against the Hornets and their ability to make more deals, since they would clearly be looking to swap more low salary players and contracts for other teams' salary dumps. After Cuban's hissy fit, the team couldn't pull off any more deals that would make a difference. Still, I don't think we should just piss in the well after the league saved our team for us under extraordinary circumstances. We're damn lucky, all things considered, to get out from under Shinn at such a modest cost, and I'm grateful that Cuban went along with it and didn't make a stink like this at the time that could have gummed up the deal.

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You can have your take on it all day long, just as I can. If it were a real issue he could stand on, he would take it up with the NBA (him) and that'd be it. The NBA allowed it, so it was fine to do it. So he has no grounding, so he's just crowing. Don't cry for stupid billionaires. And they didn't do us a favor; they did themselves a favor. They are going to get our money now, Shinn's money he was about to default on, and money from the new owners. We happen to be here to benefit from it. Make no mistake about that.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

"Phil is being Phil. His artificial hip joint makes his ass hurt. Being a pain in other people’s ass is his way of getting even." Too funny and too true! .... Zen, zen, zen, zen, zen .... L_REAZY

Chuck
Chuck

Look, of course it's not Phil Jackson's place to comment about the ownership of the Hornets. But that's what he does. He talks about things to get under people's skins. Honestly, I don't like the Lakers but I think he's earned that right by having 11 rings. It's not hurting anyone, all he's doing is riling up Hornets fans and his own fans who go "Yeah! Kobe 4 MVP!!1!" And here's the thing about Cuban (IMHO): why shouldn't he complain about the Hornets taking on salary? It's not going to hurt him at all. He doesn't care what the fans of other teams care about him. Let's say his comments were the deciding factor on whether or not the league approved the 3 way trade that got us Brandon Rush. Isn't it his job to win the West? If he sees us as competition, why wouldn't he do anything he could to prevent us from getting better? We see that all the time: teams don't want to trade their players to conference or division rivals because they don't want to face that player later. Regarding Juwan Howard, I don't think he would have made any difference for us if that rumor is true. The league probably agrees, if this rumor is true, so I don't really care. Final thing about Cuban: EVERYONE on this site loves bashing him, but honestly there isn't a single owner in sports I'd rather have running my team. He's the biggest fan in the world, he'll spend any amount of money on his team, he's incredibly intelligent (you have to be to make yourself that rich), and he's at the forefront of every new thing in the NBA (HD, advanced stats, whatever). Also, bad owner is a terrible idea. Let's ask Blake Griffin in a few years how that one worked out.

RobertM320
RobertM320

Cuban might be a fan, but he's no sportsman. He'd rather buy a championship than win one competitively. Yes, he's technically playing within the rules as they currently are, but its like going to the lake and throwing in some dynamite. You'll come home with a bunch of fish, but its hardly sporting.

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I don't think I really get what you are saying.

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We need an owner. A good owner is preferabe, of course, but I'll take a bad one.

Ryan Schwan
Ryan Schwan

I wouldn't put much stock in the Juwan Howard rumor. Dell Demps has stated that they gave the league a budget to operate under and that it was approved. They would only need to go to the league if it took them well over that budget. As of yet, they've not had to go to the league. Cuban can whine about footing the bill, but the money will come from the league coffers to cover the Hornets expenses. Cuban won't write a check at all. He's just trying to keep a division rival down - because he's more than 80% fan.

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Agreed. I saw some of Howard stuff and completely dismissed it as a non-story. It sounds like everyone wants to attribute every road not traveled as a consequence of league ownership. Some of them are decisions.