Morris Bart Could Become Minority Owner

Published: February 27, 2012

Local attorney Morris Bart has met with both leading Hornets ownership groups and has has told them that he would be interested in partnering to purchase the team.

Local attorney Morris Bart has met with both leading Hornets ownership groups and has has told them that he would be interested in partnering to purchase the team, sources familiar with the negotiations tell Hornets247. Bart has been increasingly involved with the Hornets in recent years and especially since the NBA took over, and has said previously that he would be willing to purchase 10 percent of the team if they remain local.

The addition of Bart as a local minority owner would add a sense of security for some fans who are otherwise underwhelmed at the news that Mike Dunleavy’s group, which consists of LA businesspeople Raj and Marta Bhathal and Larry Benson, does not have any truly local ownership. Additionally, Bart has been incredibly successful marketing his firm in Louisiana, and the Hornets would presumably benefit greatly from his local knowledge in that area.

The fact is, an ownership group made of entirely of non-local investors will further turn away some fans. I’ve heard and seen that sentiment expressed repeatedly both on Hornets Report and in person. Considering that, and that Morris Bart already has a working relationship with the team, it would be fairly odd for the groups headed by Dunleavy or Chouest to deny him the opportunity to get some skin in the game.


  1. JP

    February 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    anything to keep em here (:

  2. Jason Calmes

    February 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    How many of those fans are already turned off?

    Schultz was local to Seattle, and he did as much to send the team to Oklahoma City as Bennett.

    Local doesn’t beat good.

    I think Morris Bart would be good, by the way.

  3. bee dat

    February 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I personally would be hugely disappointed if the cali group bought the team instead of chouest,

    – because I can not believe that they would have any desire to keep a team in such a small market without personal ties here

    – because dunleavy likely wants to meddle in basketball affairs, and will more than likely disrupt the direction that dell and monty are taking, one that I happen to believe in strongly. i’ve even come to respect hugh weber as an extremely able president, and hate to see him replaced / displaced. I see chouest as sticking with the direction of the current team.

  4. bee dat

    February 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    as for mo bart, i’m sure both groups are a little wary of him, but he is probably seen as more valuable for local credibility by the cali group. his enthusiasm is a plus. either way, 10% doesn’t buy you much of the decision-making process.

  5. Jude Gilbert

    February 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Stern has to get back what the NBA owners have put into the Hornets and it appears that Chouest isn’t willing to do that. I like the Cali group because I think they see potential and are willing to invest. I’d hope that Dunleavy wouldn’t want to be active in the Hornets operations because his track record is not a good one. However, he does have NBA ties and we can greatly benefit from him in that regard, but it would be a step backwards to have him become the GM with the face of the NBA getting younger. I think Demps is in touch with today’s players and how they think/act. One thing we can be sure of and that is that the NBA wants their money back and Stern has a responsibility to make sure they get it. If Chouest isn’t putting up the dollars then our wishes for him as owner are null and void.

  6. Vic Welker

    February 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I just don’t have a good feeling about owners from the west coast. It appears that this group has the money to purchase the team without the 10% investment of Morris Bart, which is a drop in the bucket. As another posted, that does not buy you anything in the decision making process. I am interested to see how this all plays out in the long run. The lease is very important, but leases have been signed and eventually broken.

  7. Ron

    February 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I don’t mind (though am less than enthused) about CA owners. It’s Mike Dunleavy who scares the cr@p out of me…

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