Hornets Beat: Look at the Animals

Published: August 15, 2011

This week on Hornets Beat we focus mainly on lockout stuff. We alo offer up some potential names for D-League and WNBA teams in Louisiana. Additionally I threw in some sweet pictures of animals for no reason other than that I find them interesting.

Joining us this week is Chris Trew, a nationally touring comedian, Air Sex host and co-founder of The New Movement. Joining him is our very own 42, Jake Madison from Swarm and Sting, and Mason G from HoopDat. I throw my two cents in as a last minute replacement as well.

1. Fact or Fiction- The largest contributing factor to the Hornets finding a local owner is a small market friendly CBA.

Chris Trew, Comedian- Fact, I think. Perhaps the real largest factor is whether or not Chouest, Morris Bart and Lil’ Wayne can find a fourth horsemen. I vote Ric Flair. Woooo!

This is purely for your entertainment.

42, Hornets247- Fiction. Under the recent CBA the Hornets can generate positive operating income, yet have net losses due to long-term debt being carried. The team could repeat this yearly, even without playoff revenue, if they have people in the stands. The key is getting the people to be “In;” local ownership will emerge if they aren’t signing up for humiliation.

Jake Madison, Swarm and Sting- Fiction. Gary Chouest was close to buying the team under the old CBA. While a small market friendly CBA would certainly help, I don’t think it’s the largest factor. The new CBA, small market friendly or not, will help with finding a local owner. The biggest factor is finding someone locally who is interested.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- Fact. The CBA isn’t all that matters, but it inherently controls so much about the future of the franchise that it has to be the most important factor for any potential local owner.

Joe Gerrity- Fact. With a friendly CBA the Hornets go from money losers to money makers overnight, even for down years in New Orleans. That will go a long way toward them finding a permanent home here.

2. Fact or Fiction- There will be games played this NBA season.

Chris Trew, Comedian- Fact, but they will be played on ice and with skates and it will be called the NHL.

42, Hornets247- Fiction. The 16 franchises with the largest losses will be setting the bargaining table as they have more common ground than the 8 profiting teams have with the 8 with the smallest losses.Until revenue sharing spreads the losses evenly at $10m-per-team, the deal to the players will reflect a $20m-$30m swing-per-team. Only then will a deal the players can stomach be proffered.

Jake Madison, Swarm and Sting- I want to say fact because I’m an optimistic person, but I’m going with fiction. David stern and the owners are stubborn, the players are stubborn, and negotiations have taken a spiteful tone. When Stern says the players aren’t negotiating in good faith, but he and the owners won’t make a counter proposal, we’re in for a long NBA-less year

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- Fiction. I hate to be so pessimistic, but I don’t see things getting resolved before the new year. The last time there was a lockout shortened season (1998), the league basically flopped even when play resumed; if the owners truly are losing loads of money, what incentive would they have to play an under-appreciated 40 game schedule?

Joe Gerrity- Fact. There is simply too much to lose for both sides not to reach an agreement. They would both be fools to undo the progress they have made in the past decade.

3. Billy Hunter has encouraged the players to go overseas. Given the financial realities of that, will it help or hurt them in negotiations with the league?

Wake me up when the season starts...

Chris Trew, Comedian- Given that David Stern is a hard ass gangster-type fella, I think anyone being disloyal will only hurt them in the long run.

42, Hornets247- Hurt. Those players signing overseas deals will likely be those in the most need of money, thus willing to take lower salaries. Competition for those contracts in healthy and growing leagues will drive the salaries down even more. This will only serve to empower the owners to lower the players’ share of revenue.

Jake Madison, Swarm and Sting- In theory it helps the players because they have more leverage if they are playing and making money elsewhere. But it will hurt negotiations because there is less urgency and incentive to meet with the owners, compromise, and get a deal done. If Dwayne Wade is making $2 million a month he’s not rushing to negotiate.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- I can’t see how going overseas could hurt the players’ negotiating leverage. The NBA only truly needs/cares about its stars, and those stars have been paid well enough that the league knows going overseas isn’t about their wallets. Sure, the lesser caliber players may be signing with teams in other countries for the money, but most of them are relatively replaceable, which means that the NBA can’t use the “financial need” angle as a counter-argument.

Joe Gerrity- I think in the short term in helps the players, but if a someone gets injured and other guys see what happens to his mega-contract with the NBA,  China cracks down violently on an uprising, fans get violent at a game (that stuff happens in smaller leagues), other leagues get hit by a market crash, the players get lots of hate from those who make their living overseas, etc, it could potentially eventually swing the other way.

4. Do you think that the players individual endorsements should be included by the league as Basketball Related Income, as some owners contend?

Chris Trew, Comedian- In all seriousness, yes, a small percentage makes sense. In no seriousness whatsoever, I don’t know why Marco Belinelli is not raking in the dough at Vincent’s.

Show me the (endorsement) money!

42, Hornets247- No. This seems to be an unsubstantiated comment from one of Aldridge’s sources. It may be reasonable for the NBPA to try to get a share of large endorsement deals to spread around to the players in some way. This would help the lowest paid half the of players from caving to the owners whims now and in the future.

Jake Madison, Swarm and Sting- No. Those endorsements are separate from the NBA. Danny McBride’s endorsement money doesn’t get tacked onto the amount his last movie grossed in theaters. European club soccer teams often put a clause into a players contract stipulating they take a percentage of a player’s image rights. If the owners want that money, they need to negotiate that into players contracts.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- At first, I said “absolutely not.” After a thought-provoking debate with my father (the main reason I’ve been a season ticket holder since the team moved here) and then a little research, however, I began to change my mind. BRI also includes things like concession sales, beverage sale rights, and mascot & dance team appearance proceeds. Why should the players be entitled to any of that money? It works both ways. I’ll say yes, but only for the first $2 million of a player’s annual endorsement income, as endorsements are a good way to ensure that the league’s stars make what they’re really worth to their team.

Joe Gerrity- I think that as long as basketball related income includes so many items like what Mason mentioned, the players have to acknowledge that their appearance fees and endorsements are also overwhelmingly basketball related. The solution is to change the BRI formula, not just to throw everything under that umbrella.

5. If New Orleans had a D-League or a WNBA team, what would they be called?

Chris Trew, Comedian- This is my kind of question! I could spend all day talking about this, but I’ll keep it simple for now and explain more later: Our D-League Team is either called the New Orleans Crawfish Gator Gumbo or the New Orleans Riverwalk Zydeco. Our WNBA team is either the Used-2-Bee’s or Hornets Hype.

42, Hornets247- WNBA – Laveaux. D-League – Acadians. Sadly, my initial ideas were mass nouns: Lagniappe, Sugar, Spice, Flambeaux . . . I passed on those on principle. I also didn’t want to use a previous local team name that I’m aware of. Acadians is a nice regional name that isn’t overdone. Marie Laveau and her daughter are famous New Orleans women.

Jake Madison, Swarm and Sting- For a D-League team I’d have to go with the Jesters. They could use the green, purple and yellow color scheme and there is a Jester drink on Bourbon Street. For a WNBA team let’s go with the Flashers. It ties in with Bourbon Street, Mardi GRAS and beads. Plus if they actually flashed they might attract decent attendance.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- D-League – Hijack the Hornets’ junior dance team name and call them the Stingers. WNBA – New Orleans Fleur de Lis sounds pretty appropriate to me.

Joe Gerrity- For the D-League I have to go with the Bee-Team. For the WNBA team I like the idea of calling them The Boom. Not sure why…


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