SBD/Issue 34/Franchises

NBA Franchise Notes: Chouest's Deal For Hornets Still On Track

In New Orleans, Jimmy Smith cited NBA sources as saying that George Shinn's sale of majority ownership of the Hornets to Gary Chouest is "still on track." League sources indicated that both Shinn and Chouest are "attempting to work out final details of an agreement that was first reached in May." Chouest, who already owns 35% of the franchise, "seems to be accepting a more visible role in the team's operation." At last week's tip-off luncheon, he was "front and center at the festivities, and his recent contributions to the franchise were repeatedly noted by various speakers" (, 10/27).

Prokhorov Held Champagne Toast For Media 
Before Nets' Season Opener Last Night

ROOKIE DEBUT: Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov "held a champagne toast for some media" before last night's season opener against the Pistons. Prokhorov "spoke on several topics," including the new billboard of Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire near the Barclays Center construction site. Prokhorov joked, "I saw the picture but Amar'e, I think, he is very sad. He wants to play in Brooklyn in a couple years" (N.Y. POST, 10/28). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Joshua Robinson writes Prokhorov has "injected a healthy, if possibly unrealistic, dose of ambition into the franchise." Nets CEO Brett Yormark: "Prokhorov has given the organization a bit of a swagger. It gives everybody in the organization a sense of confidence" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/28). Prokhorov said that he plans to attend 25% of Nets home games this season, and he will "meet with businessman and politicians and get a first-hand feel for the organization during this visit" (, 10/27).

CAN'T STAND THE HEAT: TRUEHOOP's Henry Abbott noted there were "not the huge swaths of empty seats that mar many" 76ers games at last night's home opener against the Heat, but there still were vacancies "here and there." The 76ers for last night's game "opened parts of the Wells Fargo Arena that are normally closed, including standing room here and there, and seats in the 'halo' around the very top of the arena." Abbott noted the game was "no sellout," and during the second quarter "there were no lines, and several windows open," at the ticket office (, 10/27).

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