NBA Franchise Notes: Sale Would Be High Point Of Hornets' Season
In New Orleans, John DeShazier writes if the Hornets "are sold within the next 10 days -- reportedly, from the NBA to a group led by Los Angeles-area businessman Raj Bhathal -- it easily will qualify as the best thing that has happened, and will happen, to the team this season." League ownership of the franchise "pretty much has been an unmitigated disaster for the Hornets." The team is 8-25 going into tonight's game against the Bulls and the NBA's "stab at general managing -- which has played a major part in the disintegration of the season -- has been an embarrassment" (NOLA.com, 2/28).
MANAGE THE LINSANITY: TNT's Charles Barkley said last Thursday after the Knicks' loss to the Heat that the organization "was doing a horrible job managing the media aspect of Linsanity," and added that it "has turned into an on-court issue." Barkley said, "The Knicks have to do a better job handling [G Jeremy Lin] with the press. He does too many interviews. I understand Linsanity and everything. It’s a great story but he’s doing too much." He said the Knicks "can turn them (interview requests) down. Lin needs to rest. This season is so condensed. Turn them down. They’ll get over it.” In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted TNT’s Ernie Johnson "interrupted Barkley’s riff claiming the Knicks nixed a Lin appearance with David Letterman." Raissman noted one way to "keep this train rolling is by showing all sides of Lin." That is why "interviews and public appearances are essential." They are "good for the NBA’s overall business all over the world too." However, as Barkley explained, "there is a down side to all this." One that "could be detrimental to Lin and the Knicks" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/26).
WILLING TO SPEND: In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell noted the Bobcats could have "up to $21 million in space under the salary cap next summer." Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins said that team Owner Michael Jordan "'absolutely' has the resources and the willingness to spend the $80-$100 million it would cost to sign a maximum-salary player if such a talent was willing to sign" with the Bobcats (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/26).
SLOW PACE: In Indianapolis, Mike Wells noted the Pacers are nine games over .500 heading into tonight's game against the Warriors, but that "still hasn't enticed fans to support the team in person." The Pacers are "29th out of 30 teams in the league in attendance, averaging 13,789 fans a game" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/26).