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Monty Williams says Gary Chouest not out of New Orleans Hornets ownership picture

this is a discussion within the Pelicans Community Forum; Coach says he thinks he would jump on right opportunity Based on his dealings and conversations with New Orleans Hornets minority owner Gary Chouest, Coach Monty Williams said Wednesday night he could envision a scenario in which Chouest returns to ...

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:34 AM   #1
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Monty Williams says Gary Chouest not out of New Orleans Hornets ownership picture

Coach says he thinks he would jump on right opportunity

Based on his dealings and conversations with New Orleans Hornets minority owner Gary Chouest, Coach Monty Williams said Wednesday night he could envision a scenario in which Chouest returns to purchase the team.

Chouest reached an impasse in negotiations with George Shinn to buy Shinn’s remaining interest in the franchise, and now the two are in the process of selling their interests to the NBA for a reported $300 million. Chouest has a 35 percent stake in the team.
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“From his words, he’s not out of the picture; I will say that,” Williams said. “If there’s an opportunity for him to get back into it, I think he would jump on it in a minute.”

The NBA plans to seek local ownership with hopes of keeping the Hornets in New Orleans, but it’s possible the league might not aggressively pursue new ownership until it is able to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union that can ensure more success for small-market teams such as the Hornets with revenue sharing and a reduced player payroll. The CBA is set to expire June 30.

“You have to have a better economic model, you can’t give away 60 percent of your revenue to labor,’’ said Bill Sutton, associate director of the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sports Management Program.

“You have to have more of an equitable solution. But the league has come in to see if the team can stay in New Orleans. If they can find a local buyer and work with the state to get a deal, I think that’s going to be a top priority.’’

Williams said Chouest has spoken to him about the situation throughout the process. Chouest didn’t attend Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons and has turned down repeated requests for interviews since buying a share in the team in 2007.

“You know, from his standpoint, having talked to him, he’s tried to do everything he could to keep this team here,” Williams said. “He’s been really forthright with me explaining his position. Although I can’t go into the particulars of our conversation, I will say that Mr. Chouest has done everything possible to help the team, not just stay here but build toward the future.”

Another potential local investor is New Orleans-based attorney Morris Bart, who said he is interested in purchasing a 10 percent share of the team if the NBA can find a majority investor.

Bart has been a corporate partner with the franchise for the past five seasons and said he wants to help keep the team in New Orleans. Bart said he knows two other potential investors from New Orleans who are interested in joining him with a minority stake.

“I grew up in New Orleans, and I went through the bitterness of the Jazz pulling out and leaving New Orleans,’’ Bart said. ”I would like to do my part to save the new generation of kids from having to go through that same experience.’’

Read the full article at NOLA.com...
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:18 PM   #2
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So Chouest is still in the hunt... guess he had to get rid of Shin before wanting to be part of it.
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