Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bringing the Hornets home

For everyone who complains that NBA teams aren't connected enough to their home cities, what with players and even whole teams moving around the way they do, here's a story for you.

'New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn has agreed to sell 25 percent of his NBA franchise to a family-owned investor group led by south Louisiana businessman Gary Chouest.

Shinn introduced Chouest, owner of a Galliano, La.-based offshore supply company, at a dinner hosted by the team Tuesday night. And Shinn hailed his new partner's involvement as proof that the Hornets were serious about becoming a long-term fixture in this recovering city.

"I need somebody that has roots here, that has a business here, that has connections here, that's going to fight for it the same way I do, that's going to help me sell tickets," Shinn said of his new minority partner. "He's got a skin in the game now. He's going to do it. That's what we need to make this thing work. It's not just money."'