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hornets to move next season?

Tue, Mar 27, 2001
Hornets apply to move franchise
Request to move to Memphis allows team to keep options open

By John Delong


The Charlotte Hornets officially applied to move to Memphis, Tenn., yesterday.

But that doesn't mean the Hornets are going anywhere.

All it means is that a high-stakes chess match over the sale of the franchise will continue a while longer.

The Hornets and Vancouver Grizzlies beat the NBA's deadline by filing to relocate their franchises for the 2001-02 season yesterday, with both teams designating Memphis ** their intended new home.

Team officials said that the request was filed ** a way of keeping ** many options open ** possible, however, and sources said it was basically a leveraging ploy ** negotiations to sell the team to a group of Charlotte businessmen continue.

"This is just a way of covering our bases," Harold Kaufman, the Hornets' vice president of public relations, said after the team went through a two-hour practice in preparation for tonight's game against the San Antonio Spurs. "This is the just logical thing to do from our standpoint."

Co-owner Ray Wooldridge tried to diffuse any alarm over the announcement by saying that the Hornets were continuing to make progress on a new arena in uptown Charlotte.

The Hornets have long said they cannot remain in Charlotte without a new arena complete with luxury boxes and premium seating that would provide significant additional revenues. They recently reached an agreement with the city of Charlotte on a model to finance the arena, but already that plan has run into snags.

"The Hornets and the city have made significant progress and remain confident that a mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached," Wooldridge said in a statement. He declined to elaborate when contacted last night.

Recently, Hugh McColl and Johnny Harris, prominent Charlotte businessmen, confirmed that they were part of a group negotiating to buy the Hornets. Sources maintained last night that the two groups are still trying to determine the selling price, and threatening to move to Memphis was ownership's way of getting the price increased.

Reports circulated early in the day that Wooldridge and co-owner George Shinn were discussing the possibility of swapping their franchise with Vancouver owner Michael Heisley. But sources shot that notion down emphatically, saying that Heisley had no desire to do any such thing. Heisley, too, continues to negotiate with a group of Vancouver businessmen who wish to buy the Grizzlies and keep them in Vancouver.

Sources also said that there was some disagreement between Shinn and Wooldridge, with Shinn wanting to sell outright and Wooldridge looking for some way to perhaps maintain his part of the team. Shinn owns about 65 percent of the franchise, Wooldridge about 35 percent.

In Memphis, city leaders held a news conference to confirm that they had held conversations with both the Grizzlies and the Hornets about moving to their city. The new team would play next season at the Pyramid, then would move into a new arena in later years.

Two teams have never applied to relocate to the same city at the same time before. The NBA said yesterday it will appoint a committee in the next week to study both applications. The committee will decide which, if either, franchise to recommend for relocation within 120 days.

Hornets players reacted with skepticism when told of the situation after practice yesterday. They continue to maintain that they are not allowing the situation to affect their play, but several conceded that they were miffed by this latest news.

"All this is going to do is (upset) the fans even more," one player said. "How can you try to win the fans back and threaten to move at the same time? I can't believe that threatening to move the team is going to sit well with anybody."


  • The Grizzlies moving to Memphis is more probable. Charlotte is just threatening this so fans will vote for a new arena. That's pretty sneaky, considering George Shinn is an owner who's notorious for not paying his players enough to want to stay in Charlotte and be a contender (i.e. Zo, LJ, Eddie Jones, Glen Rice, all left because of the cheapskate owner).:grrr:
  • Bakit lilipat ang hornets?! hindi ko alm ito ha!!
  • uhmmm diba mas priority ng NBA ang vancouver kesa charlotte?
    i heard this news nga and it was accompanied by another news na mas priority ng NBA na ilipat ang vancouver kesa sa hornets...ewan ko lang ah
  • My gad! First the Gizzlies, now the Hornets!?!?
  • Bakit Lilipat?!?
  • Why change? maganda naman line up! Maganda naman Record! Playoffs nanaman sila! Bakit pa? Tungkol ba sa team? Are they not performing well like the Grizzlies?
  • basta kapag lumipat sila, 'wag na dapat nilang isama si Derrick Coleman sa paglipat!
  • .....haysus.....hindi sila lilipat dahil pangit ang line up nila.....gusto lang nilang lumipat ng lugar....siguro dahil hindi sila kumikita sa Charlotte...like sa Vancouver....hindi kumikita ang Grizzles dahil kokonti lang ang nanood sa kanila.....nalulugi sila....kaya kailangan nilang lumipat sa lugar na kung saan eh tatangkilikin sila ng mga tao sa lugar na iyon kahit ba na talunan sila....ibig sabihin talunan man sila ang importante eh mei bumibili ng tiket....and marami na ring team ang lumipat ng state....gaya ng Lakers....dati silang Minneapolis Lakers...na kung saan eh mei lake....kaya sila tinawag na Lakers....tapos lumipat sila ng Los Angeles....na kung saan naman eh ni isang lake wala :lol:...isa pa dito eh yung Warriors.....dati silang Philadelphia Warriors...lumipat sa San Francisco at naging San Francisco Warriors....pero hindi parin sila swinerte....konti pa rin ang tiket na nabebenta.....kaya lumipat sila sa Oakland at ginawang Golden State Warriors....eto pa isa...ang Philidephia 76ers....dati silang Syracuse Nationals....at ng lumipat ang Philadelphia Warriors sa San Francisco....dun din lumipat ang Syracuse sa Philadelphia...at naging Philadelphia 76ers.....eto last na ito....and Washinton Wizards ay dating nasa Chicago at dati silang Chicago Packers....then lumipat sila sa Baltimore at naging Baltimore Bullets.....then sa Washington na......at ngayon nga eh Washington Wizards na(pinalitan nila yung Bullets to Wizards dahil nagkaroon ng problema about guns)......to sum it all.....lumilipat ang isang team dahil nalulugi sila.....

  • what about the Jazz? where's the jazz in Utah? I just can't picture it...
  • .....about Utah Jazz...they are originally known as New Orleans Jazz....then lumipat sila sa Salt Lake City....at ang Utah dati eh mei team na Utah Stars sa ABA....doon naman kuniha yung Utah Starzz sa WNBA.....dude try to reaserch on other others team info sa NBA.com.....ako rin naging curious dati kung paano nila nakuha yung mga names ng team nila....kaya ang ginawa ko ng reaserch ako....at kung merong mali sa mga naisulat ko.....maaari nyo po bang pakituwid na lang salamat....

  • For further information on NBA team names, please refer to this thread: NBA team monickers' origin.

    Now, can we just stick to the thread?
  • blakedaddyblakedaddy Moderator PEx Expert 🎖️
    labo talaga nitong Charlotte o. Pero nadali mo Rock the owner does not knowhow to keep franchise players and I wouldn't be surprised if Mashburn leaves soon. He can compete with Jerry Krause as the biggest ******* in the NBA
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