NBA Could Tab Minnesota Wild Executive To Run League-Owned New Orleans Hornets

Should the NBA move forward with its reported plan to purchase the New Orleans Hornets from George Shinn and run the franchise while a permanent owner is sought, the league could tab Minnesota Wild vice chairman Jac Sperling, according to SI.com's Ian Thomsen.

Sperling is a New Orleans native who previously served as the general manager of the NHL's Wild and also brokered the 2005 sale of the Anaheim Ducks. Thomsen reports an announcement of the Hornets takeover could come as soon as Monday.

Of specific concern is that, should the Hornets fail to reach attendance standards higher than current levels over the next month, Shinn could break his lease with New Orleans Arena and file for relocation. While the NBA could block any potential move at the league or Board of Governors level, that is not standard practice. Ever since Hurricane Katrina crushed New Orleans' business community and significantly cut the city's population, Shinn has been rumored to be looking for an escape from the market.

Shinn actually attempted to pre-empt the Seattle Supersonics by filing to relocate the Hornets to Oklahoma City in 2008. The NBA smacked down Shinn's request, and the Sonics did move to become the Thunder. It has been rumored that NBA commissioner David Stern has wanted Shinn out of the league ever since. Certainly, few in league circles would cry if the eccentric and unsuccessful Shinn sold the Hornets.

The speedy movement of the NBA's move to take over the Hornets could be seen as a reaction to crisis mode. The Hornets have started well at 13-6 after missing the playoffs amid injury trouble a year ago. The future of Chris Paul looms largely as the franchise slips into potential turmoil.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.