As the NBA reportedly prepares a full takeover of the New Orleans Hornets franchise from longtime owner George Shinn, the team's players are becoming concerned with the unsettled future of the Hornets. Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that several players asked coach Monty Williams questions about what the league's purchase and takeover of the franchise will mean to them.
Under the plan, the NBA would buy the Hornets from Shinn, who has tried in vain to offload the team to minority owner Gary Chouest since last spring. The NBA would then look to sell the team to a permanent owner, with reports varying on whether that would be a New Orleans buyer or the top bidder in any market.
Understandably, with concerns about franchise stability and possible relocation swirling, Hornets players are worried about their futures. Smith reports Williams told the team he doesn't know much more than they do.
"All I can do is answer the questions I can answer. I don't know the particulars of it," Williams said. "To be honest with you, I don't want to know. I don't want it to affect my focus and my job. When whatever happens, happens, I'll deal with it then. Now, I've heard speculation since I've been in New Orleans. It's not anything new to me."
Of course, how Chris Paul, who had reportedly requested a trade during the summer but has since pulled back, handles the instability is most important of all.
Smith also reports current team president Hugh Weber will remain in charge of the Hornets' management. How long that will remain the case remains to be seen, given that Weber is Shinn's brother-in-law.