Hornets Move In Question

The owner of basketball’s New Orleans Hornets says the team should remain in Oklahoma City next season.

Owner George Shinn said New Orleans is simply not ready to host the team this coming season. The Hornets have played most of their recent games in Oklahoma City because of the damage to New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina.

The team has agreed to play six games in New Orleans next season, but Shinn won’t announce anything further until he hears from his attorney or the NBA “that a deal’s done.”

The NBA said commissioner David Stern has planned to announce a decision of the Hornets’ status by the end of this month.

“The NBA said we’ll be announcing it at the end of the month, and I’m predicting a few days after that.” Shinn said. “The end of the month is not until [January 31st], I think, so just hold your breath until then.”

Meanwhile, Shinn said the Hornets have signed a lease to play in New Orleans and will honor that, but he wants to make sure the agreement is fair to all parties, including himself.

“What if next October there’s 10 feet of water in the city?” he asked. “You expect me to come back? Give me a break. Just be reasonable about things. That’s all I’m asking.”

The owner expects his attorneys, and possibly himself, to continue discussing the deal with Louisiana officials.