NBA Commissioner David Stern announced Friday afternoon that New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has purchased the New Orleans Hornets.
Below are some quotes from Stern and Benson from the press conference announcing the deal. More details to come…
NBA Commissioner David Stern on Saints Owner Tom Benson purchasing the New Orleans Hornets:
"Tom's history of success in sports is well known. The fact that he was born and raised in New Orleans and done such a spectacular job with the Saints made him in my view the ideal owner for the NBA franchise in New Orleans."
"Tom has been a leader and he is deeply invested in the rebuilding of New Orleans post Katrina through Champions Square, Benson Tower and buying a local FOX affiliate when others would buy it from out of town."
"He has donated millions of dollars to Louisiana charities over the years. I know he will incorporate the Hornets into a huge and proactive symmetry downtown near the arena so that New Orleans will have sports and family entertainment year round. That's going to be spectacular from the NBA's perspective."
"I know that Tom is a firm believer in investing in New Orleans. He has made huge commitments. Our goal all along has been to get the Hornets bought by someone who's commitment to New Orleans would be unrivaled and who adds so much additional value as the owner of the Saints does."
"We have been extraordinarily well supported by the people of New Orleans and the people of Louisiana. We have been extraordinarily supported by Mayor (Mitch) Landrieu and Governor (Bobby) Jindal."
Saints Owner Tom Benson on purchasing the New Orleans Hornets:
"First of all as the Commissioner mentioned, I was born and raised in New Orleans. I went to Texas and made a few dollars. It looked like the Saints were going to have to leave New Orleans. The owner had the team up for sale and there wasn't anybody to buy it. I ended up buying a football team. Certainly it has been very successful and a good thing for New Orleans."
"We expect this club to be one of the most outstanding clubs in the league, otherwise I wouldn't want to get involved with it. Right off the bat, our goal is to win championships. Our goal is going to be that this thing is going to be great for New Orleans."
"We are really interested in this. We are going to make a great club. I mentioned that to the owners today. We are going to give them a lot of competition. It's going to be good for us and the league too. I think you are going to see some outstanding basketball and something that all of us can be proud of."