Friday , Apr , 13 , 2012 Matt Formica

Saints Owner Tom Benson Will Own the Hornets Too

According to sources close to the league, the NBA reached a tentative agreement today with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the Hornets for $338 million.

Benson was chosen as the frontrunner to buy the team over a group of investors consisting of former coach Mike Dunleavy and Larry Benson (Tom’s brother) among others.  The league usually doesn’t allow for cross ownership but is allowing it in this case because the teams are located in the same city.

Born in New Orleans in 1927, Benson has been a Louisiana lifer.  He owns several auto dealerships in the New Orleans and San Antonio areas.  He apparently gained his wealth by investing automobile profits in local banks, then purchasing several smaller southern banks to form Benson Financial, only to eventually sell the company to Wells Fargo in 1996.  Most Saints fans know him as the crazy owner who dances second line (aka the "Benson Boogie) down the field after home victories.  Apparently, Mr. Benson isn’t the guy sitting in the corner at the party.  And now with the ownership of two major New Orleans franchises, I’m sure they’ll be no shortage of parties to attend.  I’m not going to lie, if I could trade places with any 85-year old man, it just might be Tom Benson.

Currently, the Hornets are owned by the NBA, who (supposedly) bought the team for $318 million in December of 2010.  We all remember the controversy that came shortly thereafter when Commissioner Stern vetoed the New Orleans trading of Chris Paul to the Lakers.  At that time, Stern didn’t think the trade would be good for the team’s long-term viability. 

Well pretty soon, it will no longer be Mr. Stern’s decision to make.  Congrats, Mr. Benson.  You’re officially, dominating.










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