Tuesday , Aug , 14 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Listed-The NBA’s Ugliest Moves: New Jersey-Brooklyn Nets, Vancouver-Memphis Grizzlies, Seattle-Oklahoma City ‘Sonics’, & Charlotte-New Orleans Hornets

The break-up process between a city and team is the worst. Fans know it’s inevitable that the franchise will move; due to leases and contracts the team must play out a final, lame-duck season. In the last days, accusations fly. Owners are called liars. Politicians are blamed. And fans are reamed out for not doing enough …

Moving an NBA team from a community can be tough. It rips at the heart and soul of local fans; then they have to watch their beloved team play in another city. Imagine seeing your ex-girlfriend with her new man on ESPN Sports highlight reels every night.

The break-up process between a city and team is the worst. Fans know it’s inevitable that the franchise will move; due to leases and contracts the team must play out a final, lame-duck season.

In the last days, accusations fly. Owners are called liars. Politicians are blamed. And fans are reamed out for not doing enough.

With the Sonics going through drama with the Clay Bennett-Oklahoma City group, HoopsVibe The Blog decided to list off five awful ownership situations in another edition of Listed.

As always, get at us with your thoughts in the comment box below.

#5: Bruce Ratner, New Jersey Nets

The Move: The will soon become the Brooklyn Nets.

The Fallout: Some Brooklyn residents were opposed to Ratner’s plans for a new stadium because the construction would force them from their New York homes. They feel the team is only a smokescreen for a larger ‘urban renewal’ development.

#4: Bill Laurie, Vancouver to St. Louis Grizzlies

The Move: Laurie tried to buy the Vancouver Grizzlies and shift the team to St. Louis, where he owned the hockey club and arena.

The Fallout: The Wal-Mart heir rode into Van-City with a black cloud following him. He was rude to everyone. Fortunately, his attitude alienated the NBA Governors who blocked his attempt to buy the team.

#3: Bill Laurie the Sequel, Michael Hiesley, Vancouver to Memphis Grizzlies


The Move:
Hiesley, a smarter version of Laurie, bought the Vancouver Grizzlies and moved the club to after one season.

The Fallout: The Chicago billionaire publicly pledged his loyalty to Vancouver. He even sang the Canadian national anthem to fans at the home-opener. All that quickly changed and the team ended up in Tennessee.

#2: Clay Bennett, Seattle to Oklahoma City SuperSonics

The Move:
Bennett’s ownership group wants to move from the Emerald City to his hometown of Oklahoma City.

The Fallout: A minority owner stating that: "But we didn’t buy the team to keep it in Seattle. We hoped to come here," he said. "We know it’s a little more difficult financially here in Oklahoma City, but we think it’s great for the community and if we could break even, we’d be thrilled."  Enough said.

#1: George Shinn, Charlotte to New Orleans Hornets

The Move: Shinn moved the team from Charlotte to New Orleans. And it wasn’t pretty.

The Fallout: The Hornets had great success in Charlotte. In the mid-nineties, they were an up-and-coming team and had amazing attendance. However, Shinn refused to pay several top players market value and eventually traded them. Shin was accused of rape by a woman in 1997 and then the new arena ultimatums began.

It got so bad, the city of Charlotte said they would build a new basketball specific arena, but Shinn, who was viewed as a pariah, had to sell the team. The saga ended with the Hornets moving to New Orleans and the NBA agreeing that Charlotte would get an expansion franchise, .

Agree or disagree with these five ugly ownership situations? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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