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Sunday , Apr , 15 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Hornets’ owner Tom Benson: We need a name `like Jazz’

"We need to find a name like (Jazz)," Benson said, referring to New Orleans first NBA team that relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979. "Whether we can get that or let us use that, you've got to know we're working on it. We'd like to change it tomorrow. We have not gotten that approved, but we're not letting up on it, either. Because we've got a good relationship with the commissioner and his people and we're going to be on them daily to do something."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Ah, Mr. Benson, there’s already a team called Jazz. They play in Salt Lake City. Their owner and fans won’t just give back the nickname -even if it makes sense for it to be returned to New Orleans.

To be fair, Benson has a point: Hornets doesn’t suit New Orleans. It’s connected to former owner George Shinn, and the move over from Charlotte. As part of the franchise’s re-branding, they should use a more appropriate moniker -’like Jazz’. 

The same situation will come up when (not if) the NBA moves back to Seattle. The team must be called Super Sonics and sport green.  Anything else would be criminal.

Now Clay Bennett still owns the Super Sonics nickname but opted not to use it when he caused waves and shifted the franchise to Oklahoma City three years ago.

Bennett and his ownership group have no use for the Super Sonics nickname and logo, and it would be a nice gesture of detente if he returned it to the city of Seattle.

He did, after all, steal the team (watch Sonics-Gate kids).

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Saturday , Apr , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Mavs, Pacers, Suns, and Blazers want Eric Gordon?

Eric Gordon is a fan of New Orleans, which should come as welcome news to, well, New Orleans fans. He loves the food, the laid-back vibe and the folks who support the last-place Hornets despite being given so many reasons to stay away. Bring up the coach (that's second-year man Monty Williams for you non-loyalists), and the 23-year-old shooting guard who will be a restricted free agent this summer makes it sound as if he never wants to leave.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Five games is enough.

Eric Gordon has been limited to a few games with the New Orleans Hornets; however, his injury woes won’t stop teams from chasing him this summer when he becomes a restricted free agent.

Reports indicate that Dallas, Indiana, Phoenix, and Portland have interest in the two-guard.

This makes sense. Gordon, while not a top-flight player, can score. When available, he’s had an impact on the Hornets.

Teams must be careful not to overpay Gordon. Sure, he deserves good money. But he doesn’t deserve max’ money -like a crème de la crème superstar.

Of course, the Hornets can match any offer Gordon receives, so interested teams will have to float an Enron-type, exorbitant contract to scare off the Hornets.

That still might not be enough. Tom Benson just purchased the Hornets and the Saints owner will use his deep pockets to keep Gordon and the good times rolling in New Orleans.

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Saturday , Apr , 14 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Carl Landry interested in re-signing with new, stable Hornets?

Forward Carl Landry said he agreed to only a one-year deal last summer because of the Hornets’ ownership uncertainty. But he said with Benson taking control, he’ll look at committing to the Hornets long term. “Having some type of stability definitely helps,’’ Landry said. “Going into a situation where you don’t know what’s going to happen, if the team is going to be there the following year, who’s going to buy the team, it’s uncertainty, instability. But going into a situation where you do have that definitely helps.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The New Orleans Hornets are already seeing the benefit of steady ownership.

For those that missed it: yesterday the NBA announced that Saints` owner Tom Benson has a deal in principle to purchase the Hornets.

And much will change. For the better.

Take Carl Landry. The multi-purpose forward will become a free agent at season’s end, and only signed a one-year contract this winter with the club because the ownership situation was so unstable.

With Benson on-board, Landry wants to re-up for the long-term.

Other things are happening in NOLA. The club has sold 10,000 season tickets. They have heaps of cap space. There are two lottery picks in the fold. And Eric Gordon seems interested in signing a long-term extension.

Expect the Hornets to continue their re-birth in 2013.

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