David Aldridge on Mickey Loomis and the Hornets
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NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT ...
What's a football guy doing running an NBA team?
"Believe me," Mickey Loomis said about a half-dozen times Friday, "I'm no NBA expert."
But Loomis, who helped build the New Orleans Saints into a Super Bowl winner as that team's general manager, now finds himself in the position of having to green light decisions for the Hornets as well as the team's director of basketball operations. New owner Tom Benson named Loomis to that post last June. Benson, of course, also owns the Saints, and he added the Hornets to his portfolio in April, to the tune of $338 million.
With two pro franchises to run, Benson streamlined his management teams, giving Loomis and Saints president Dennis Laucha decision-making authority over the Hornets as well. The teams are also merging some of their sales and marketing staffs.
Dell Demps is still the Hornets' GM, responsible for personnel and coaching decisions. But he and Coach Monty Williams now have to work with Loomis and Laucha before sending recommendations up to Benson for final approval.
"When you buy something you want to have people in place who are going to carry your message," Loomis said by telephone Friday. " ... I'm here to help Monty, and help Dell as much as I can, a sounding board for different ideas. I'm reporting to the owner, advising him. I'm here to help. But I'm not going to take away from my day job. We've got some work to do."