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Thread: Fletcher Mackel...Dear OKC....

  1. #1
    All World Contributor FlyGirl's Avatar
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    Fletcher Mackel...Dear OKC....

    Thanks so much for being so gracious of a host for our New Orleans Hornets.

    Following the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history you all opened your arms (and wallets) and have embraced our franchise in a way we never thought possible.

    That said, please don't become overzealous and think that the Hornets are your team!


    http://www.wdsu.com/sports/7369305/detail.html
    Dear Oklahoma City, The Hornets Belong To New Orleans
    Fletcher Mackel
    POSTED: 12:43 pm CST February 23, 2006


    Thanks so much for being so gracious of a host for our New Orleans Hornets.

    Following the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history you all opened your arms (and wallets) and have embraced our franchise in a way we never thought possible.

    That said, please don't become overzealous and think that the Hornets are your team!

    Like many New Orleanians, I've followed our team through your media.

    One particular comment jumps out at me. An Oklahoma columnist wrote something to the effect that “In the battle for the Hornets, there has to be a winner and a loser. Judging from the support and attendance in Oklahoma City, it’s looking more and more like the loser will not be OKC.”

    Comments like this are only going to lead to heartbreak and feelings of betrayal.

    There was never supposed to be a winner and a loser when it came to this franchise.

    NBA Commissioner David Stern didn't put the team in Oklahoma City and say "if your city does better in attendance and revenue then the Hornets are staying!"

    Members of the Oklahoma media, many of whom I have great respect for, have painted the picture that team owner George Shinn wants to stay in the Sooner state.

    But has Shinn ever said that? No.

    In fact, Shinn has made numerous trips to New Orleans since the storm and has been at the forefront of the rebuilding of our great city.

    Has Shinn spoken well of your city and embraced life in OKC? Sure.

    But what did you expect him to do, curse the Midwest? He's trying to sell tickets and keep his team profitable. He has to walk a fine line and thus far he's done an amazing job.

    Another Oklahoma report I read claimed that if the Hornets stayed in OKC, it would be a purely financial decision. The journalist who wrote the piece said the Hornets have nearly tripled their game-night revenue because of their move to Oklahoma City.

    Professional sports is a business -- we all realize this -- but having loyalty, class and pride are also important.

    Oklahomans, what makes you all believe that Hornets owner George Shinn is so heartless? Why, in our greatest time of need, do you think Shinn would turn his back on a city he choose to relocate to and that he's grown to love?

    Do you all have such little respect for the man and believe he's that shallow? Shame on you.

    But let's play your game for a second. Let's say the Hornets are all about money. Then why would they stay in OKC long term? If all Shinn cares about is money, than why not relocate to Anaheim?

    There are 11 million people in the Los Angeles area and dozens of Fortune 500 companies and international businesses.

    Or what about Las Vegas? As soon as the NBA allows a team to move to Sin City, teams will be fighting to get to the casino money.

    How about Kansas City? A brand new, state-of-the-art arena in a city with a larger population and an even bigger corporate base.

    And let's not forget Louisville. Remember the Kentucky town was in the running to land the team back in 2002 when New Orleans was chosen.

    Like Oklahoma City, Louisville is comparable in size, starved for major league sports, is recgonized as basketball country and would be closer to Shinn's native North Carolina.

    So, again, if Shinn's decision is going to be based purely on financial concerns, why would be choose OKC?

    Speaking of finances, do you all realize that you've guaranteed the Hornets franchise $40 million in profit each season they play in Oklahoma City? After two seasons in OKC Shinn will be out of debt and have a surplus when he returns to New Orleans.

    And make no mistake, THE HORNETS ARE COMING BACK TO NEW ORLEANS! The team has an airtight contract with the city and the state.

    Plus, thousands of New Orleanians love this team. Know that! We worship Slidell's P.J. Brown.

    Byron Scott exudes a confidence we wished more of our politicians showed. We're all dying to see rookie Chris Paul play. We’d like to look into his eyes and give him a $1 million smile after an amazing basket that washes away all of the post-Katrina devastation. New Orleanians long for an amazing assist to help take our minds off of the pain we still feel as we tirelessly rebuild our flood-ravaged neighborhoods.

    We firmly believe that our city will be rebuilt properly and become the crown jewel of the South.

    We've finally got an opportunity to right all the wrongs that have grown over the decades.

    Our levees will be stronger, our schools will be better and crime has already been drastically reduced.

    With billions of federal dollars being pumped into the regional economy and potential tax breaks for new businesses we believe that in 3 to 5 years, our population will be much greater and more prosperous, than it was prior to the storm.

    Our average income will be higher.

    More importantly, this beautiful, historic destination city -- filled with so much culture and pride --will welcome not only millions of tourists every year, but it will also welcome tens of thousands of new residents who realize that something amazing is taking place here.

    In closing, I ask you not to put all of your chips in the Hornets’ basket. You've proven you can support pro sports. So, go get a team that's looking to relocate!

    Go get the Florida Marlins, go get the Seattle Sonics. Urge your lawmakers and journalists to push for one of those teams.

    Stop living in fantasyland, dreaming that the Hornets will stay in OKC. Because believe me, the Hornets situation is not a game, their will be no winner and loser. There will be no dramatic buzzer-beating shot that keeps the team in OKC.

    Our Hornets are here to stay.

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  3. #3
    25 characters is not enoug Contributor ktulu909's Avatar
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    Ill give 3 of mine to make it an even 10.

    Bravo and let the games begin.

  4. #4
    All World Contributor FlyGirl's Avatar
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    Thanks!

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    Desk jockey Contributor Defuz's Avatar
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    Good post.....thanks Hunny !

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ktulu909
    Ill give 3 of mine to make it an even 10.

    Bravo and let the games begin.
    I made it 10 for HunnyB's find

    Way to go Fletcher!

  7. #7
    Lovable Loser chicubfn's Avatar
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    Dang..that's cold.

  8. #8
    Charter Member Contributor PELICANSFAN's Avatar
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    WOW! Great article by Fletcher!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicubfn
    Dang..that's cold.
    Go warm your hands with Berry Trammel!


  10. #10
    Sharp-Shooting Serbian HornetsDude3160's Avatar
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    I'm glad someone from New Orleans is speaking on this situation now.
    "Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn. One 'star' who taught another 'star' how not to be a 'star' " - Jim Henderson

    "Oklahoma City can go to hell" - Random caller on the Hornets post game show

    "To be the man, you gotta beat the man. WHOO!!!" - "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

    Scott Cody on Byron Scott: "He was there during the Hornets best and worst season. His legacy, most likely however, will fall somewhere in between..."

  11. #11
    Just add fans Contributor Harvey's Avatar
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    There is a whole lot more to say! Stay tuned.

  12. #12
    New Orleans' Teams Avatar's Avatar
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    Excellent piece from Fletcher. Calling it like it is.

  13. #13
    Banned Trueblood's Avatar
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    Great article. He made Shinn out to be the good guy though. Heck, if it' what keeps New Orleans interested in the Hornets then I guess that's what it will take.

    I have to disagree with his assesment of how the other markets would be better. With the exception of Las Vegas and maybe Louisville, OKC is about as good as it gets for NBA expansion or relocation. All the other city's mentioned are over saturated from a pro sports standpoint and wouldn't draw as well as LV, Louisville or OKC.

  14. #14
    All-Star usafool's Avatar
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    way to go flecther, i hope more locals write more on this subject.

    its time for the country to know this is our team!!!!

  15. #15
    momentary lapse of re-brand NYKF Hornet's Avatar
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    Great article, at least someone from the NO media finally stepped up and said something.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueblood
    I have to disagree with his assesment of how the other markets would be better...

    I disagree with that and the idea that the average income will somehow be higher. I agree with his assessment that the feelings of betrayal will only be fueled by the comments of our local media, but he neglected to include Shinn's own overheard statements at the All star weekend.

    "Mackel said:Members of the Oklahoma media, many of whom I have great respect for, have painted the picture that team owner George Shinn wants to stay in the Sooner state.

    But has Shinn ever said that? No."


    If the heresay recollections of a conversation Shinn had in Houston are true, then he did say exactly that...contrary to the glad handling Shinn gets from this guy.

    I personally do not take anything our local media has to say as any kind of gospel. I believe the Oklahoma City media is third rate at best and do not rest any hopes for anything based on what they say...but unfortunately, there are many here who think they are the best thing since sliced bread and will feel like pregnant teens after prom night, when they realize their dress is torn and the EPT shows positive.

    "I was used, cast aside and I have no idea how this could have happened to me..."

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