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Thread: DeShazier - Double-talk singles out New Orleans as second-class

  1. #1

    OP ED DeShazier - Double-talk singles out New Orleans as second-class



    Since this wasn't published online, I'm posting the text of the article.

    He has a very valid point.

    John DeShazier - Times Picayune
    It's almost as if there's a move afoot to ensure there won't be a sellout crowd, or three sellout crowds, to greet the Hornets six days from now, when they return to New Orleans Arena to play the Lakers, and for their next two dates in New Orleans, against the Nuggets and Clippers later in the month.

    It almost feels like there's a deliberate attempt to torpedo the homecoming, sink it before it even has a chance to float.

    That, or the organization has become so blinded by the greener grass it believes it's grazing on in Oklahoma City, it can't see or appreciate how colossally it seems to be mishandling its return to its home city.

    It's major that Hornets fans here have complained long and loud that they haven't been able to get their hands on tickets, even though the franchise insists plenty have been available. Major, too, that the team has found the need to publish a number in order to, hopefully, accommodate the New Orleans fans who are determined to be seen and heard in their support.

    It's 10 times more serious that a couple of season-ticket holders from New Orleans allege they heard team owner George Shinn say, during All-Star weekend, that he has his accountants looking into where is the best place business-wise for the franchise to be, that listeners in attendance at the party only could guess where he wants to be the inference being OKC and that, in 10 years, he hopes the All-Star Game will be played in OKC with the Hornets as hosts.

    Are we to believe that Shinn speaks from both sides of his mouth, reaffirming a commitment to New Orleans from one side while courting OKC from the other? Or do we go to the mat with Hal Braden and Cory Morton, Hornets fans who seem to have absolutely no reason to lie about what they believe they heard?

    Do we award the benefit of the doubt to Shinn, who didn't exactly link arms with the state's lease negotiators and wrap himself in the Louisiana flag when the subject of the team honoring its Arena lease was broached after Hurricane Katrina? Or do we hand it to Braden and Morton, who might've been inclined to concoct larger, more damaging tales than the conversation they went public to relay if their purpose was to generate hard feelings toward Shinn?

    Honestly, it doesn't much matter who we're inclined to believe. What does matter, right now, is the damage that's being done to New Orleans' efforts to show the sporting world that it's alive, if not all well.

    The All-Star flap only is the latest public bomb that's been lobbed by the Hornets, Coach Byron Scott's stated preference to play in OKC next season being the first, preceding fans' continued assertions that they haven't been able to get tickets.

    And all of them add up to this: It'll be a miracle - and an adjective-defying tribute to Hornets fans in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast - if one or all of the Hornets' Arena dates are played in front of a sellout crowd.

    No matter how dedicated, even diehard fans only are willing to endure so many slights, real or imagined, before they toss up their hands in exasperation. In New Orleans, where many have been inconvenienced and slighted and overlooked to their breaking points, and cursing has become part of everyday conversation, the likelihood of expletives spewing along with the hands tossing is highly probable.

    It's logical to assume that the longer people are made to feel second-class, the more likely it's going to have an impact. And the only impact they can have in this case is at the gate.

    You hope that isn't the result the franchise is courting, but you'd have a hard time proving it in light of all that's been seen and heard the past few months.

  2. #2
    Going away.... Contributor West Coast Hornet's Avatar
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    I understand the message here, and I have to agree with it in many respects. This forum is replete with posts outlining how difficult it has been to get tickets to the games. It has been ridiculous. I won't rehash it all here, but I'd love to see a synopsis of it all. Here's my story.

    I came back home to help do some cleanup after Katrina in early October. I knew I would have to return to get some more work done. I timed the return for March for several reasons, the only one that is relevant here being to coincide with the Hornets games so that I and others in my family could attend. I had difficulty getting the tickets. I made the calls, shot the emails, and I even called OKC in the process (early on). The OKC guy said, "don't worry, buddy, the Hornets will take care of you." It never happened. Then I finally got a cell # of a rep. I left a message. In the meantime, another member here was able to score me the tickets I needed for the 2 games I am attending. $210 is what I owe on those tickets. That's $210 and sales that could have been missed, plus I laid out $350 to fly home. I mean, JFC, maybe the Hornets don't care about any of that, but show some freaking respect already.

    While I am confident the Hornets will have to return home to NOLA in 2007-08, I do not delude myself into thinking that they would rather be in NOLA right now than OKC. This creates mixed feelings for the hard-core fan attending the games. I can only imagine the frustration of the casual fan in this regard, who probably assumes that the team absolutely does not want to be here.

    There have been so many problems with the ticket fiasco and marketing of the team in NOLA, I literally don't know where to start. All I can tell you is that I had a hard time getting everything together to make sure I could be there for the last two games in the city this month.

    Stern needs to step in, and he needs to stop the foolishness that the Hornets are playing. Do you hear my Michael? Do you hear me Paul? Do you hear me George?



    Time for some football!!!

  3. #3
    Just add fans Contributor Harvey's Avatar
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    I know what DeShazier is doing. He's "managing" the situation in reverse.

    Think about it. The Hornets wanted to create a feeling that the games in NOLA might have to be called off. Their first preference was that the games be re-scheduled in OKC. Second, if they HAD to play the games (in NOLA), they wanted to create such a stink about how difficult it is in Louisiana to play and that they are some kind of hero's for pulling it off.

    Well.........things didn't go as they anticipated now did they? Word leaked of their desire to cause doubt about being able to play in Louisiana. They spun the situation as making "contingency plans" and swept it under the rug. They were exposed.

    So, what does this have to do with DeShazier? Simple. The games will sell out. Know why? Not because of the Hornets' Herculean efforts (that they would want you to believe), but because of the efforts of the locals.

    In spite of all of the hurdles and obstacles the organization insists on placing, the fans will overcome. The "attaboy" at the end of the day will go to the fans and the city, not the organization. And thats exactly what the organization wanted if they couldn't sabotage the games and have them moved. They wanted the credit for playing in an "impossible" situation. All DeShazier has done is further exposed why the situation has been "impossible".

    Kudos to DeShazier for turning the tide on the sneaky SOBs in the organization who are out to sabotage anything that has to do with a return HOME.

  4. #4
    Just add fans Contributor Harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by West Coast Hornet
    Stern needs to step in, and he needs to stop the foolishness that the Hornets are playing. Do you hear my Michael? Do you hear me Paul? Do you hear me George?

    Does reading your thoughts count as "hearing you"? If it does, !

  5. #5
    I agree with that assessment. It is apparent the first 2 games will sell out if not all 3 and Deshazier knows this. After the games he can write about the obstacle course the Hornet fans traversed to make such a strong showing. I mean when you advertise non working numbers for weeks, route customers to Ticketmaster who doesn have the tickets and wait till 2 weeks before the games to have a functioning number you can only draw on 3 possible explanations.

    1. It is a Mickey Mouse operation.

    2. It is a coordinated effort to undermine attendance.

    3. All of the above.


    I would suggest everyone that is having problems keep a log of who you talked to, when, and what they told you. If there are a lot of empties in the Arena it might give interested media something to examine.

  6. #6
    New Orleans' Teams Avatar's Avatar
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    First, it's another solid piece by DeShazier.

    And the fact remains this: The Hornets say they want to be here, but underhandedly slap in the face of the fanbase they had built for the past 3 seasons at every turn.

    Is that to turn them off and show there's no support in New Orleans? Is that to contrast it to the adulation and genuflection of OKC? Is it to fuel the sports-media/radio/TV view that the Hornets should never have oome to New Orleans and God bless the day they landed in OKlahoma?

    I can't answer that. But there's only so many ways to insult someone before it stops appearing like they're accidents.

  7. #7
    Just add fans Contributor Harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avatar
    ...there's only so many ways to insult someone before it stops appearing like they're accidents.
    They (the faction that wan'ts to stay in OKC/Mott, et al) know EXACTLY what they are doing!

    Pizza, pizza!

  8. #8
    Where fairies happen Contributor whoah whoah's Avatar
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    but the question i ask... is it illegal considering the contract?
    Quote Originally Posted by CP3
    you eat so good. you're always gonna eat good. I kid a lot, everything is spicy, the fruit loops even have some kick to em
    Quote Originally Posted by Lebron James
    We played pretty good defense. We bottled him [Paul] up, but with eyes in the back of his head, he found David West"

  9. #9
    Desk jockey Contributor Defuz's Avatar
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    but the question i ask... is it immoral considering what's happened and what's been said?

  10. #10
    Demon Deacon saints440's Avatar
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    Immoral?? Do you really think Shinn cares about immoral? Look at his class one gold digger sitting next to him at the games. That's all he is too, except he's digging in OKC's pockets. He ain't messin' with no broke New Orleans.

  11. #11
    Desk jockey Contributor Defuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saints440
    Do you really think Shinn cares about immoral? ......He ain't messin' with no broke New Orleans.
    Sadly, it would seem that he doesn't care, and wants even less to do with our soon to be far less than broke arse.

  12. #12
    Hall of Famer Contributor CC_Pelican's Avatar
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    We are persistant SOB's and I believe well underestimated by the "organization".
    I got mine!! See ya next week!!

    Howdy cowpies!!!!

  13. #13
    Rookie
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    Hornets = bull****!
    I HATE looters! This is what happens to looters in my neighborhood!

  14. #14
    The Future Brian's Avatar
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    Really does mimic the Saints situation, doesn't it?

    Can't really figure out which is worse though, turning your back on your hometown that has supported you and was devastated, or turning your back on a city that embraced you even after you were villified justifiably in your previous venue.

    What I can say is that each instance is about as deplorable an act of greed as perhaps I have ever seen.

    It's one things to set up a contingency plan should things not work out in a city rebuilding, it is certainly another thing entirely to undermine that very effort simply because it is the easier thing to do.

    I would say I hope Shinn is exposed for the miserly immoral narcissist he is, but that already happened two cities ago.

    Another exposition would be nice, though.

    Brian
    ~Go Hornets!~
    "..but there's Baron dribbling the ball for 20 seconds, hoisting bad 3s and single-handedly killing them in close games. It's like somebody shrunk Antoine Walker and gave him his own team."
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    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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  15. #15
    Just add fans Contributor Harvey's Avatar
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    It would be nice for another Arnold Fielcow to appear about now. While Arnold sold Benson's garbage bill of goods for years, he couldn't "do in" New Orleans when Benson wanted to. Is there anyone in the Hornets' front office with a conscience? Yeah, I'm talking to you!

    Mirrors aren't friendly are they?

  16. #16
    momentary lapse of re-brand NYKF Hornet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian
    Really does mimic the Saints situation, doesn't it?
    Yes it does.

    This should be a wake up call for fans around the league no matter where you live. How will their own franchises handle a situation like this? It's easy to sit in the comfort of your home, watching from the sidelines, thinking this will never happen to yourself and that your owner is truly dedicated to your city. Surely your own franchise will not do this, right? I'm sure those same fans would not like other people telling them how to live, rebuild, and what they should and shouldn't expect.

    There is no question Shinn and Benson are horrible owners. Would other owners act any different? I think some would but I also believe more owners than many expect would do the same exact thing . . . which is a real shame.

    Anyway I'm glad this article is out there because I have no doubt the franchise will cry and whine about having to play these games in NO as well complain about how hard it was to play these games "on the road". The arena is ready, the score board is installed, and the floor is going down . . . it's time for the franchise to do their part for the HOME city!

  17. #17
    M V P... M V P.... M V P... M V P...

    You just dont forget that chant in a hurry ;p

  18. #18
    Basketball Guru Contributor
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    I'm glad he wrote the article. It puts things in perspective from a variety of fronts, IMO.

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