It’s been nearly three months since the start of the NBA lockout, three months since the last shred of big NBA news. Some grasp onto online feeds from the Philippines while others try to believe that baseball is actually an entertaining sport.
Any way you cut it, this sucks and it’s not helping the New Orleans Hornets.
There’s a lot of issues that need to be sorted out for this team. In a lot of ways a lockout has done the organisation some good. Without the need to address roster moves the Hornets have revamped their marketing campaign and pushed hard for corporate sponsors. The ultimate goal is 10,000 Season Ticket Holders and by Swarm and Sting’s calculation they’ll get there in early November with their current rate.
Aside from that the Hornets have been able to weed out their problems and put in place a program moving forward. Their ultimate goal is clear, to keep the team in New Orleans, but I can’t help but wonder what it means underneath it.
Does it mean that keeping Chris Paul is a must? What about David West? How does a new TV deal affect things? What about a renewed lease from the State?
The Hornets have put their action plan together leading with fan and corporate interest. For the most part these strategies are working as there are 9,000 Season Ticket Holders and now Five Crescent City Champion Corporate Sponsors (with the hope of adding another). The next course of action is giving both the fans and the corporations some kind of reward or dividend for their investment. This could and should be a winning basketball program expansive throughout the Gulf-Coast.
Fans will no longer tolerate shy management with middling goals on the basketball court. Like Chris Paul we too want championships. Let’s not shy away from the issue, if this team isn’t ready to compete for a championship within the next five years let’s do it over. Reaching 10,000 season tickets means we are in, we’re in for the big-one.
A lockout delays any fan excitement but it shouldn’t delay Demps’ vision. I know that once the NBA starts losing games that financially the organisation will suffer. Their marketing efforts will as well because the “I’m In” campaign will have far less power if the NBA itself isn’t “In.”
This is about the long-term and no matter what a lockout does to dampen our spirits as fans we must always remember that gathering up local support, getting a new TV deal, getting a new lease and a local owner(s) is what needs to be done to keep the team in New Orleans. It doesn’t matter how long this lockout goes for because New Orleans has seen worse.