NBA Owners Approve Hornets’ Move
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NEW YORK (AP) _ NBA owners approved the Hornets’ move to New Orleans on Friday, assuring that the team’s 13-year era in Charlotte is about to come to an end.
Representatives from the league’s 29 ownership groups voted on a conference call and approved the relocation, which had been recommended 10 days ago by a seven-owner committee and was endorsed by commissioner David Stern.
It is the second time in as many years that an NBA franchise has been allowed to change cities. Last summer, the Grizzlies moved from Vancouver to Memphis.
Before that, the NBA had gone 16 years without a team changing cities.
``The fans, the civic leaders and the business community of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana have demonstrated their overwhelming interest in having an NBA team,″ Stern said in a news release. ``Based on the level of commitment and excitement already generated, I am confident that the foundation has been set for a successful Hornets franchise in New Orleans.″
The Hornets will begin playing at the New Orleans Arena next season, although the date of their final game in Charlotte is not yet known.
Playing before a half-empty Charlotte Coliseum on Thursday night, the Hornets defeated the New Jersey Nets 115-97 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. The Nets lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.