Tom Benson’s legacy will no longer be tied to the Saints.
Not after today.
Now his legacy will be judged on so much more.
Benson and the NBA agreed to terms Friday for the owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints to purchase the New Orleans Hornets.
Now the man panned in the past for trying to move the beloved Saints to San Antonio will be linked forever for keeping two teams in New Orleans.
After bringing a Super Bowl title home, can you imagine what people will think of him if he can figure out a way to now bring an NBA title here?
The move is brilliant, one that keeps the Hornets where the NBA always wanted them and one that will end all talk by anyone outside of the Crescent City about moving the basketball team elsewhere.
It puts the franchise, one considered to be small market, in a position of strength. The Hornets can now be co-promoted with the Saints and Champions Square can get full use.
And, under Benson’s local ownership, the team can finally rid itself of any vestiges of its former life as a North Carolina basketball team.
The colors can go from Creole blue and Mardi Gras gold to black and old gold. The Hornets can become the, I don’t know, Krewe or Brass or Popes or Pelicans or any number of things.
More importantly, they’ll officially belong to New Orleans.
But there will be questions.
How will this move affect his running of the Saints?
There’s already a steady stream of wonder on the interwebs about how a guy can pay more than $300 million for a franchise but won’t pay roughly $100 million for a quarterback that brought him that Super Bowl.
One has to wonder if he truly understands how different running an NBA franchise is than one in the NFL? How contracts are way more out of control in basketball than in football?
In the end, though, the one major positive of the Hornets staying in New Orleans with a local owner far outweighs any of the negatives.
The only question now is when we see the first Benson Boogie at the NOrena.