NEW ORLEANS - Let the rebuilding begin.
The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA lottery and now have the top pick in the draft.
The franchise is reaching out to basketball fans less than 24 hours after the lottery balls fell the team's way.
"Hey guys, this is Monty Williams, head coach of your New Orleans Hornets," said an automated call that went out to past ticket holders. "Hopefully by now, you've heard the exciting news that we secured the number one pick in the 2012 NBA draft."
Fans are responding positively to the news.
The Hornets sales staff is working overtime.
"The phones were ringing at a brisk pace last night and there's a lot of attention and a lot of people calling in regarding tickets for next season," said team spokesman Harold Kaufman.
Last year, the New Orleans business community stepped up to push Hornets season tickets over the 10,000 seat benchmark set by the league.
The co-chair of the drive says getting the number one pick certainly helps renew interest after a tough year on and off the court.
"Now that things are looking up, I think it's always an effort to maintain our 10,000 and above, but it's going to be that much easier," said Michael Hecht, President of Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Now with new owner Tom Benson, a new long term lease agreement at the arena and two picks in the top ten of the NBA draft, the Hornets are finally catching a break.
"Getting the top pick in the draft, now you're talking about an immediate and strong impact on the court and the product that we'll be able to put out there for our fans," said Kaufman.
"You put that scrappiness and young ability around someone like Anthony Davis who really is a franchise maker and it's hard not to be excited, said Hecht.
This Sunday, the Hornets are holding a select-a-seat event for potential season ticket holders at the Arena.
The general public can choose from 1 pm to 3 pm.
Saints season ticket holders get in early at 11 am.