Report: NBA could return to Charlotte by 2004-05
November 1, 2002
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- NBA owners have approved an agreement with
Charlotte for an expansion team that could begin play in a new arena in
2004-05, The Charlotte Observer reported Friday.
The Hornets left Charlotte for New Orleans during the offseason after
owners George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge failed to secure an agreement on
an arena to replace the Charlotte Coliseum.
NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik told the Observer on Thursday that
owners gave their approval at a meeting Oct. 8.
City Council members are expected to vote on the 36-page document Nov.
11. If the city OKs the agreement, only a few major steps remain before
the NBA's return to Charlotte is finalized.
``All the big parameters are done,'' Charlotte city attorney Mac
McCarley said. ``We're at the details now.''
Under the deal, the NBA would choose owners and award the franchise by
Jan. 12, when the city and league are scheduled to approve a final
Three groups have emerged as potential owners: investor Steve Belkin's
Boston-based group, which includes former Celtics star Larry Bird;
former Black Entertainment Television owner Robert Johnson; and Miami
Heat minority owner Bob Sturges.