Phil Jackson unhappy with NBA deal
NEW ORLEANS -- A little more than a week ago the NBA purchased the New Orleans Hornets, buying the team from majority owner George Shinn and minority owner Gary Chouest in hopes of finding a new ownership group.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, in town to play the Hornets on Wednesday, voiced his displeasure with the transaction.
"Not happy about that," Jackson said, when asked about the purchase.
"Who's going to trade who to whom? Who's going to pull the button on trading player or when Chris [Paul] says he has to be traded? How's that going to go? I don't know. Somebody's going to have to make a very nonjudgmental decision on that part that's not going to irritate anybody else in this league ... I don't know how they're going to do that."
The Hornets basketball decisions and day-to-day operations will continue to be controlled by team president Hugh Weber and general manager Dell Demps, but Jackson was skeptical any move made by New Orleans would be viewed as the league helping out another franchise.
"That's what everybody is going to be afraid of: Who is going to be helping who out?" Jackson said.
"The best thing about [the Hornets franchise] is its still in existence; it's still here."
He was not sure how long that would continue to be the case.
"I don't know if New Orleans can support [an NBA] team," Jackson said. "It hasn't been successful supporting a team up until now. So, all the situations that have gone on in New Orleans, unfortunate things have happened and you know if the franchise can't make it, somebody is going to have to move it."
NBA commissioner David Stern said the league prefers to find an ownership group that would continue to operate the team in New Orleans.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.