The New Orleans Hornets opened the NBA season in its “temporary” home of Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
The arena was packed. The crowd noise was unbelievable, said several Hornets players. The future for an NBA team in this small, Midwestern city seems bright.
What wasn’t bright on Tuesday night was the Savvis Center. It was dark. No hockey game. No concent.
St. Louis city fathers and sports leaders should admit that they aren’t interested in having an NBA team if the effort to bring the Hornets here for year is an indication of their feelings.
St. Louis missed the boat. It sailed into Oklahoma City and brought the Hornets there along with millions of dollars in revenue over the next nine months. Even more irritating is the fact that the Hornets blew out Sacramento and pundits have the team reaching the playoffs.
Before the game, Hornets owner George Shinn he was fearful of NBA commissioner David Stern’s recommendation for Oklahoma City for a temporary home.
The Associated Press reports that “(Shinn) was beaming afterward, predicting that if the level of support continues, “the fans are going to see a lot more wins than anyone expected.”
“It was electric. It was absolutely electric. It was as good I've seen it,” Shinn said.
“When we go back to New Orleans, this city will get a franchise, I'm convinced. Whether the NBA is smart enough to come here (I don’t know), but this market is going to be too good for them to pass up.”
St. Louis allowed itself to be passed up. It’s a loss of epic proportion.