NBA willing to broker Hornets' sale to Charlotte buyers

Saturday, March 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Charlotte-AP) _ N-B-A Commissioner David Stern has reportedly gotten involved with trying to find a local buyer for the Charlotte Hornets and keep the team in North Carolina.

The Charlotte Observer reports today that majority owner George Shinn is open to selling, but minority owner Ray Wooldridge prefers to keep a piece of the team.

The Observer based its story on N-B-A sources it did not name. A Hornets spokesman didn't immediately return calls seeking comment on the report.

The possible sale has been talked about for more than a week. Bank of America chairman Hugh McColl predicted it could be worked out by last Monday.

No sale has been announced and the Hornets instead applied Monday for the league's permission to move to Memphis, Tennessee. The Vancouver Grizzlies also want to move to Memphis.

Stern says the Hornets could move to another city if the Grizzlies move to Memphis.

The Hornets have said it risks losing 40 (M) million dollars next year playing in the Charlotte Coliseum. The team wants taxpayers to help build a new downtown sports arena. A referendum is planned June fifth.