Gary Chouest Update: Terror Level YELLOW!

In our continuing quest to become the leading Gary Chouest news aggregation site on the internet, At the Hive is proud to present the very latest news and analysis regarding Gary Chouest's rumored purchase of the Hornets. [ed: and "by very latest," we mean "at least a week old."] When we last visited the subject, the local New Orleans media and the New York media were at odds about the likelihood of the sale going through. The New York Daily News claimed that the sale had fallen through, and most major media outlets took that story and ran with it. The Times-Pic, however, believed that the sale was still likely to happen.

After a month, it appears that the Times-Pic knows more about what's going on in New Orleans than the New York Daily News. The majority of news articles are currently predicting that the sale from Shinn to Chouest will be finalized by the end of the year. However, these articles take morsels of tidbits of rumors and amplify them in an echo chamber until they sound like credible and robust reporting. Take this example:

Matt Moore writes at CBS Sports:

Most interestingly, FanHouse reports that part of Paul's newfound contentment is due to the near-sale of the Hornets to Gary Chouest. Apparently Paul was concerned about current owner George Shinn's commitment to spending for a winner.

This sounds like a big deal: sure, the sale hasn't gone through, but it's so close to completion that Chris Paul is more happy about the Hornets' direction. Surely, the sale must be impending. Now, let's look at the FanHouse article that Matt Moore cited:

Perhaps most importantly of all, there are reports that the team's ownership change from George Shinn to Gary Chouest that was supposed to be completed by the end of April should indeed happen by the end of the year. Sources closes to Paul insisted all along that his concerns about the Hornets were rooted in a fear that Shinn was either financially unable or unwilling to take the necessary steps to contend for a title. 

Taking a step backwards in the echo chamber, the rumors become less concrete. FanHouse reports two unrelated rumors, one citing "reports" that the sale could be finalized by the end of the year, and another that claims Paul was unhappy with Shinn's frugality. Matt Moore then lumps the two together to say that Paul is happier with the direction of the Hornets because the team might be sold. But where are these "reports" about the supposedly impending transaction coming from? The FanHouse article cites this Mark Stein article. It's hard to find, but there's a little rumor he tosses on the sidebar about the Hornets' sale:

One source with knowledge of the Hornets' thinking maintains that the long-stalled sale of the franchise from George Shinn to minority partner Gary Chouest will still happen by the end of the year.

And that tiny, almost comically vague morsel appears to be the original source of several articles written about Gary Chouest in the past week, each one more certain that the sale will take place by the end of the year than the one before it.

The only other original source of Gary Chouest news comes from Hornets 247's reporting on the Dell Demps Chalk Talk:

About the Ownership Transfer: It is not complete, but it's in "dotting the i's, crossing the t's" phase and that part takes more time than coming to the larger agreement. Both owners support him completely and he has yet to have a move he wanted to make meet with resistance on that front.

That statement doesn't give me much hope, since the Hornets front office has been saying that Chouest and Shinn have supposedly been "dotting the I's and crossing the T's" since April. When I hear that phrase, I'm thinking about filling out legal paperwork and getting the deal that's already been agreed upon on paper. It seems like Chouest and Shinn are still working out the framework of the deal, since legal work can't possibly take six months.

However, since the New York Daily News rumors that the sale has fallen through appear to be debunked, and there is a vague rumor that the sale could be completed by the end of the year, I'm officially moving the Gary Chouest Purchase Threat Level from "Guarded" to "Elevated." Go shout it on the rooftops. [ed: should have new terror chart when I get some time]

One final piece of news: we appear to be making the last color coded terror chart in America. That's what happens when you get in the business 9 years after it's cool.

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