I never thought I'd see this day. Long treated as second-class citizens in the Big Easy sports culture, the New Orleans Hornets became relevant on Friday in a way that was unimaginable just a few months ago. The Hornets signed a multiyear deal to have their games broadcast on WWL radio.
If any casual NBA fans outside the New Orleans area are reading this article, they're probably thinking this story isn't worth being written. However, as New Orleans sports fans can attest, WWL radio is the heart that pumps blood into the region's rabid sports fans. Nothing screams credibility in the Big Easy more than WWL radio.
I still remember when WWL stopped broadcasting Tulane Green Wave football games in favor of the LSU Tigers. I can't blame WWL radio as the Green Wave had fallen on hard times. But WWL's decision certainly didn't do the Green Wave football program any favors. Since then, Tulane has averaged well under 10,000 fans per home game.
Of course, now that Tom Benson is the New Orleans Hornets owner, that changes things within the organization immensely. Since WWL radio is the home of the Saints, I'm sure that made it easier for Benson to broker a deal between the Hornets and New Orleans' top radio station.
Of course, nothing on radio or television is more important than ad revenue. And nothing is more important to ad revenue than ratings. With the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft coming to New Orleans, Hornets' fans are buzzing like never before. Anthony Davis figures to sell tickets and boost ratings to new heights.
WWL radio also reported that Sean Kelley would remain the New Orleans Hornets' play-by-play announcer. John DeShazier, who has covered the Hornets in the Times Picayune, will join Kelley as the color analyst. I can only hope this means Gerry Vaillancourt, the previous color analyst, will have a role on Hornets' televised broadcasts on FOX.
With Tom Benson as owner, Anthony Davis as the 2012 first overall draft pick, and WWL radio as their new home, this certainly is a great time to be a New Orleans Hornets' fan!
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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