New Orleans Gets David Stern's Junk

Thank you, NBA: We now have another year of NOOCH!

NBA commissioner David Stern announced yesterday that the Hornets will come back to play 35 games in Oklahoma City next season. This isn't much of a surprise, considering the city has been surprisingly ecstatic about its team and New Orleans ... well, New Orleans wasn't crazy about the Hornets before Katrina. (Oklahoma City residents are most pleased.)

But about New Orleans. Stern, cunning as always, told the city that it had "exclusive negotiating rights" to the 2008 All-Star Game, which is not the same thing as saying it will host it. Talk about a spoonful of sugar; Stern essentially told the city's residents that it will have six games next year (which is just a couple more than the Saints will play there, starting November 1), and somehow made tried to make them feel like they were coming out ahead on the deal. That guy, man, he can do anything.

Hornets To Return To Oklahoma City [NBA.com]
America's Team: NOOCH! [Deadspin]