but it seems there are some people who will just downright lie to themselves and make up ridiculous excuses for the horrible fan support this team gets. even when the Hornets had Chris Paul and was a playoff team 3 out of 4 years from 07-11, they had relatively poor attendance and fan support every year with the exception of one season (2008-09 season where they averaged almost 17,000. the other three seasons were between 14,000-15,000).
For my part, I don't lie to myself nor do I make excuses. It's more that I face reality about this market and get tired of the bitching and moaning that sometimes occurs about the subject on this board (not really referring to you, Weebie).
Yes, New Orleans is a tough market and Stern recognized it. But I guarantee you that he would have not been so adamant about keeping the franchise here if he didn't see good things in the future (while he doesn't like relocations, he has certainly allowed teams to move in the past). I think the NBA (surprisingly enough) has more confidence about the long term in N.O. than many who post on this board.
Yes, I wish this area had more consistent basketball fans and more of an NBA culture. But if you think about the history of this particular franchise in this town, it's not surprising that it's taking longer for the community to embrace it. Mediocre talent and disgruntled players, lousy ownership (no money and less acumen). And when, in spite of themselves, they put a terrific team on the floor a few seasons ago, people came. If the franchise with new ownership can put together a consecutive string of those types of seasons with a talented squad, you'll significantly better attendance. And what's more important, many of those fairweather fans will become more dependable, regular fans.