The Charlotte Observer (Tom Sorensen) reports: George Shinn, who owns the Hornets, is almost as beloved in New Orleans as he once was in Charlotte. And you might recall that he was once so popular here that his fans urged him to run for governor. And he considered it. You know the story. The Hornets, who came to town in 1988, were our first big-league team. Oh did we fall for them. We were beautiful in our naivete. We gave them everything. For years, they gave us everything they had. “The whole situation in Charlotte will never be duplicated in any city in any sports league,” Shinn says as he walks through the Quarter. “It was an incredible love affair. And I owe all of my knowledge and experience and drive and everything else I have to what happened to me there.” The relationship ended poorly, of course, and Shinn was the culprit. We felt he had turned against us, so we turned against them. By the time he left for Louisiana, almost nobody cared. Shinn admits he made mistakes. He says he committed no crimes, but he committed sins. He paid dearly. He grew up in Kannapolis and the family of his wife, Susan, still lives here. Our town was his town and his team was our team. “I love Charlotte and I always will,” Shinn says.