January 20, 2010: Chris Paul and David West of the New Orleans Hornets in action against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA game in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. Tyler Kaufman/CSM.

The AP reports:

The man picked by the NBA to oversee the Hornets after the league’s impending takeover of the franchise said Tuesday that his assignment is to make the club more attractive to a buyer who would keep the team in New Orleans.

Jac Sperling traveled to New Orleans to begin his role as the NBA’s administrator for what will be the first team owned by the league after the NBA board of governors’ anticipated approval of the purchase in the coming weeks.

Sperling, a sports attorney who is also vice chairman of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, was born and raised in New Orleans. He was appointed by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

“I grew up here. [Stern] asked me to help,” Sperling said. “Read into that what you want, but I think the commissioner, he’s been very positive about this city going back to when the team was awarded in 2002, [then moving the team back from Oklahoma City] after Katrina … and also the awarding of the 2008 All-Star game.

“We’re in a difficult spot, yes, but I think his selection of me is a further indication of what is in his mind. He wants to try to make this asset more attractive so perhaps a local buyer will step up.”