John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

Four months since assuming ownership of the New Orleans Hornets, the NBA continues to work toward resolving issues it hopes will make the franchise more attractive to a local buyer.

Although the league has not had discussions with any potential local owner or groups, NBA Commissioner David Stern said during his annual pre-playoff conference call Friday they continue to receive inquires from people expressing interest.

“When people call and express an interest,`we say ‘terrific, we’ll take you to a game, take you to a meal, and put you in the queue, so we can be ready to talk to you when we are ready for this asset to be sold,’ ’’ Stern said. “We’re not pursuing local ownership at this time.

“The direction that Jac Sperling and Hugh Weber are taking is to make this team desirable for local ownership, or ownership that intends on keeping it in New Orleans.’’

The NBA purchased the Hornets from George Shinn and minority owner Gary Chouest in December for an estimated $300 million.