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New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson in ICU, is showing 'signs of improving'

From NBA media reports

Mar 7, 2018 11:55 AM ET

Tom Benson watches a Saints-Falcons game during the 2017 season with his wife, Gayle.

New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized for more than three weeks because of the flu. While he still remains in the intensive care unit at Ochsner Medical Center, the team says he may be on the mend.

In a statement released by the team yesterday, the Pelicans said: "Mr. Benson remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Ochsner Medical Center. He remains in stable condition and has shown signs of improving. Mrs. Benson once again thanks everyone for their continued support and prayers."

The Pelicans announced Benson was in the hospital on Feb. 21, but The Times-Picayune reports Benson had been in the hospital for days ahead of the announcement. Benson, 90, has served as owner of the Pelicans since 2012 and is also the owner of the NFL's New Orleans Saints -- a title he has held since 1985. 

As an NBA team owner, he oversaw the rebranding of the New Orleans franchise following the 2011-12 season (from New Orleans Hornets to the Pelicans name). Under Benson's watch, the New Orleans Arena -- where the Pelicans play their home games -- was renamed after the franchise secured a multi-year agreement with Smoothie King to change the facility's name to the Smoothie King Center.

New Orleans has won nine straight games and is the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoff chase, with its run being buoyed by All-Star big man Anthony Davis.


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