The Expos are the only previous case of a major American sports league purchasing one of its teams*, so naturally many NBA analysts are comparing the NBA's purchase of the Hornets to the MLB's purchase of the Expos. And although there are some similarities between the Hornets' situation and the plight of the Expos circa 2000, the Hornets' period of NBA ownership will likely not become the abject disaster that the Expos' period of MLB ownership was. At worst, it will become a different kind of abject disaster.
For as Tolstoy might have said, each successful franchise is alike, but each failure is wretched in its own special way.
1) The Hornets will not be an orphaned, afterthought franchise.