Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for February, 2009

Apparently this happened during one of the trampoline dunks at the Pistons game Wednesday, but I completely failed to notice at the time, even though I sit right behind that goal. Which, I guess, says more about how I feel about “in-game entertainment” than about my observation capabilities. Or maybe it says more about how spaced out I was after six days of Mardi Gras…

"horn-net-fan" tee @ Dirty Coast I just heard about this and got kind of excited. I’ve been wondering when they would make one. As you can see, it’s a nice bright yellow with a beehive design on the front and pictures that spell out “Horn-Net-Fan.” I like that it’s a little bit cryptic, a secret message you have to figure out. Not quite as cool as some of the Saints ones, but hey, the Saints have been around longer so this is a pretty fresh start. A little local color, ya heard?

The shirts are $22, and you can buy them in the store at 5704 Magazine or online here at Dirty Coast.

CP3 Does Shoes, Mardi Gras

By on February 25, 2009

AT THE SAME TIME. That’s multi-talented. That’s Chris Paul.

CP3 II Mardi Gras

This Mardi Gras version of the new CP3 II released in New Orleans over the weekend. The shoes are supposed to release nationwide on March 14, in many other colorways. Click the link for more pics of the shoe. I don’t know, I gotta say there is a lot going on on that sneaker, but the swirls do remind me of Mardi Gras.

Speaking of which, Chris Paul and James Posey were spotted wandering about the Uptown parade route yesterday. Here’s the thread on Hornets Report with the pics. I personally think it  is 100% awesome to see the team out and about in the city, rather than lying low in Kenner or something. (LAME! But then, you all know I love being in New Orleans and wouldn’t live outside the city limits if you paid me!) See CP3 trying to be all crafty in that photo… whatev, you aren’t fooling me. I went to college and I know a good cup hide when I see one.

NBA Talk With Axl Rose

By on February 23, 2009

As many of you all know, TT6 and I have been busy during Mardi Gras, parading, carousing, and such.  Plenty of celebrities in town.  Kid Rock pointed at us.  We caught beads and doubloons from Val Kilmer.  But our biggest surprise was meeting Axl Rose and his mate, Buckethead, and finding out that Axl is a huge basketball fan, who despite calling L.A. home,  knew a lot about the Hornets, and the NBA in general.  It was obvious he’d been out partying a bit, but was interesting, nonetheless.  Here’s how it went:

Hornets Hype
: so you say you’ve watched several Hornets games this seasor.  Do you feel like our team is underachieving?

Axl Rose floatin' into town!Axl Rose: They’re Scraped.  Some may convince you no one can break through; I’m here to tell you you’re worth more than they tell you.

Hornets Hype: I agree.  I agree.  What about this whole Tyson Chandler trade thing?  Any comment on that?

Axl Rose
:  You’ll be Better.  [Swaying a bit.]  So bittersweet this tragedy; won’t ask for absolution.  A twist of faith, a change of heart, . . . a broken heart provides the spark for . . .  determination.

Hornets Hype
:  Yeah, I think TC will come back strong too.  How about that Chris Paul?  Can you believe he wasn’t MVP last year, or being given more consideration this year for the same?  Do you think he thinks about that?

Axl Rose: Shackler’s Revenge, man.  CP got a wicked demon, his hunger never fades.

Hornets Hype:  Okay.  Sure.  Can you believe he almost didn’t start the All-Star Game this year?

Axl Rose
:  Chinese Democracy.  It don’t really matter.  Gonna find out for yourself.

Hornets Hype
:  Umm, right, so he looked great in that game, though, right?

Axl Rose:  If The World.  If the world would end today and all the dreams we had would all just drift away, you know there’s nothing more to say.

Hornets Hype:  [Hand over mike, muffled voices.]  Enjoying Mardi Gras, Axl?

Axl Rose:  Sorry.  You don’t know why I won’t act the way you think I should.

Hornets Hype:  What?

Axl Rose: Riad N’ The Bedouins.  Had a plan and thought they’d win.  But I don’t give a fuck ’bout them cause I am crazy.

Hornets Hype:  Well, any more thoughts about the NBA, maybe?  You know, the Lakers?  How do the we stop them come playoffs time?

Axl Rose: I.R.S.  Gonna call the IRS…read it baby with your morning new, with a sweet hangover, and the headlines too.

Hornets Hype
:  you’re suggesting the Lakers don’t pay their taxes.  Or maybe Phil?  Seriously?  Any on-court suggestions?

Axl Rose: [Does slithering snake-like move.]

Hornets Hype: What do you think of Lebron?  Everyone likes to talk about him.

bucketheadAxl Rose: Prostitute.  Oh I got a message for you.  Up and away.  It’s what I gotta do.

Hornets Hype:  Well thanks for talking, I guess.  Any parting thoughts?

Axl Rose: Patience. Anything Goes.  Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.

Hornets Hype
:  Okay.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!

And that was it.  Axl and Buckethead walked away after that.  Buckethead was wearing a Popeye’s bucket on his head for the occasion, not the regular KFC one.  Peace out.  Beat the Kings!

Three Against the World

By on February 20, 2009

So. How was your week?

You wish there was a moment to stop and take a breath, but it’s the Lakers up tonight, the Jazz tomorrow, Mardi Gras in full effect till Tuesday. On the other hand, I’ll argue that we learned things about this team in the whirlwind of the past three crazy days. And they are good things.

We watched as, instead of collapsing, the Hornets won two games in the wake of the Chandler trade.

Three... it's the magic numberWe learned who the leaders are. True, it wasn’t really surprising. But we saw David West speak up. (If there’s any word to describe D-West, outspoken is not it.) On a night when the Hornets organization seemed to be bombarding the fans and the press with cheerfully spun declarations about how they traded for two shorter guys to improve their rebounding, he was the one voice to say that the trade wasn’t a basketball decision, and he wasn’t happy with a move that would seriously handicap their playoff chances. I will always admire him for that. We saw Chris Paul tell the press, “Me and D-West talked about it before the game last night — if we go down, we’ve got to go down fighting.” And we were heartened by it.

We learned that the fans of New Orleans, despite comments to the contrary, are going to support this team, coming close to selling out the arena on a parade night with many fans bitter about what they saw as purely a cost-cutting move. And those fans were treated to a late Christmas present.

We learned that, when implemented wisely, the Hornets’  assortment of backup bigs can stand up to Dwight Howard. I don’t know what that says about other future games, but it’s not a bad thing.

We learned that, once every few months at least, John DeShazier and I will agree on something. I know, right?

We learned that we will follow Chris Paul wherever he leads us. And so will this team.

I’m not going to worry about the whole failing-the-physical thing right now, because there’s no point. Let’s focus on the short term. Tyson is the guy we have. And he says he’ll be back Monday or Wednesday. That’s enough for me.

What the Hornets got Wednesday night was one last chance to get it done with the guys on this roster.

They have to take it.

OK, Y’all. Stop.

By on February 19, 2009

So yesterday I was kind of annoyed to hear from several sources that a Hornets employee,who joined the team when they were in Oklahoma City, had made some slightly rant-y Facebook comments regarding New Orleans fans. My negative response to this was on three levels:

1. When I heard about it, I was already previously annoyed by watching Gil and Bob’s cheerful “party line” all evening on CST. I just felt like the comments the organization was making were insulting to fans’ intelligence.

2. I think the Hornets organization probably does not realize sometimes how incredibly sensitive people here still are about the OKC thing. They’ve still got to be REALLY careful, last season notwithstanding.

3. Characterizing New Orleans fans as people who impulsively “give up on”  teams is just inaccurate, when you stop to think for more than three seconds about how they’ve loved a losing football franchise for 42 years.

We are firm defenders of New Orleans at this site. I acknowledge having put this person on a certain List of mine, because I was annoyed. But. I wasn’t expecting this thing to get out of hand, which I think it has. It’s kind of blown up in a way that got really nasty, really fast.

I don’t feel like people’s social lives need to be scrutinized or questioned, even if I don’t agree with the things they say. No one deserves that. So I am deleting all references to this line of conversation from this site. Thanks. Peace out.

The Hype’s New Look

By on February 19, 2009

I was going to do a whole post about this two days ago, but unfortunately, right about the time I went live with the new blog layout, the Tyson Chandler trade soap opera began. And will not end until about three hours from now.

So let’s talk about our new, bluer look. First off, if you’re having any issues, feel free to comment with your computer specs (Mac or PC) and what browser you’re currently using. This will only help me. I didn’t make the new design from scratch, and I’m not sure I know enough about PHP to have been messing around with other people’s quite as much as I have in the last week. Update: If you are using IE, let me know if you are or aren’t having the issue where the gallery up top is slow to load and the pictures appear down the background of the page. I’ve got 2 PCs, and one’s having it and one’s not. I’ll try to figure it out. For now, Firefox.

Second, please bear with us as I will continue to mess around with the placement of ads, links, etc. in the sidebar until I’m 100% happy with them.  So if you see something weird off to the right, that’s just me tweaking the layout.

Third, you might have noticed that there’s a little image next to everyone’s name in the comments. It’s using  Gravatars, which are basically a globally recognized avatar that’s linked to your email address. So you can go enter your email address over there, upload an image, and you should get a small picture on this site and any other sites that use them and require an email address in the comment field.

And now we wait. Perhaps the blue will calm you.

I have no clue how I feel right now. So really, I am just going to put a whole bunch of emotions on little pieces of paper into a hat. And then, you know, we can just go with whatever gets picked, and pretend that’s what I said.

  • Elated
  • Ecstatic
  • Hopeful
  • Worried
  • Confused
  • Uncertain
  • Optimistic
  • Regretful
  • Disbelieving
  • Nervous
  • WHOO!
  • WTF?

This Tyson situation is so bizarre I can’t even talk about the game. And it was a really, really good game. Man, it was good. Everything I expected out of today has been flipped upside-down. Hornets backup bigs get blasted by Dwight Howard? Nope. They blew the Magic out 117-85. Tyson Chandler being traded to OKC? Nope. I get home, turn on the highlights, and it’s Rick Kamla announcing that he’s back. ?? So instead I will give you four facts about the game that are probably random enough to reflect the weirdness of life as a Hornets fan at this particular hour on this particular day of this particular month of the year 2009.

  1. At halftime warmups, Dwight Howard randomly jumped on it and started dancing to Apache, which was playing on the arena PA. I seriously think he took about 2 shots the entire time he was out there. He was too busy just quietly dancing by himself. Sure, there were other people around. But none of his teammates were dancing, nor did they even seem to bat an eyelash that he was. Dwight Howard is a special soul. Hilarious.
  2. Hands down the best moment of the night: With 8 seconds left in the 4th quarter, Devin Brown jacks a long three that puts the crushing lead up to 32. You might say that’s bad sportsmanship. You might not have had to watch and cringe as your Christmas Day was embarrassingly ruined on national TV. I did, and I personally wouldn’t have cared if they ran the lead up to 40. Clearly the Hornets felt the same way. Anyway, right at this point someone in the crowd yells, “MERRY CHRISTMAS, MAGIC!” and I about died laughing.
  3. There was actually a sustained wave going in the Arena in the 3rd quarter. We were partying like it was 1989 in there.
  4. Tonight we learned that if James Posey takes his tall socks off on the bench, it is an undeniable sign that the game is over.

So the Hornets traded Tyson Chandler today.

That may seem like a lame way to begin this, but really, it’s something I had to do. ‘Cause every time someone says it or types it, I’m still getting this little jolt, like, “Wait, what? Tyson isn’t on our team?” I guarantee you that when I go back up the the top to proofread this post, I’ll think, “Wait, what? Tyson was traded?” despite having written about it for however many paragraphs. And it’s because of that jolt that I have to type it out.

mW said I should talk about the bullshit the Hornets organization has tried to put past us, the emails we’ve received from the official Hornets mailing list that claim this move was made to “add more size” (From 7-1 to 6-10 is more size now? I guess I should claim to be 5’9 then, while we’re at it, if that’s the way math works in this strange Hornets PR twilight zone) and “more rebounding” (so Tyson was having a down year– neither Smith nor Wilcox can equal his rebounds). Do I wish they would just be honest and say it was about cutting salary? Yes. Do I think sending out these B.S. emails and making Bob and Gil be falsely and gratingly cheerful on the broadcast is akin to treating fans like they think we’re stupid? Of course.

But you know, I’m not going to talk about that. Partly because I don’t have the energy. But mostly because there’s a guy out there who doesn’t deserve that junk mingled into a post that should rightly be about him.

I know many of you have either read the About section of this blog, or heard my story of how I became a basketball fan. Then you’ll have a little perspective on where I’m coming from. Because, man, I honestly can’t tell you when I last felt this betrayed by a team. I mean, this is probably going back to when Dominik Hasek screwed over the Buffalo Sabres in 2001, so we are talking eight years without major sports hurt for me. I think what stings the worst for me is we all imagined that CP-DWest-Tyson was the nucleus, the young guys you build around. Of the starting lineup, Peja seemed like the one who gets supplanted in a year or two for youth, perhaps by Julian Wright. And– this is the crux of the thing– if I thought that, if most of us thought that, what did Chris Paul think, when he signed that three year extension last summer?

Good luck, TC

Photo by Matt aka Storm Surge Photography

I don’t know.

I know I thought this was a guy who was gonna be with us a while. But I’m not going to talk about that. I’m going to talk about those early days, back in the beginning of last season when New Orleans Arena was sparsely dotted with 8,000 fans, back before no one believed. I didn’t really want to be there. mW bought the tickets for me, and I felt sort of like I was being dragged to games every other day. I had never thought much of the NBA. It wasn’t the stereotypes for me so much as that the game itself seemed trite. Growing up in hockey rinks, where a goal meant leaping-out-of-your-seat everything, how could I think much of a game where you could score 100 points and shrug them off as nothing? I thought it would bore me, and for about a month and a half, it did.

But then something subtly changed. I think it was shortly after mW bought a Peja Stojakovic jersey. He said I should get one too, and we could match. And logically, it made excellent sense, seeing as Peja and I share a similar former-Yugoslavian heritage. Except I told him I didn’t want one. Because I’d decided that Tyson Chandler was my favorite Hornet. Maybe it was the hops, maybe it was the aura of good-natured goofiness around him. Maybe it was the energy he brought to games. And who can forget his hilarious blog posts? And Jannero Pargo dubbing him the Ceiling Fan Repair Man?

I’m going to talk about my best Tyson moment. It was last year, in the game at Golden State. TC had 22 points and 22 rebounds, and the Hornets won 116 to 104, but the highlight was this one dunk. He caught the alley oop from CP, threw it down, and then turned to the crowd and absolutely growled and swaggered. He just had this monster crazy staredown for everyone around there. Man, we were out of our seats.

Which reminds me: we need to pause and have  a moment of silence for the Crescent City Connection. (For those of you not in the know, that was the infamous Chris Paul-to-Tyson Chandler alley oop combo, nicknamed after a local bridge.) You would have thought the roof was going to come off the building when TC caught one and threw it down… which he did, over 100 times last season, the most in the league. For a big guy, Tyson could run with the best of them, and he and CP just seemed to have an sixth sense for knowing where the other guy was on the floor.

He could fire up a crowd. He knew how to. He liked doing it.

You can tell me I should know it’s a business. And I do. I haven’t watched the NBA, but I’ve watched sports long enough to know that. Like AI said it was practice, it’s sure enough a business. Business, man. We talkin about business. Business. I know that. I do.

But in the end, he was my favorite guy on the team.

And I do not believe in this whole newfangled “liberated fandom” trend. I don’t. And don’t accuse me of not being deep. I majored in philosophy, OK? I get what Free Darko is saying, and I get the levels on which they’re saying it. But I’ve largely come to the conclusion that it’s not for me and will never will be. Because I don’t understand how you can go to each and every game and not get attached, and not form opinions of players– more than players, really, people— based on what you see. And not then take those opinions and merge them into some messy whole, tied together in your head, just those guys and you and a basketball court and a small glowing screen. And so, OK, maybe we’re lucky as Hornets fans, because we can have our likable lightning and chaos combined with our intense partisanship– after all, not everyone has a CP. We can have our flash and our alley oop and go home feeling like what we saw was somehow more than the money, than commercialism, than marketing. We can push down the guilt. Or we could. Until something like today happens, and it’s there, exposed, like how it would feel to momentarily glimpse the timbers that hold up your house and realize they’re rotted through. And then the floor stops being see-through, and another great play happens, and suddenly we’ll find ourselves distracted once more.

But the trend is objective, objective, objective. Feel free to enjoy the game as art, but actually caring about it is passe. Well, I care about it. And I’m not a journalist. I’m not a theorist. I’m a fan, and that’s the philosophy on which I started this blog. Let everyone else break down the facts. We’re going to react. And you know, what is wrong with that? What, are we living in an age where we’re too cool or too numb to feel? Or wait, even better, you’re going to tell me I feel more open to reacting to things because I’m a girl? Bullshit.

Basketball is something we watch. And if we watch enough, we start to feel a sense of ownership. “Our” team. “We” won tonight. And we start to project things onto it that may not be entirely realistic. So then it’s this massive startling jolt when something business-y gets done.

Like my favorite Hornet player getting traded today.

And you can say it was just the beginning for me as an NBA fan. You can say I’ll have other favorite players.

But he was the first.

And I guess, for that, I want to say thanks. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your humor. Thank you for representing our city. Thank you for wearing New Orleans on your shirt, if only for a couple of years.

Good luck, big man. I hope you make your All Star game one day… ’cause I’ll miss you.

It doesn’t really grab offensive rebounds as well as Tyson did, but–

I give up. Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you.

And the Saints just released Deuce McAllister today too. So while I’m at it, fuck you, Saints. Why wait, when you can combine forces with the Hornets to upset hundreds of thousands of people over the course of two hours?