Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for September, 2009

Only tangentially Hornets-related, but for those who aren’t into the whole Twitter thing, I got what is pretty much the Twitter Holy Grail this afternoon: a rare and coveted @ reply from His Shaqness. I had originally posted a link to this article by Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune:

POSEY PLAYED HURT: No one knew it, but Hornets forward James Posey played all but the first two games of last season with torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. Posey, who underwent surgery to repair the damage in late May, recalled Monday when and where the injury took place.

“In Game 3 here (a home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers), I came down, had a couple shots – and I was on that left wing,” Posey said, pointing to the end of the floor where the Hornets’ bench is located. “I was fouled, but I thought I was going to have more contact – and I came down awkward.

“My knee buckled. I went to the free-throw line, then I started moving, and then I subbed myself out. I went straight to the back, and I just sat in the hallway. It just didn’t feel right. The docs came back and checked it out. Afterward I had an MRI, and they told me what happened.”

Posey said doctors assured him he would do no additional damage to the knee by playing. So he taped it up and padded it each contest – for 72 more regular-season games and five in the playoffs – and continued to play.

And all this time we never knew. It wasn’t in the paper. It wasn’t on TV. It wasn’t out there. Which basically affirms my view of Posey as a warrior. Therefore, I tweeted the following:

poseytweetA little bit later, I check my @ replies. To my complete surprise, out of nowhere, I see this in my feed! (Red arrow is Shaq, above which is an amusing glimpse at several people reacting to Shaq randomly @ replying me, in pretty much the same way I reacted.)

shaqtweet

So there you go. Shaq agrees with me. Ha! If Twitter were life, I would win at it. But more seriously, I think that says something about what kind of a player Pose is. We’re lucky to have him.

Alas, where does one go from here? I am so young, with nothing left to live for.

Ahh, Media Day

By on September 29, 2009

There are few certainties in this ever-changing world. Luckily we have NBA media day, which is pleasantly and reassuringly similar every year. We know that Peja will be the darkest he’ll be all year, players will be forced to pose all sorts of ridiculous and slightly awkward ways with a basketball– often two– and we know that David West will, at some point, manage to look extremely skeptical in a photograph, despite there being nothing apparent to be skeptical about.

Below are some of the highlights from yesterday’s posing party:

"Oh, they don't make CP take goofy pictures. Cause he's The Franchise." .... Okaaaaay, maybe not.

"Oh, they don't make CP take goofy pictures. Cause he's The Franchise." .... Okaaaaay, maybe not.

We really need to track the statistics this year on whether Peja shoots better in his dark half of the season or his pasty half. That stat sounds right about up our alley.

We really need to track the statistics this year on whether Peja shoots better in his dark half of the season or his pasty half. That stat sounds right about up our alley.

DWest works out some. Just a little.

DWest works out some. Just a little.

I really want to caption this picture, but I think deep down we all know it would just be a dirty joke. So you can imagine what I would have said, because this is a family blog (HA).

I really want to caption this picture, but I think deep down we all know it would just be a dirty joke. So instead I will let you imagine what I would have said. And you are probably right.

No one really knows what is going on here.

No one really knows what is going on here.

WTF. Who would do this to Mo Pete's picture???

WTF. Who would do this to Mo Pete's picture???

1. Chris Paul’s wizardry. There is no other word to describe it. The way he slips into the lane, like dancing. The way he eludes bigger players. That little running teardrop. The feeling that any time you watch a game, you could see something really, really special.

2. CP was the obvious one, but a couple of weeks ago I got to thinking about how I was really craving a good David West game. A good David West game is sneaky, silky, and subtle. It’s a dagger from mid range that looks so easy. It’s 30 points before you realize he has 10.

3. James Posey’s tall socks. I love Pose. I love tall socks. I own his jersey AND a pair of NBA regulation tall socks…. Okay, fine, this one might be particular to me. But I miss tall socks.

4. How Peja starts out the season really dark and then gets pastier and pastier as time goes on. Oh, and I guess, real things too. Like, “Peeejjjjjjaaaaa for threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

5. Julian Wright’s bounce. What can I say? He’s got that thing in his step. Leap for the stars, JuJu.

6. Mercilessly tormenting Mocking on Twitter Being snarkily sarcastic toward Devin Brown jokes. I know, I know. There’s a place reserved for me in the Special Hell.

7. My seat. It is very comfy, although I wish it had a cupholder. It has a nice glass wall behind it to lean on. It has a good view of the bench. In fact an all right view of pretty much everything except someone standing in the Hornets’ bench end on the right elbow shooting a jumper. I’ve been sitting in the same seat for three years running. I’m rather attached to it. And, the New Orleans Arena janitorial staff being what it is, if I put a sticker on it that says “TICKTOCK6′S SEAT” it’ll totally be there at least 3 weeks before someone removes it.

8. Westitude. This is my term for the scowl on David West’s face when he’s being particularly beastly. Or doing things like tapping Dirk Nowitzki’s face. Or not smiling in pictures.

9. This is for things we haven’t seen yet– “Chris Paul to Emeka Okafor! Ohhhhh!”, Ike Diogu’s potential finally being realized, a young and hungry second unit.

10. This is for things we’ll never see again– the Crescent City Connection, Ryan Bowen hustling down the court, game winning threes from Rasual Butler, Tyson’s goofiness.

It’s been a long summer, longer than we would have liked, and it took me until about August to realize it, but… I miss my team. I don’t care about the trades. I don’t care about Game 4. I just want to see you out there again.

As far as the future goes, I wish only one thing for you: That when the lights come up and you get out there on the floor, you go hard and never look back.

Here’s the clip of Chris Paul on Jimmy Fallon last night. Of course I stayed up for this, only to see Our Local Hero chat about his kids’ book for a couple of minutes and then play dodgeball in the NBC elevator bank. Yep, dodgeball. What’s funny (and yet sort of fittingly in character) is watch how CP gets the jump on his opponents at 00:31 by sneakily not going all the way back and touching the wall!

And in case you’re just hearing about it, here’s Chris’ book Long Shot: Never Too Small to Dream Big.

Box of Shiny!

By on September 22, 2009

A box just arrived at the Hype House in the mail…

Hornets season ticket box

Hornets season ticket box, ticket booklet and 2009-10 pin

Hornets ticket design

The pin is the same one as last year, only with 2009-10 on it. The tickets, for the first time since I’ve been a ticketholder, don’t have a picture of an actual team member on them. Guess this means we won’t be able to keep our favorite Hornets Hype stat this year… I should note that the ticket pages alternate turquoise, purple, and gold. Only the outside cover is shiny. I like the design. It looks like a cigar box, or a deck of cards. Classy. For those who want to compare, here’s last year’s box.

* Official letter of apology for NOH/DEN Game 4 not included in this box.

Wheelin. Dealin. Makin Moves.

By on September 9, 2009

We are really looking at a different team this year, aren’t we?

Today the Hornets made the move we’ve been anticipating all summer, trading Antonio Daniels and a future 2nd round pick to Minnesota for Darius Songaila and former summer camp whiz kid Bobby Brown. OK. On the surface this one’s not much to look at. Bobby Brown is a backup PG, insurance in case Darren Collison’s rookie season doesn’t take off as expected, but at 1/5 the price. He’ll be quicker than AD too. Songaila is much-beloved, at least by Wiz fans on Twitter (shout out, Wiz fans on Twitter! Nowhere to go but up this year.) We added another 6’9 backup big… but I’m told he can hit jumpers too. So I thought, “OK, cool, more bench depth. Minor, but cool.”

Yeah. And then I actually looked at our bench stats. Pop Quiz: Off the top of your head, just guess how many members of the Hornets bench Darius Songaila did NOT outproduce in 2008-09? He averaged 7.4/2.9. Please, guess.

One. James Posey.

I mean, I knew our bench was poor last year– somewhat due to the fact that many of them who should not have been starting were forced into it at some point because of injuries– but what those statistics are saying is that over half the previous Hornets team was dead weight. Fine, you want to do rebounds per 48? Heh. Hilton 8.6 > Posey 8.1 > Songaila 7.2. That’s what you want, your backup center barely outrebounding your 32 year old small forward. The point is Songaila still would have  been a better backup big than most of our woeful bench. Only one backup could manage over 3 rebounds per game, and that was Sean Marks. Who was recently signed back to the team, and rightly so. A guy plays the best basketball of his career for you and it’s the right thing to do. Do we hope we never see him starting again? Sure. Is it a good free agent signing? Absolutely. I do want to note that the Hornets roster is up to 15, however, and we usually carry 14 guys to start the season. Another move? The only guy who can be cut after training camp is, I believe, Marcus Thornton, and I just don’t see us doing that (He was spotted working out with CP & Mo Pete today… OK, not spotted in real life. Spotted on Mo Pete’s twitter. But still. He’s doing all the right things so far.)

Anyhow, best of luck to AD in Minnesota, where they’re hoarding point guards like they’re going out of style. He always seemed to be a real vet with a great attitude on the bench. Coincidentally, Emeka Okafor just got his number 50 back. I just got a pair of teal and yellow sneakers. Training camp starts in 19 days.

These facts don’t have anything to do with each other… other than that they are all good signs.

Well, that should get Google’s attention. Maybe even someone who follows basketball. Apparently, my breakdown of how Chris Paul’s numbers last season gave him one of the most historic point guard seasons ever, and which, incidentally, blew away Steve Nash’s two MVP seasons, is forgotten.  Some people, who don’t believe in small markets, are convinced the Hornets will finish no better than 7th this year, and that CP3 does not even get consideration, let alone a single vote, in the MVP category, though Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant do.  Crazy.  And people wonder why I disappear in the offseason.  People are so fucking ridiculous that they forget what the sport of basketball is and/or are so fucking bored that they just invent stories to keep themselves occupied.  Oooh… Stephon is insane, Rubio won’t come over, C.J. Watson only took a one year deal?!  Whatthefuckever.

CP 4 MVP

Listen.  It’s not rocket science.  If you’ve ever watched basketball, it’s pretty fucking obvious that Chris Paul is a once-in-a-generation talent.  Quick, name the best players in the NBA.  If you didn’t say CP, Kobe, and one other person, then you’re a moron.  Yeah, yeah, freedom of choice, opinion, etc.  All that also includes the freedom to be wrong, to be a moron, and just plain ignorant.  Congratulations.  Sometimes I wish this country was a totalitarian state and they made everyone worship the players who had talent and heart (yeah, I’m talking to you Vince Carter), rather than just those that get the most attention.  At least it’d be a little more honest.

Sorry if I don’t drop to my knees and worship the capitalist propaganda that would make us believe the Knicks deserve a championship when they haven’t even put forth a team that resembles a professional unit since Allan Houston played for them and don’t bask in the glow of yet another Celtics-Lakers matchup when there are are 30 teams in the league with 30 equally laudable fanbases, or for that matter, drool at the mere mention of the “Chosen One”—a.k.a. the Nike whore or whoever makes the sponsors figure will make them the most money (um, Dwayne Wade?).  Call me an elitist, call me a purist, yeah, like those are bad things, but I appreciate the game of basketball.  I’ll follow the talent like Deep Throat said to follow the money.  And the media is complicit.  Already they’re putting it again as Kobe-LRJ for MVP and Celts-Lakeshow for the ring.  Fucking sad.  Unprecedented parity and they mouth the same shit?  Dimemag is one of the few that gets it.  They ask the hard questions.  Steve Nash (no offense, dude, I love your game), and Duncan (ditto) both have two MVPs, and Shaq one?  What the fuck?  Dime thought that weird.  Me too.  But I digress.  Dime also noticed that no one has truly appreciated  CP3‘s greatness.  That the rest of the country isn’t onboard makes me want to drop a bunch of downers chased with beer like Hunter S. Thompson and go on a shooting spree.

But why cry over spilt media milk?  That’s just how it is today, money, money, money.  No one cares about the truth or the purity of existence that is exemplified by the beauty of physical perfection, which is exactly what excellence in sports is.  Forget that Chris does things that no one has, probably ever, other than Magic, Johnny Stock, and the Big O.  That’s okay.  People can forget.  And then the season will start.  And then you’ll all remember why they called him the Baby-Faced Assassin, the Grief Merchant, or the guy who could talk about Fight Club.  Call him what you will, or ignore him if you will; I’ll be watching, though, and I’ll call him what he is: a warrior, a winner, and the-real-MVP, and someday soon, an NBA Champion.

And it will happen in New Orleans.  And people will wonder why they don’t know more about him.  They’ll wonder what inane thing they were doing when Chris Paul did ______ because their TV station didn’t carry that game.  You really want to know what “amazing” is?  Just watch CP do his thing.

Until then, pretend that someone else deserves the headlines.  Pretend that some other player should be the league’s MVP.  When the truth is he can do things that no one else can, is a leader like few others, and who will continue to smash records on his way to greatness.  I know where I’ll be when it happens.  Do you?