Hornets Hype

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Archive for November, 2009

Twittastic Tuesday

By on November 24, 2009

Because I thought we needed some new features, you know I love Twitter, and the title is illiterative. Hornets Hype presents Twittastic Tuesday, a.k.a. the post where I’m a stalker so you don’t have to be, where we’ll bring you the week’s highlights (lowlights? nonlights? mundanities?) from the Hornets player twitters. FYI, the four Hornets on Twitter are Chris Paul, Morris Peterson, Bobby Brown, and Julian Wright. Of all of them, Bobby Brown’s has the potential to be the funniest, because he talks a lot of trash, and occasionally posts super random pics like Marcus Thornton eating fast food or his grocery shopping.

This week?

And finally, here’s Bobby Brown’s Music Monday from yesterday. Because there was just something about Coldplay followed up by Lil Wayne that had me cracking up. You go, Bobby!

Music Monday with Bobby Brown

Music Monday with Bobby Brown

All right, Hornets tweeters. Now, go forth and say more interesting stuff next week so I have some juicy items to post! Seriously, guys. Do not let me down.

Now, for WAY MORE FUN, if you’re on Twitter, you need to be following fake Devin Brown (Most recent status update: “2 hungover to meet up with the team 2day but I sent coach a party platter of chicken wings so I won’t get fined”) and fake Hilton Armstrong. I don’t know who’s behind it (It’s not me. Really) but it’s quite inappropriately hilarious. Believe me. ***Kind of Not Safe For Work or Children, however

TEAM THORNTON

By on November 22, 2009

Headquarters: right here.

Over on At the Hive, someone mentioned Blazers fans last year showing their rookie love with Team Bayless. Of course, I was struck by what a fantastic idea this is. Plus I really really want a Team Thornton shirt to wear to games. I’ve pretty much been obsessed with Lil Buckets’ game since the first moment I saw him. And thus:

Join TEAM THORNTON! You know you want to.

Join TEAM THORNTON! You know you want to.

Why Team Thornton? Why not Team Collison? Well… you know Lil Buckets is my pet rookie, and as a second round draft pick who’s tearing it up out there, as well as a local Louisiana guy, I think he deserves our support! I decided Team Thornton should be purple and gold, because those colors conveniently go with both LSU and the Hornets. Of course, I made it in male and female, in case anyone else wants to join the fun. And no, I’m not violating copyright by putting a Hornets logo on, so don’t even ask me to.

You know you wanna be on Team Thornton with me.

Sorry, guys. It won’t happen again.

Things You Knew Were Possible All Along

Things You Knew Were Possible All Along

Best in the West? … Down.

Best in the East (and, in fact, the NBA)? … Down.

Who wants next?

I'm beginning to fear my love for Lil Buckets' game has reached unhealthy levels...

I'm beginning to fear my love for Lil Buckets' game has reached unhealthy levels. Like, really unhealthy...

Did it really happen?

It happened without Chris Paul. It happened without David West having a good game. It happened by dominating the boards. It happened against the team with the best record of this young NBA season. And it happened on national TV.

Oh my gosh, is my Marcus Thornton love veering into inappropriate and all-consuming territory? Ever since he first stepped onto the floor, I just knew this kid could play. In the first four games of the Post-Byron Scott era, the first of his young career in which he’s received non-garbage minutes, Lil Buckets is averaging an efficient 16 pts in 20 minutes. He just has the self-confidence of a kid who believes he’s going to be a player in this league. You can’t coach that. You can’t buy it. It’s something I wish Julian Wright had. In the first half, Buckets was taken down by an Amare Stoudemire flagrant 1. A little while later, he cuts to the basket along the baseline and lays it in, right in front of Amare.

mW: Wait, was that him just popping back up, or did I see swagger?
Ticktock6: That was totally swagger! I love it!

I was all forlorn when he tweaked his ankle late in the game. He was easily going to set himself a new career high (it’s only 20, after all– he’ll surpass that in the next few weeks I bet). He tried to walk it off, but Jeff Bower was having none of it, and called timeout. But, a few minutes later, there’s Lil Buckets jogging out of the locker room. He spent some time bouncing up and down, stretching it out, and clearly wanted to get back in the game. The coaches elected to sit him. But it just confirms what I suspected: Buckets is indestructible. He certainly crashes the boards in the shadows of much larger players like he is. In summary, my love for my pet rookie knows no bounds.

But. Lest Darren Collison feel left out, I will say that I am dazzled by his speed every time he runs the floor. On one fast break, mW turned to me and said, “He looks like he’s just jogging, and yet he beat everyone down the court.” And the Suns are a running team! He’s going to wreak havoc against unsuspecting bench squads when Chris Paul comes back. Believe that. And that driving layup that sealed the game was positively CP-esque.

Emeka’s block on Amare. Eeeek.

Peja for threeeeee… actually, I’m not going to dwell on that, like the national media did. We knew he still could. Him outrebounding everyone on the Hornets and the Suns? Well. All right. That deserves a shout out.

Loved the standing O from the crowd when the Suns called timeout three minutes in. Hornets were up 11-2, and it just goes to show that fans appreciate hustle. And, seriously, the Hornets best closer is not Chris Paul. It is, hands down, “Shout!” on the jumbotron. By my informal count, I am not sure the Hornets have ever gone on to lose after that song is played. “A little bit louder now… Hey-ey-ey-hey!” … Game over.

Earlier this season I began to have a sneaking suspicion that maybe Devin Brown has got some things going for him that go beyond what we see on the floor. Darren Collison in the paper thanking him for helping him out on the floor… he’ll throw out some genuinely intelligent quotes (one time he was the Shirtless Locker Room Interview on Hornets Tonight, a fact which caused me to be extremely put out… except what he said was so not-dumb I couldn’t even find it in myself to hate on it)… last night he was waving his arms pumping up the crowd. The very foundations of my world have been rocked. Devin Brown is shooting from three in a way that some might describe as anti-detrimental. Devin Brown, I have to say, played well last night. But… what would I do without Devin Brown mockery? What is my place in such a lonely, stark, and frightening new world? I feel lost and helpless, like a small sea creature caught up in the whirl of great tides that I cannot fight or understand.

Oh, Devin. Devin.

You believe you can fly, Devin. Fly like a ninja. And who am I to stop you?

You believe you can fly, Devin. Fly like a ninja. And who am I to stop you?

Ooh Dem Mardi Gras Jerseys

By on November 18, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras!

The Hornets officially unveiled their Mardi Gras special third jerseys today in a super secret (OK, not really, it was semi-open to the public, just at the inconvenient hour of 3 PM, so I didn’t go) ceremony at Mardi Gras World. So it clashes like crazy and might make your eyes bleed. Everything Mardi Gras related clashes like crazy! It’s all good. I mean, you can’t complain about the colors in this case. The colors are Mardi Gras. I like the NOLA and the patterned sides. The only thing I’m not a fan of is the two-toned front and back. It looks really cool in theory, but the Hornets better not be playing any teams that wear green or purple, because you won’t be able to tell who’s coming or going. Like the 2008 All Star jerseys that looked great until you realized the white/gold of the West looked really similar to the white/silver of the East, and when the players turned around it was impossible to tell which team was which.

And now for some pics from the unveiling, courtesy of Matt a.k.a. Storm Surge Photography. Darren Collison and Julian Wright modeled the jerseys for fans and media. Click the thumbnail to see the large version. Huge thanks to Matt, who attended the event, for sending along the pics.

Darren Collison throws beadsMardi Gras jerseys on actual playersGreen on the back

Modeling!Side detailJuJu and Lil Dimes on the float

Julian WrightMardi Gras IndiansDarren Collison aka Lil Dimes

I bet people will totally pick these up. It’s something you can wear at parades every year. It’s the very definition of “local color.” Check out what UniWatch has to say about the new jerseys (basically that they do so many things wrong, it should be hideous, and yet they like ‘em anyway). You can already buy a Chris Paul one, plus matching wristbands, headband, and hat in the Hornets Nest online store. The unis debut on February 5th at home vs. the Sixers.

P.S. Look at the close-up detail on the CP jersey. I just realized the trim that actually looks like a weird checkered pattern is actually BEADS. Now that’s pretty cool.

Chris Paul Mardi Gras swingman

Chris Paul Mardi Gras swingman

Beware, Phoenix Suns

By on November 18, 2009

And for that matter, New Orleans Hornets too. Last night the arena crowd witnessed its second serious/season-ending injury in as many games, when  Kareem Rush tore his ACL. It was a bit eerie to watch him roll around in pain in almost the same spot Chris Paul was rolling around Friday when he sprained his ankle. Both of them flew up in the air and came down hard.

So you know, guys. Be careful. If this happens again tomorrow night, it will get creepy.

Beware

The Hornets floor right now is like the Bermuda Triangle where season dreams go to die

I’m sorry, did I miss something?

A screenshot of ESPN's front page last November

A screenshot of ESPN's front page last November

I thought Chris Paul hated Byron Scott. I thought this had been established. Like, mainstream established. I mean, I saw it on ESPN. They’ve been mentioning something about it every third day since last November. But then I get up and here are all these articles saying he’s terribly upset over Scott’s firing.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE, PEOPLE?

Previously, on Lifestyles of a Small Market Team With a Top 5 Star Who Everyone Thinks Is Being Wasted In a Small City and Oh My God It’s So Horrible How Dare They Want a Star? Who Do They Think They Are, New York? … Bill Simmons went to a Clippers game in November 2008 and wrote his usual sports humor column. I’ll excerpt the relevant parts:

“The way players walk toward the bench after a timeout. (Goes one of three ways: “I’m interested to hear coach’s thoughts,” “I look forward to sitting down” or “Great, I get to listen to this bonehead again.”) How fast someone jumps up when the coach calls for them as a sub. (If they jump up fast, that means they’re totally in the game; if they jump up slow, that means they were either daydreaming about that night’s sexual conquest or imagining he’s punching the coach in the face.) Whether they listen or don’t listen in the huddle. The body language of the coach himself. And the telltale sign … what happens when a top player gets called over by coach when someone is shooting free throws.This can unfold one of three ways:

A. Player runs over respectfully and seems genuinely interested in the coach’s wisdom. Watch what happens when Popovich calls over Duncan or Parker in a Spurs game. Total respect. They look like someone jogging over to a police officer.

B. Player jogs over, doesn’t seem totally interested, but doesn’t want to seem like a jerk either. This usually sums up 75 percent of the league.

C. Player does a double-take and his head kicks back briefly (like he’s thinking, “Really, I have to talk to this guy again???”). He saunters over disdainfully. When he reaches the coach, he makes eye contact for the first two seconds, then starts subconsciously pulling away (first with his eyes, then with his body leaning back toward the coach), and at about the six-second mark, he just starts walking back toward the court whether the coach is finished talking or not. Everything about the exchange says, “I’ve just had it with this freaking guy.”

I mistakenly believed that Chris Paul and Scott had an “A” relationship but in the second half of Monday’s game, it was revealed that they were a “C.” At least right now. Translation: I am no longer sold on the 2009 Hornets.”

Basically, Simmons thought the Hornets as a team were in trouble– which turned out to be true– way back in the beginning of last season. I am back and forth on this. He went to one game, didn’t talk to any of the players, and just looked at body language. As a bench-watcher myself, I get that. I sit close enough to the Hornets bench (I’m not saying I sit low down, but I do sit on that end of the arena) that I can see who interacts with who, but unlike Bill Simmons, I see them for 41+ games a year. What he neglected to mention in his column, for instance, is that the game in question was at Staples Center back when the Clippers were abysmal and the Hornets were expected to contend in the Western Conference. The Hornets ended up winning that game, but they were down by around ten points for a big chunk of it, and understandably pissed about it. Simmons skipped over that part. That Byron Scott, by the end, had maybe lost David West and some of the Hornets is true. But it seems he never lost Chris Paul.

For his part, when this Simmons thing took off like wildfire through the articles and blogs, Chris Paul even came right out and told the media it wasn’t true. “I would think me and coach might have one of the best relationships out of the entire NBA. I guess people got to have something to talk about. Maybe he should come to a game. Let’s talk. If I had a problem with coach, I’d say it. I guess he comes to one game, and he can figure it out.” But of course, no mainstream media outlets ran with that story. It stayed buried halfway back in the sports pages of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Let’s be crystal clear here. My issue is not that Bill Simmons wrote an opinion column. My issue is that every mainstream media outlet and their mother, brother, and sister ran with it. “Sources say Chris Paul and Byron Scott are not seeing eye to eye.” “Reports are that Byron Scott has lost Chris Paul.” “Amid reports of conflict between Byron Scott and his star player…” Etc. It was in the Daily Dime. It was in the NBA Rumors section of every site. It was thrown in as a little parenthetical aside in articles about the Hornets losing games. My problem with it then is still my problem with it today: Bill Simmons is a guy who writes a humorous internet column. What he is not … is a source.

It’s also the selectivity of the headlines and news items that pisses me off. Simmons’ column was about the Hornets team chemistry as a whole, and it asked the question of whether they were tuning out their coach. I didn’t think it was true at the time– that was very early in the season, and the team would make a few more good runs before the season ended in rescinded trade drama, injuries, and a devastating playoff loss. Plus for every instance of the Hornets not looking like they liked each other, I had 41+ instances, personally witnessed, that told me they did. But most of the reports that pushed along Simmons’ observation and misrepresented it as fact, like a bizarre game of media telephone, weren’t worried about the rest of the Hornets team chemistry. Instead they saw the words “CHRIS PAUL” and “BYRON SCOTT’ and salivated, like wolves lunging for scraps of meat.

And here’s, really, why I’m such a big supporter of fan blogs, social media, and beat writers. In this age of the internet, when firsthand information about every team, observed by people who actually watch the games, is right here in my blogroll and my twitter feed, why should I trust these national aggregators of “news” and “rumors”, citing their “sources”, to tell me what I should believe? I haven’t included ESPN, with the exception of True Hoop, as a daily read since spring of 2008. To me, they’re a dinosaur. Don’t even get me started on the Associated Press, which will quote a blog or a Twitter account and not even put a link to it. Me, I want a trail of hypertext leading back to my source. Scratch that, I don’t just want it– I demand it.

And so today you will see the same mainstream media giants, whose team preview for the 2009-10 Hornets probably included a snippet about “if the Hornets can overcome the rumblings of friction between Chris Paul and Byron Scott,”  pound out columns. How could the Hornets do this to Chris Paul, fire the coach who was his best friend and father figure without telling him? How can a franchise be so small-time and clueless? Not a single one of them will mention how wrong they were about any of this.

Dolla dolla bills, y’all.

Hornets fire Byron Scott after giving up 75 points in the first half at Phoenix last night. Will be formally announcing at it 1 PM. More later, as the news comes in.

Feel free to leave a brief message expressing your complete lack of surprise in the comments.

CP3 v. III

By on November 11, 2009

From Hype reader Mark comes this preview (click to magnify for ultimate detailed view) of Chris Paul’s new sneaker, the Jordan CP3.III. CP3... 3This new version is due out 01/02/10, which is actually less than a year after the CP3.II’s, which, if you remember, hit shelves around Mardi Gras time. My take on this colorway: love the pattern on the upper, not a fan of the speckles. (I’m actually never a fan of speckles, though, so you can take that for what it is. Haha.)

For more views, check it out.

But really, this is all very exciting, because it means we will get another shoe release party. Discerning fans will remember that Ryan Bowen wore a fantastically ugly plaid shirt in 2008, and James Posey continued the tradition by wearing one in 2009. Which Hornet will wear an icky plaid shirt to Chris Paul’s shoe release party in 2010? I cannot wait to find out.

See? We here at Hornets Hype care about the important things. Just kidding. More Chris Paul shoes means another step toward World Domination for our fearless small leader.

Great NBA Moments in Bromance

By on November 10, 2009

James Posey: OMG Chris. You know what could make us best friends MORE THAN EVER this season?

Chris Paul: What?

James Posey: MATCHING MOUTH GUARDS!

Great Moments in Bromance & Matching Accessories

Great NBA Moments in Bromance & Matching Accessories