Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for February, 2010

We are all just occupying it from time to time.

Marcus Thornton gets buckets

Marcus Thornton gets Buckets. And that is why it is his name.

By the end of a scrappily-fought road loss to the Cavs, Lil Buckets owned two Hornets franchise records and tied the rookie scoring mark with 37 points. According to the official Hornets blog, he set the record for points in a quarter (23) and points off the bench (37). I think he had the first 19 or so of those second quarter points in like six minutes. Damn, I had a great time watching him, but I could not say I was surprised. I’ve believed something like this was coming since training camp. You can’t teach a pure instinct for scoring, you can’t break it down and you can’t quantify it. But it’s what this kid has. Is he streaky? Sure. Is he undersized? Whatever. Ask Chris Paul and the five Cavs on the floor who couldn’t stop Buckets tonight how that’s going.

At one point, someone on Twitter mentioned that they weren’t watching the game, just looking at the boxscore, and asked how Thornton was scoring. I just sort of laughed. Because “how was he not scoring?” was more the question. Threes, mid-range jumpers, getting to the rim, and-1s, free throws, steals, fast breaks. I don’t think he had a dunk, but at 37 points, who even cares? His team didn’t come away with the win, but he outscored LeBron James by 17 in his own building.

It’s not exactly a big secret that Buckets has become my favorite Hornet. There’s just one way to sum up how much I love his game, and it is to say this: he is the only Hornets player who can make me feel great after a loss. Period. Ever. You’re sitting here like, “Chris Paul is out, we probably aren’t going to make the playoffs, what’s the point?” And then here comes Marcus Thornton, the local kid out of the second round, ballin like he doesn’t know what fear is.

Oh, and I almost forgot.

I said if Thornton dropped 30, we could drop the “Lil” from the “Lil Buckets” nickname. I said it, and I shall not go back on it. Those were big boy points tonight. They deserve a big boy name. Congratulations, Marcus “Buckets” Thornton.

Is this too blunt?

I just don’t.

Recently a lot of Hornets fans and other people around the internet seem to have an opinion about Chris Paul’s knee surgery. Or, specifically, Chris Paul’s knee surgery coupled with Darren Collison’s solid play in his absence, and what this could mean for the future of the franchise. This discussion usually occurs with melodramatic hyperbole, ie: “Chris Paul is never going to be the same again!”

We’ve actually heard this before, last season, when the Hornets tried to trade Tyson Chandler at the deadline and the trade was rescinded because he failed his physical in Oklahoma City. The internet was rife with speculation and presumption: “The Hornets must know something we don’t.” “Anyway we all know Tyson Chandler will never play at that level again.” “His career is over, it’s good we got rid of him.” And then the worst thing that could have happened in the world happened: Tyson Chandler actually has missed 22 games in Charlotte due to the same two injuries in the same foot. From the reaction from some quarters of the Hornets internet, you’d think this had spontaneously given people medical degrees. Because THEY WERE RIGHT.

Chris Paul rehabbing at the All Star GameLet me tell you a story. A couple weeks ago, I was reading a blog, and some sanctimonious douche in the comment thread took it upon himself to critique the grammar of the original poster, rather than respond to the content of the post. I read the comment and was left baffled and slightly embarrassed for the person. See, I majored in English, specifically writing, and I’ve taught English in the past. What the person had spent two paragraphs laying out– in pretentious and condescending language, of course– was not an actual grammatical term. It just wasn’t a real thing. The person clearly thought it was a real thing… but it just wasn’t.

And the thing is, grammar is the kind of thing you can look up on a wiki. You can’t look up how to operate on people’s body parts with FRICKIN LASER BEAMS on a wiki. This is all a long-winded way of saying that the point you may think you are making, when you expound on something about which you have no expertise, you might not really be making at all. You may even– I know, gasp!– be saying things that an actual medical professional is sitting in her chair giggling at on coffee break.

So when you offer comments such as “CHRIS PAUL IS NEVER GOING TO BE THE SAME AGAIN AFTER THIS SURGERY EVERYONE KNOWS IT THE HORNETS ARE JUST HIDING IT TRADE HIM NOW,” my first question is, Are you in the medical field? My second question is, Are you a doctor? My third question is, Are you an orthopedic surgeon? My fourth question is, Are you one of the top orthopedic surgeons in sports medicine in the United States? My fifth question is, Have you been sent back in time from the future using Skynet technology? If the answer to none of those questions is yes, you can be quite comfortable in assuming that I don’t care about your medical opinion.

I might be persuaded to make an exception, if you can convince me you have in fact had surgery on your own meniscus at least 2+ years ago, and would like to offer your personal experience with the level of pain, recovery time, etc. But I would still take it with a huge grain of salt, because there is a wide range of difference in how people recover from injuries and surgeries, and (no offense to your health insurance) the level of therapy and care an NBA player receives is probably higher than the level you got. Grant Hill almost died in 2003, yet is still in the NBA at age 37. Dejuan Blair has no freakin’ ACLs. It is pointless to sit and judge what an injury will or will not do to a player until the surgery is over, rehab is completed, and he’s been back playing for about 6 months to a year.

So, you may want to try and tell me these things, things like “Darren Collison is going to be a starting caliber point guard so the Hornets need to trade Chris Paul RIGHT NOW while his value is high.” But I will just refer you to the title of this post, which, in case you forgot, is “I Don’t Care About Your Pretend Medical Opinion.” The reason I titled it that… is because I don’t care. I’m not against free speech. I’m not against you having an opinion that is different from mine. I’m just letting you know that, on this topic at least, it is quite impossible for you to make me care about it, unless your answers to questions 2 through 5, as listed above, are yes. (And on #5, it really is going to depend on if you’re a terminator or not, because I am not sure I trust anything terminators say, no offense.) So you should not waste your time.

Just for gits and shiggles, here are some other things I don’t care about, so you can not bother talking to me about them either:

  • reality TV
  • major league baseball
  • Tracy McGrady

Thank you for your time and have a good day.

Last time I checked, Mardi Gras was over yesterday. And yet… and yet… I could not believe my eyes when, at the Hornets/Jazz game last night, I looked up and beheld the Cousin of Chucky, with its slightly less terrifying friends the King and the Jester, lining up for its nightly scooter race. When will the terror end, people? WHEN WILL IT END?

Look at its FACE. You cannot tell me it doesn't mean me harm. I won't believe you.

Look at its FACE. You cannot tell me it doesn't mean me harm. I won't believe you.

It’s not just that, deep within my soul, I am afraid of this diabolical creature. I now suspect the Baby is causing us to lose. I think (I could be slightly off on this, but hold on, because the stats are still going to bear me out whether I’m off one or two games or not) the Baby made its first appearance in the Clippers home game on January 13th..

Prior to that, the Hornets had an impressive 14-3 home record, enough to rival top teams in the conference and especially impressive considering they were an under .500 team. Since then? SINCE THEN? 3-6. Oh, Chris Paul is out? I call B.S. Chris Paul was out in late November/early December when the Hornets were winning all those home games. Oh, the schedule is stronger? I call B.S. again. The Hornets have recently lost to the likes of the Bulls and the Sixers at home. They even at one point had lost four in a row, something that hasn’t happened all season.

I hope that little boy was still in possession of his soul when the baby was finished with him...

I hope that little boy was still in possession of his soul when the baby was finished with him... No, seriously, I'm really worried about him. This pic gets bonus points for how friggin EVIL the Jester looks. I hadn't noticed it before because I was focused on the baby but wow.

Here it is on a scooter

Here it is on a scooter

Thanks to reader Robbie, who emailed me pics, we now have more photographic evidence of the Baby’s existence. Serious props to him. Photographing the Mardi Gras Baby is akin to catching the Sasquatch on film. Actually, I’m surprised it even shows up on camera…

Dusche Bagel of the Week

Dusche Bagel of the Week

It has been suggested to me many a time that I institute a Dusche Bagel of the Week Award. Well, I’m finally doing it. This award shall henceforth be given to the person/team/entity that has pissed me off, through acts of extreme douchery, during a given week.

What is a Dusche Bagel? Some background… earlier this season Rajon Rondo acted like a punk and made some statements about how much better he is than Chris Paul. (These statements have since been statistically debunked. Hell, after the other night, we’re not even sure Rondo is better than Darren Collison.) Some Celtics “superfans” decided to come troll my blog. Most of the garbage I deleted… except this poor unfortunate soul, who unwittingly provided me with entire minutes of laughter and entertainment:

The Original Dusche Bagel

The Original Dusche Bagel

And thus the term Dusche Bagel was born.

The Dusche Bagel of the Week is…. Vince Carter

Vince Carter singlehandedly stole a victory from the Hornets on Monday night, putting up 48 points, the most he has scored in like five years or some garbage. Let me get this straight. Dude is having the worst year of his entire career, missing laughable shots (I mean this quite literally– I was watching a Magic game a couple weeks ago and Vince Carter’s shot selection and gleeful airballings of entire possessions while his teammates grimaced caused me to actually laugh out loud), wearing a stupid NCAA-esque t-shirt under his jersey, and oh yeah, sucking. And then he comes out of nowhere to beat a Hornets team that puts up 70 in the first half, probably playing the best team game it can possibly hope to put together with two starters out, one of them being Chris Paul. He was hitting defended shots, contested shots, stupid shots, shots where he was the only Orlando player to ever touch the ball– the sort of shots that, if he’d been missing, people would’ve been crucifying him over. I bet even Magic fans were like, “What the fuck, Vince Carter.” Like, where have you been the other 40-some games of the year? Where were you in January? Oh, that’s right, going 2-15 in losses to shitty teams. The Vince fans of the internet were all excited, clamoring, frantically typing, “It’s amazing! He’s back! He’s turned the corner!” So, has he? Is he, as everyone raved on a fine recent Tuesday morning, back?

No. He has averaged an underwhelming 14.5 points per game since his big happy outburst. Because Vince Carter is one of those dudes who’s only good when it’s obnoxious to be good. For a look at some of the other douchery in his oeuvre, please click here. Vince Carter, ladies and gentlemen, your dusche bagel of the week.

Go away, there is nothing to see here. I have the flu. Like, the real flu. The 103 degree fever and being in bed for 4 days kind. So it’s not that I hate the Hornets, it’s that I am too sick to post anything.

Congratulations to the Saints for winning the Super Bowl. Shut up, Vince Carter. Etc.

We will be back shortly. I will even give out an award or two. It will be funny. I promise. This has been a public service announcement.

While you’re sitting around waiting for the Super Bowl to start (WHO DAT!), check out Chris Paul’s bowling event, which airs on ESPN today at 2 PM EST/1 PM CST. Here’s a preview:

… after Jeff Bower inexplicably benched David West (15-5) for the entire 4th quarter of a tie game, in which the Hornets leading scorer (CP3) was out having knee surgery and the game’s leading scorer (Thornton, 22 pts) had just fallen hard and gone to the locker room, I might have done something like this first:

Shortly followed by something like this:

Would it have changed the fact that the Hornets blew a game they should’ve won to one of their closest competitors for a playoff spot, because their rookie head coach decided it would be a fun time to teach his longest tenured player and 2-time All Star a lesson? No. But it would have made me feel better.

So, I guess it’s a good thing they don’t let me go to press conferences.

I have to go. I’m, literally, an incoherent ball of rage right now. ^%$@#I*YFGSDFHJSG&$#TRA^TRDS

The Mardi Gras baby creeps me right out

The Mardi Gras baby creeps me right out. Here, a rare photo of the elusive creature in the wild. Any small children sitting in the vicinity of the courtside seats, I am sure, shrieked in terror at the sight of it.

I’m sure those of you on Twitter have heard me talk about the crazy life size Mardi Gras baby that’s been appearing in one of the Hornets’ timeout “entertainments” during carnival season. Well, last night I put the call out on the Twitterator for someone to send me a picture of it, and here it is.

This description of the phenomenon is from Toney Blare’s SLAM Online recap of the Spurs/Hornets game a couple of weeks ago:

During a break, there appear in the crowd three mascots, each with a large plastic head: a king, a baby, and a jester. We are within breathing room of Mardi Gras, when you eat King Cake, sort of like a super-sugary circle of cinnamon roll. Inside each cake is a small plastic baby, and whoever finds it buys the next cake. Let me say, it gets out of hand in offices all over town for upwards of a month. Now, I’m telling you all of this because I can’t imagine what the Spurs must think. The three mascots “race” down to the court, the baby looking especially ghoulish and slow. They circle through some yellow cones, with the King winning by crossing a purple finish line held by Hugo the Hornet and the Geico Gecko. I didn’t mention him until the end, because he really was the most innocuous of these newcomers. That baby actually scared me, like the clown from IT or some sh*t.

I am not gonna lie, this thing freaks me right out. Maybe it’s because I am also irrationally terrified of the creepy Burger King that lurks around women’s windows in the commercials like a plastic-headed peeping tom. This baby looks way too similar to that for me to be comfortable with it. Maybe it’s like how some people have a fear of clowns. Either way, you better believe that my uneasy truce with the Mardi Gras baby is SOLELY due to the fact that I sit in the last row of the lower bowl, far enough from the court to feel fairly safe from it coming after me.

The baby always loses the race, by the way.