Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

Archive for May, 2010

Except to say I am inordinately entertained by this picture from last night’s Celtics/Magic Game 2:

Vince Carter was Kung Fu Fighting!

Vince Carter was Kung Fu Fighting!

I am pretty sure this is from the end of the game when Pierce fouled out, but it didn’t look anything like that on TV. I don’t want to tell you how many moments of staring it took me to realize that that object was a shoe. It would just be embarrassing for me.

In other news yesterday, the Hornets unsurprisingly got the 11th pick in the draft lottery. Go, #11, whoever you may be!

This has been today’s pointless playoff picture. You may go about your business. Move along.

Should that even be the question?  How about “to watch the games or not to watch the games?”  Like the Hornets themselves, I’m not originally from New Orleans.  That means, I loved the NBA before I loved the Hornets.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Hornets now and am die-hard, or else I wouldn’t even be here writing this. But my question is, with our team out of the Playoffs, what should our role as Hornets fans be?  I think it’s still to watch the games that remain.

Sure, I really appreciate what atthehive.com and hornets247.com are doing; both blogs are doing great speculative analysis of what the Hornets should do, which coaches they should go after, analyzing what went wrong with this season, and what the team’s needs are for the upcoming draft.  Of course, the media, never failing to miss the point, is focused on manufactured storylines more than actual play, and is too busy crafting headlines like “As Celtics eliminate Cavs, all eyes turn to James.”  Thanks Times Pic.  Listen, let me start with the easy one.  I don’t care about Lebron James.  Seriously.  If he ends up playing with Josh Childress and Linus Kleiza for Olympiakos for $50 a year so he can become a “global icon” and billionaire by 32, sweet.  Seriously. And Nike, what, do you not have a bloody, Steve Nash muppet?

Fuck all that.  This is the time of year when only the best of the best remain, and this year that doesn’t include the Hornets or the Cavs.  So while I’m always one to hype the Hornets, and glad other people are talking about what our team should do, I can’t care too much myself because I’ve been so focused on watching great Playoff basketball.  Hopefully the Hornets are watching too, because it should be making them antsy to know that this is what they want to achieve, and that they have a lot of hard work to do to get there.

Until then folks, enjoy the real final four.  Laissez les bons balles rouler.

Preemptive Hype Victory

By on May 8, 2010

One of the reasons we started this blog was to launch an all-out assault on ignorant and ill-informed media. One of the historically problematic culprits: our local paper, the Times Picayune.  (Though, admittedly, they have improved much over the years.)  In particular, one of those esteemed beat  writers is always on our Shit List: John DeShazier. If anyone ever mastered the “Our team played great but sucked doing it and I’ll tell you how and why they suck,” J.D. has.   His article in today’s paper?   TT6 and can’t find it online.   As far as I’m concerned, they pulled it, knowing the Hype would rip it apart.  Score one for the Bush Doctrine and us.  Too bad for the Times Pic, I’m going to talk about it anyway.

The article focuses on new owner Gary Chouest embarking on his interview road trip with team president, Hugh Weber, and general manager, Jeff Bower, looking for a new Hornets head coach; and assumes Chouest is monitoring and assessing Weber and Bower at the same time. Of course, Johnny cites no sources, no authorities for this information, and his story is 100% speculation.   Okay.  Fine.  He’s an “editorial” writer.  Fair enough. But I know what you’re saying, how can I verify what he said if it’s not online?   Well, here it is, in black and white.  Look to the right.  I’m just going to focus on his most absurd points.   For example, DeShazier argues that Bower has more non-playoff appearances since becoming GM in 2005 than playoff appearances (3-2).  Neglecting to mention that Bower took over after the team was thrust into the much tougher Western Conference and blown up; also not mentioning that he built a winner from nothing.  DeShazier also points out that Bower’s teams have declined in victory totals the last three years.  Neglecting to mention that the place from which the Hornets were descending was the best Hornets regular season record ever.  Or that two of those three years were the team’s best, by far, since moving to the Western Conference.  Okay, but this is all really small fries, nit-picking a fellow journalist, who, as you all know, is already on our bad side.  But then he makes the mistake which no doubt got his article pulled from Nola.com.  Some of you may have already skimmed ahead and ruined the surprise.

DeShazier writes: “and just two draft picks – Chris Paul in 2005 and Darren Collison in 2009 – can be considered successes.”  Well, certainly they were successes.  But, I don’t know, maybe there was a guy drafted last year by Bower called MARCUS THORNTON.  Listen folks, Thornton broke the Hornets rookie records for most points in a game, most points off the bench in a game, most 3s in a season, most combined rookie points in a season (with Collison), and most points in a single quarter.  Oh yeah, he also holds the non-rookie Hornets’ records for most points off the bench and most points in a quarter.   He also made the Second All-NBA Rookie team, and by most accounts, was the best 2-guard out of this year’s rookies.  So if you’re John DeShazier, wake up this morning and give yourself a nice hard facepalm.  Because you deserve it.

As to Marcus Thornton, on behalf of New Orleans, we apologize for all the haters and idiots.  We’ll be back next year, cheering you, hyping you, and watching you help this team back to the Playoffs.

Hornets.com posted another rookie video. You know I love these. This one features Darren Collison, as he goes about his daily rookie duties at a Westbank Krispy Kreme. The highlights:

  • CP gets on his case if the donuts aren’t hot
  • “Marcus, he’s the main one that be eating the donuts and he’s supposed to be on my side” (HA!)
  • On days they fly out, they have to get Popeyes for David West, who eats six biscuits by himself

Huge sigh of relief.

I was pretty sure the “impasse” in the talks that supposedly happened in the last two weeks was just a bit of gamesmanship and bargaining strategy from Shinn, since it was pretty clear there weren’t ever any other investors involved besides Chouest, but you can never be sure. If the sale talks dragged on any longer, it was going to start affecting the coach search, draft, and free agency. I’m definitely glad it’s getting done.

The Times Picayune is saying the official announcement of the transfer of ownership will happen Wednesday Thursday afternoon. We know Chouest is a Louisiana native, who bought his one quarter share in the team in 2007 with the goal of keeping basketball in New Orleans. We know he’s the owner of Edison Chouest Offshore, which manufactures marine vessels for the oil industry. Since the company is privately held, no source is clear on exactly how much he’s worth, but it’s certainly more than George Shinn. If he is indeed a billionaire, as rumored, this would put him in the top half of the list of the NBA’s richest owners**. But beyond that, Chouest is something of a mystery man, preferring to remain Shinn’s silent partner. He has only granted one interview, to my knowledge, and that was at the announcement of the purchase of his 25% stake in the team. We don’t know his ideas about the direction of the team. We don’t know how he feels about going over the luxury tax to ensure that Chris Paul stays in New Orleans. And we don’t know the possible future effects of the recent oil rig disaster on his business.

What we do know is that two of this blog’s least favorite things,  1) stupid error-riddled articles about the Hornets being cheap and 2) stupid error-riddled articles about the Hornets moving to another city, are probably about to be gone. Permanently. It’s like going to your high school reunion and seeing that the people who made fun of you got fat and work in retail now. Are we allowed to steal free agents out from under other teams’ noses and then laugh in their faces, or at least their local beat writers’ faces, now that we’re super super rich? Please say yes.

This is a good day for Hornets fans.

** Quoth the TP: “Many sources in the New Orleans area have indicated that Chouest’s financial resources are vast, easily in the 10-figure range.” The NBA apparently has eight other billionaire owners.