Hornets Hype

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Archive for the ‘ HypeMeter ’ Category

This time the kids go to LSU to check out Marcus Thornton’s old stomping grounds. I think my personal highlight is when the 6-year-old kid runs up to the tiger fence and yells, “Hey kitty kitty!” and both rookies run away. Or when Buckets makes a little tiger noise. You decide for me.

As always, we thank the Hornets for dragging their rookies out and recording this stuff for our entertainment. In case you missed the previous installment, in which Darren and Marcus visit a California Pizza Kitchen UCLA, it’s here.

The Hype, Elsewhere

By on April 18, 2009

Previewing the series over on the Dime blog: NBA Playoff Blogger Faceoff: Nuggets vs. Hornets. If it’s not as snarky/hyped as I usually am, I apologize. I was kinda hungover when I wrote it.:-P

And, First Round Roundtable on At the Hive.

Hope everyone’s loving NBA Playoff Day 1 and French Quarter Fest!

Bulletin Board Material

I even highlighted the relevant bits for you. They should be self-explanatory.

I know you don’t care what the mainstream media says about you, but maybe you should. I kind of do. But then, I’m 5’9″ in good shoes and can’t shoot. So it’s not on me.

(P.S. That paragraph doesn’t even make sense. If it’s a team game, name one “crapload” that makes it to June. Yeah, I thought so.)

We’re Kind of a Big Deal

By on March 21, 2009

A huge story in the NBA this year is the international effect on the game.  Big free agents going overseas, us bringing back the best of those countries, creating a unique state of flux in international talent.  Although USA has again come to dominate the FIBA scene, there is an unprecedented international appeal for the sport, and even multinational blogging (visit our links to Chinese and German Hornets sites on the right under “All Hornets International,” and let us know if you’re aware of any more).  But no international story has been bigger than China.

bonzi-shanxi-zhongyuFirst of all, there was the Olympics, which was a smashing success.  China proved to be a great venue, the world showed it could field a lot of talent, and it was a lot of fun to watch a variety of teams, not just the U.S.  Also, there was the outcry about how Chinese voters influenced the All-Star starting line-ups; but, when you leave it to democracy, you have to accept how the people vote.  I just love how excited another country is about the NBA, which, in the end, will only be good for basketball.  Lastly, there was the interesting story of ex-Hornet, Bonzi Wells, going to Shanxi Zhongyu, averaging 34 points a game, hitting 50 and 40 points routinely, pulling down over 10 boards usually, and being nicknamed “His Majesty.”  Great stuff.

And what else?  Oh yeah, China loves HornetsHype.com.  That’s right.  China wants to know more about Rasual “Phoenix” Butler.  China wants to know why Chris Paul should be MVP.  If you don’t believe me, check out these links:

There it is.  Yao may be huge in China. So is Yi.  But the most populous country in the world is hungry for Hornets news.  Believe it.  Welcome to the Hype, China, we love your interest in the NBA.  It’s faaaaAAAAaaantastic!

The Phoenix rises

This is a public service announcement for the national basketball media. You are allowed to talk about Rasual Butler. No, seriously. I officially give you permission.

I’ve been mulling over this post in my mind for some time, thinking, “Damn, we should really do a post on the resurgence of ‘Sual this year,” but the moment it leapt to the forefront of our priority list was when I was watching the NBA on TNT last week. I’ve already ranted a bit on Charles Barkley’s rather uninformed comments about the team, but what really got me was how dismissive he was of Butler. Actually, he didn’t even seem to know that he was starting for the Hornets. And never mind the disparaging snarky comments I’ve heard from several different announcing teams, “Well, I guess you have to wonder with the Hornets how far you’re going to get when you have Rasual Butler starting, ho ho ho.”

OK, freeze. Rewind.

Last season around this time was when Byron Scott finally gave up on Butler. Hornets fans breathed a sigh of relief. Finally we could stop cringing as #45 launched up brick after brick. It was almost inexplicable, how a player’s shot could so thoroughly desert him. It was like Devin Brown in November/December of this season, but worse. (If you want a full perspective on how bad I am talking about, at one point Brown was shooting 15% from three. So we are talking bad.) Butler didn’t even suit up for the playoffs. He only played in 51 games, for an average of 17 minutes per game, most of those minutes in the beginning of the season before it became apparent how brutally awful of a year he was having. He averaged 4.9 points per game over the course of his truncated season. Add an offseason gun arrest into the mix, and Hornets fans were left wondering if there was a way to trade a guy who had zero value and made $3.6 million.

OK, stop. Fast forward.

In 2008-09 the man Hornets fans have begun to refer to as “The Phoenix” is starting for the Hornets. (Helpful hint to the national media, who seem to be having trouble locating him: He is the dude out in the corner who is not Chris Paul, David West, Tyson Chandler, or Peja Stojakovic.) He plays a career high 30 minutes a game and averages 11.2 points. The fact is, Rasual Butler is doing a better job than Morris Peterson (8.0 PPG) ever did last season. And in 2009, he has absolutely been lighting it up.

Check this: Over the Hornets’ last 10 games, ‘Sual Bop is averaging 18.2 points per game on .496 shooting. Your resident fact checka is here to inform you that that’s a better percentage than Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen are currently shooting over the same 10 game split.

So he’s not one of the top shooting guards in the league. Like, whoo. Who does your team start at the 2? OK, don’t answer that question. I realize the Hornets have a different situation than many NBA teams. The fact is that not every team has a Chris Paul, whereas there are many dominant shooting guards in the league. Of course if you’ve got one, the offense is going to be run through him. So when you go to evaluate a guy like Rasual Butler, who effectively plays the role of the 4th or 5th wheel on the Hornets, as opposed to other 2 guards who are a bigger part of the offense, you will need to make some adjustments. At the Hive has done the numbers on this, analyzing where Butler fits in with other shooting guards when you adjust for usage rate. (The answer is 2nd in the league, behind Utah’s Ronnie Brewer, making ‘Sual a pretty efficient dude for the touches he gets.)

Too bad he’s like the Invisible Man over here.

I’m not asking you to proclaim him the next big star or anything like that. I’m just asking you to recognize that here’s a guy who, at the age of 29, is quietly playing the best basketball of his life. But you know, maybe it’s OK that everyone’s not talking about Rasual Butler. You just go right ahead and leave him open to swish shots over your head. Maybe it’s enough that Hornets fans recognize and appreciate him. And honestly, we might understand him a little more, and on a little deeper level, than the average NBA observer anyway. His success this year, while uplifting, means more to us than to you.

In New Orleans, we know a little something about rising from the ashes.

In Case You Missed It

By on February 8, 2009

David M.F. West on Jim Rome last week. He talks about being selected to the All Star game, and his general low-key-ness.

Or, a huge mess of Hornets-related links, some more out of date than others but still notable, in final countdown form. Countdown to what? Hornets vs. Spurs, 8:30 PM. Be there. Or at least be watching on ESPN. #1 in the Southwest Division is on the line, as well as… some other things.

10. Jordan Brand CP3 II, v. 2.0 of Chris Paul’s shoe.

9. Hoops Addict game notes on Hornets@Raptors. Includes some fun locker room stuff. But whatever, guys. James Posey shot 5/6 from 3 in the first half. He can brush his teeth wherever he wants to.

8. Melvin Ely is bloggerific.

7. Tyson Chandler goes fishing. (In Plaquemines Parish! With video!) Update: More pics and behind the scenes stories here.

6. The Honeybees’ new website. If that kind of thing is your bag… baby.

5. Memphis fans drinkin’ the HATERADE. Bring it, guys! That’s when you know you’ve made it, when you got haters! And hey, look– there’s a way the Hornets are like the Spurs (see comment thread on previous post)– people hate us!

4. I have given up caring what these people think, but in today’s Daily Dime (scroll down to #6 on the right sidebar) there’s an audio clip of Jalen Rose on ESPN radio. He still thinks the Hornets and Lakers are the undisputed two top teams in the West, despite the Hornets’ start. Keepin’ the Movement alive…

3. The Popeyes Arena? The Zatarains Arena? The Abita Arena! Hornets are interested in finally selling the naming rights to New Orleans Arena.

2. The last time we met: This is what I wrote the day of Game 7.

1. Please, please, someone caption this pic of CP and Sual’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon defense on Rajon Rondo (you gotta click and biggify it to really get the facial expressions):

Idiot Watch: Jalen Rose

By on December 6, 2008

For the 1259th time in the last year or two it has become painfully obvious that national journalists do not watch the Hornets.  They do not know the Hornets.  And they simply don’t take the time to research the Hornets.  In yesterday’s ESPN Dime, Jalen Rose said the following:

I’m a big Chris Paul fan, and he should definitely be in the argument when talking about best point guards in the game, but to me, [Tony] Parker is the best point guard playing. He plays in a situation where it’s all about the pot of gold at the end. It’s all about the title for him. His statistics might not be 20 and 10 on a nightly basis, but that is because he plays with two other superstars. One thing about being a good teammate is the unselfishness to let others make plays. You have to do that in order for your team to be a championship contender. I’ve always respected that about his game. Paul is the most talented point guard in the game, but Parker is the best point guard.

Is Rose actually implying Paul gets his 20/10 selfishly?  What an idiot.  Anyone who has watched the Hornets more than once (read not Bill Simmons) knows that Paul is the most selfless player on the floor.  What apparently people don’t realize is how often Paul has 2/7 at halftime.  Then he puts up 16 the next quarter, while picking up 1 assist, and then goes 2/2 in the final stanza.  He is a uniquely talented man, who can score at will.  If he was selfish, he’d have 30/10 every night, punctuated by 40 and 50 point games now and then.  (As we wondered at atthehive the other week, what would happen if CP just decided to try to score every play?  Could he put up 60?  80?  100?  Could anyone stop him?)  If Paul was going for statistics only, he’d probably have more rebounds and steals too.  But as Paul himself said, “Some guys look to score.  I look to win.”

Moreover, Jalen Rose claims Tony Parker’s numbers are lower because there are two superstars on his team.  Timmy and Manu?  Fine.  How about those guys called West and Peja in Nola?  Besides, did Rose miss the fact that the assist leader is typically the man presumed to be the least selfish and most engaged in getting his teammates going?  Not to mention the fact that Paul had more 15+ assist games than anyone last year.  Listen, I love Tony Parker.  He’s clearly one of the point guards in the game.  But CP’s one of the best players in the game.  Honestly, if CP had played on the Spurs teams that Tony did, he’d have rings too.  Give him a few years to compare to Parker’s.  We’ll see what happens.

You could have just said how good Tony was, Jalen.  You didn’t have to bring CP into it.  Idiot.

Why, you ask?

Well, because Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com was right about what he told me last week: Melvin Ely’s first blog over on the official website 100% cannot be improved upon.

I’m not even gonna try. (Um, but the tooth story is not for the squeamish. I hope you ate already. Seriously.)

UPDATED 11/18: Tyson Chandler’s latest is pretty unforgettable too. He always makes me laugh. It’s entitled Looking for a Rhythm, but Not Looking There. The first part is about the Hornets’ play… the second part refers to childbirth, so you can pretty much guess what the THERE is about. He still hasn’t caught the bass in the canal in his backyard that’s kicking his ass though (which we heard about last time)…

T.C.’s blog is on NBA.com or on TysonChandler.com, in case you weren’t aware, and it cannot be missed.

Me & Pose: We’re Like This

By on October 30, 2008

Our team photo. We're hot.

Our team photo. We're hot.

So a couple of weeks ago, the dudes over at Ball Don’t Lie put up this image as the Endless Grey Ribbon (aka section divider) in the Hornets 2008-09 season preview. Naturally, I was like, “Haha, a billion James Poseys, wait– what?” But on a more serious note, I’m glad they realized the crucial role me ‘n’ Pose are going to play this year. Anyway, after last night’s game against Golden State, I am happy to report that the lineup for this year has been set. Obviously I’m slightly biased, but I think me and 23 James Poseys have the skills to really kick ass this season.

This is how I envision things breaking down:

James Posey will play point guard, center, power forward, small forward, and shooting guard. Naturally, with Pose coming off the bench as sixth man, this squad will have a sweet energy boost that should lift them above the other teams in the formidable Western Conference. The rest of the Poseys will play backup minutes as dictated by the intensity of their play in practice, as judged by head coach James Posey. We are excited to see J-Poz in particular in the role of hard-edged defensive specialist. He will also be the designated pre-game hugger.

Ticktock6 will be the 13th man, the one who jumps up and down, talks smack on the end of the bench while drinking a Red Bull, and sometimes does funny dances. Like Ronny Turiaf but with different hair. Big Game James won’t play much, since he’s on the low end of the depth chart behind Ticktock6, but will be called upon to come in and hit a clutch three once in a while in playoff situations. Fashion-challenged Poseys are encouraged to consult Posey #16 on the topic of accessories, even though he’ll only be getting garbage time. Poseys #17-23 are DNP-CD.

The whole team will wear high socks. At the position of ball boy will be my cat Jolee Bindo, who we expect to do a solid job despite his fear of objects that move.

Aaaaaannd now, for our first ass kicking, me and 23 James Poseys are gonna take care of the dude who wrote this:

The Hornets are a hard-nosed team, make no mistake. But they are also over the edge more often than is said and appear to be given a post-Katrina pity pass that has greatly aided them to suddenly and almost magically vault themselves over teams like the Spurs and the Suns.

And Paul?

The rise of Paul from ill-mannered punk and definitely not clutch college player to saintly professional is a testament to the star-making power of David Stern’s league. Paul is portrayed as an angelic assassin with players and coaches saying they’ve never seen anything like him… Paul is neither a champion nor a true assassin. He is a very talented young point guard with much to prove in the way of temperament and ability to come through in the biggest of games. But sadly he has anointed to PG deity-status by the NBA hype machine that includes ESPN and national NBA writers.

Worshipping false idols can only lead to trouble.

Post-Katrina pity pass? Exactly how many Hornets games did this person watch last year? Plus, what the hell, refs? How could you let the Hornets clutch and grab their way to under .500 records in the two years following a devastating hurricane? That just ain’t right. They could have “magically vaulted” (if by “magic” you mean the fact that all their stars are an average of 8 years older than the Hornets’) over the Suns and Spurs years ago, if you’d just seen the Post-Katrina pity light. But nooo, you had to wait three years, until the Hornets had a bunch of better players and stuff.

And Chris Paul– false idol?? The very words are not fit for this page. Really it feels blasphemous just CTRL-C /CTRL-Ving them. I guess it’s like Kobe syndrome: we’re just going to have to face the CP3 backlash that will inevitably happen. False idol? Oh, if only you had seen what I have seen. He conjured those fishes out of THIN AIR, I tell you. Believe me, we know what we worship. This non-believer claims to be called dwil. I wonder if it’s the real dwil… hmmm.

Whatev. We ball hard. If you aren’t prepared to do that, prepare to be rolled over by teams that do. Period.

23 out of 23 James Poseys agree with this message.