Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

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I have decided to go on blogging hiatus for the next several months. This might end up turning into semi-permanently. I honestly don’t know. I’ll re-evaluate after the season starts. What you can expect:

  • No posts from me on this site until at least November 1st, although it might be more like December 1st because November is National Novel Writing Month and I will be participating in that for the 4th year
  • Less commenting and involvement elsewhere
  • Less of me on Twitter (look, this one is more of a guideline than a rule…)

This is not a huge loss, considering I haven’t been posting much anyway. But I just don’t want the feeling hanging over my head that I should post, when X news happens or X rumor comes out. This past month and a half, I feel like I’ve known too much. And it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t interesting. And yet I followed it with this weird sense of almost-guilt, of not wanting to miss something. I found myself arguing because of how much I like arguing, rather than because I actually cared. I didn’t even feel evil glee when everyone else decided LeBron was the douche I’d thought he was for years. I just felt bored and somewhat dirty. See, because it starts, “I want to know about the Hornets.” But then it balloons into, “I want to know what everyone else is saying about the Hornets. I want to know about players on other teams. I want to know what everyone is saying about players on other teams. I want to know what everyone is saying about what everyone is saying about the NBA and I want to have an opinion on it.” But you know what? I…. don’t.

What Will Leitch wrote after the LeBron “Decision” special aired really spoke to me. It’s been in my head ever since, and the more I thought about it, the bigger it grew.

We cheer because sports is, ultimately, harmless. And we trust that they will at least pretend. We trust that they will recognize the ultimate ludicrousness of this whole enterprise, that these are grown men wearing tank tops, throwing a ball up and around, running on wood, that this all exists because we allow it to exist, that the illusion must be maintained…

That trust felt broken tonight.

…[N]ever has it been laid more bare, and never did it feel so empty. It felt like a break, the moment when the tide crested, when we looked at the games, and their players, and ourselves, and wondered: Why in the world are we watching these awful people?

This is tricky, because I love social media, and this great, sprawling NBA blogosphere of ours, but I do think it’s responsible for the cracks in the illusion. The more I know, and the faster I know it, I’ve realized… the less I need to know. I can’t deny the information overload is making me sick of basketball. Why can’t I wake up and read in the paper that Jeff Bower has been fired or Chris Paul has been dealt? Why can’t I just go to games because I have season tickets and take the offseason, you know, off? Like average people. On Friday night, I looked at the last 48 hours of my life and realized I’d spent it on Twitter, writing sarcastic stuff, and in comment threads. What some of you may not know is that, in addition to basketball, I write fiction. I’m trying to finish my first novel right now. Over that 48 hours I put exactly zero words into this project I really cared about. And what had really happened, in basketball, that was worth the squandering of those precious words and that time?

Nothing. A transaction was not made. A solid, tangible, indisputably factual event had not occurred. A game had not been played. I had spent 48 hours of my life talking and writing and thinking about… nothing.

If The Thing With the Rumors happens, I will miss out on the chance to write one of the biggest, most epic posts of my blogging career. I am aware of this. I am aware that the Hornets are having an eventful offseason. I am aware there are people who have come to care about my opinions. My awareness of this made me consider and reconsider this hiatus a couple of times. So, if The Thing happens, just know that the post I would have written (Is there even a tense for this situation? “I might would having written”?) would have been great.

Despite this post, this has a lot less to do with basketball than it does with other parts of my life. (“It’s not you, NBA, it’s me! Only, it’s sorta you too!”) I am in the middle of a big writing project, and having my head in 2 places (one of which is a big drag) is not working for me. I was on the phone with my mom last week, and she said, “You know, all your non-fiction is great. Why don’t you just concentrate on writing that and getting paid for it or published?” This is a good question. It is probably the question. I said to myself, “Self, even IF you got paid by someone to blog and got media access to all the games and were a basketball journalist…  but never wrote a book, would you be happy with that?” I wish I could tell you I had to think long and hard about it, but I didn’t: I already knew the answer.

What it comes down to is I love basketball, and I love the Hornets. But I just want this more.

Thank you all so much for reading and following. I cannot count the number of great people I’ve met through blogging. I never meant for this thing to be anything. It was just a domain I spontaneously bought when I was excited after a game, and I had to get that excitement out somehow. That’s what the “Hype” in Hornets Hype means: it means getting hyped up, getting really into it. It means the rush I get from being inside New Orleans Arena. There’s nothing like it. And that’s something I never felt guilty about spending words on.

But I would like to be able to just go to basketball games again, as a fan, without feeling the need to talk about or care about every little thing. And that’s not where I am right now. Right now I feel like there are only so many words inside of me per day, and I owe it to myself to spend them in a way that is more meaningful to me.

I hope you will all appreciate the vast amount of self-restraint it took for me to not make a “I have to do what’s best for my family” or “I have taken my talents to _____” joke during this post.

Basketball. Uncomplicated.

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.

I wrote a guest post on Hardwood Paroxysm on why I think the NBA needs to reach out to its female fans. It’s also on True Hoop, along with some related thoughts. Check it out, Hornets people, and let me know what you think.

For anyone who’s checking out the site because of that post, expecting to see all sorts of ranty “female” blogging, sorry. We’re fresh out of that today.

But we do have a nice Wu Tang/Chris Paul mashup and… uhhh… a very short video of Marcus Thornton dancing at practice. (via @ABC26RobertO)

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.

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.

We Get Around

By on October 22, 2009

Here are some places Hornets Hype has been recently:

In other Hornets news, rather ominously, the NOLA.com folks dropped the news last night that, not only is Emeka Okafor now questionable for the season opener, as he has yet to get on the floor and practice with the team, but David West and Julian Wright both tweaked themselves in various ways yesterday at practice. Considering we’re not sure who’s starting at the 2 (although we’re 95% sure that at this point in the season it’s going to be Mo Pete), that means the only person in the starting lineup left standing is Chris Paul. You go, Chris. Apparently, however, Ike Diogu is now practicing and I think he’s going to play tonight. You go, Ike.

But let’s not dwell on unpleasant, unimportant nonsense like the entire team being injured again. Here, enjoy a photograph of David West posing with some cute kids. There. Don’t you feel better?

Do not panic. Look at the cute children. All is well.

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!

Woe. There is no hype. There is anti-hype.

I’m not really going to talk about the Rockets game. There are plenty of other places you can take part in the meltdown. I’m not going to complain about the officiating because, while it was bad, it was so not the reason we lost that there isn’t any point. I was gonna have Pose write you some sad haikus, but unfortunately he and I aren’t speaking right now.

Vote for the Honeybees!Anyhow, I just wanted to give you the heads up on some upcoming stuff:

1. NBA.com just unveiled its 2009 NBA Dance Team bracket. The Honeybees are up against the Lakers Girls, and amazingly, the picture they chose to represent the team is way better than the Lakers’ one. I think they might have a chance…. So, OK. I didn’t think anyone really paid attention to this stuff. Come to find out, mW takes it quite seriously. He even visits the team’s website to peruse the girls. But only, he informs me, in the case of tiebreakers…

……………… right.

2. Inspired by the NBA Dance Team bracket, I’ve decided to roll out the First Annual NBA Hot Baller bracket. Yes! I’ll probably be starting Thursday or Friday. That means all of you who are dudes can just scroll on by and roll your eyes, while all 5 of us female basketball fans vote for the hottest team in the NBA! I don’t think I’m going to bother with actual seeding based on looks, because that would be highly subjective. I’ll do the matchups based on actual team seedings as of tomorrow. And then, you know, let things play out where they fall. Also, in most cases it’s not going to be only one guy per team. Teams will be represented by their very best. Sorta like the dance team bracket, where you put your three best-looking girls in the front of the photo while hiding the unfortunate-looking ones in the back…

3. Thursday night is Casino Night, which is basically a season ticketholder event where you can mingle with the players… Well, or they’ll deal you a game of blackjack or something. There are prizes and food, and we’ll be there hopefully taking pictures, which we’ll post up. It was fun last year, but we got there a little too late to see some of the players, like Chris Paul, who put in his appearance early. I coulda met David West… we were like two ships passing in the night– OK, lurking by the buffet table– but he kinda looked like he wanted to stay incognito.

I’m out like the Hornets’ fourth-quarter offense…

Follow Me!

By on March 7, 2009

The only Twitter feed on our site right now is TT6′s, but you may have noticed she put up a link to where you can find my Twitter feed too, over on the right sidebar.  In case you missed it, you can follow me @ mW_.  I usually tweet from the games and try to pick up on stuff that you can’t see on television.

I also try to keep up with other NBA bloggers and tweeters and re-tweet the best stuff they do that you might not catch.  Well, I’ll be at it tonight at the Hive against the Thunder.  Go Hornets!

OK, Y’all. Stop.

By on February 19, 2009

So yesterday I was kind of annoyed to hear from several sources that a Hornets employee,who joined the team when they were in Oklahoma City, had made some slightly rant-y Facebook comments regarding New Orleans fans. My negative response to this was on three levels:

1. When I heard about it, I was already previously annoyed by watching Gil and Bob’s cheerful “party line” all evening on CST. I just felt like the comments the organization was making were insulting to fans’ intelligence.

2. I think the Hornets organization probably does not realize sometimes how incredibly sensitive people here still are about the OKC thing. They’ve still got to be REALLY careful, last season notwithstanding.

3. Characterizing New Orleans fans as people who impulsively “give up on”  teams is just inaccurate, when you stop to think for more than three seconds about how they’ve loved a losing football franchise for 42 years.

We are firm defenders of New Orleans at this site. I acknowledge having put this person on a certain List of mine, because I was annoyed. But. I wasn’t expecting this thing to get out of hand, which I think it has. It’s kind of blown up in a way that got really nasty, really fast.

I don’t feel like people’s social lives need to be scrutinized or questioned, even if I don’t agree with the things they say. No one deserves that. So I am deleting all references to this line of conversation from this site. Thanks. Peace out.