Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:01 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 1:03 am
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Report Card: Brook Lopez dominates in Big D

Posted by Royce Young

 Brook Lopez definitely grabbed some attention Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Brook Lopez
Probably about halfway through Tuesday's New Jersey game against the Mavericks, Billy King called Otis Smith and said, "Hey, just wanted to make sure you're watching this." Because in his third game after returning to the floor after a foot injury, Lopez was dominant. He finished with 38 points on 17-28 shooting leading the Nets to a one-point win over the Mavs in Dallas.
Minnesota Timberwolves
On a night where Kevin Love scored just 10 and Ricky Rubio only two while Blake Griffin had 30 and Chris Paul 27, you'd assume the Clippers handled the Wolves with ease, right? Wrong. Instead it was a big 109-97 win for Minnesota. So how'd they do it? Behind a career night from rookie Derrick Williams who finished with 27 points on 9-10 shooting and Michael Beasley who had 27 on 11-15 shooting. That's right, 54 points on 20-25 shooting. That'll get it done.
Middle-of-the-pack Eastern teams
Both the Pacers and 76ers limped a bit into the All-Star break, revealing some issues. But both came out roaring with the Sixers topping Detroit by 29 and the Pacers whipping the Warriors by 24. Good start to the second half for both.
Derrick Rose
The Bulls made it far closer than it should've been against the Hornets, but Rose came to the rescue for Chicago, scoring 32 points, including the last four for the Bulls. He hit a big jumper with 19 seconds left to put Chicago up two, then picked up a block on a Jarrett Jack drive that would've tied it and then hit two free throws to seal it.
Boston Celtics
Boston ended a five-game losing streak with a win over Cleveland, but still, it's obvious there are problems. They look slow, old and have problems scoring. Rajon Rondo was outscored by Kyrie Irving 24-0 -- that's right, zero points for Rondo -- and outside of Ray Allen's solid game, the Celtics weren't very good. It's not that the Celtics are disappointing anymore, mainly because expectations are constantly being lowered.
Chicago Bulls not named Derrick The bench combined for only 18 points and the other four starters only had 49. Without Rose in the game, the Bulls blew an 11-point lead and had to be rescued by the MVP in the last couple minutes.
Dallas Mavericks
It's one thing to blow a game to the Nets at home, but the Mavs' failure in the last minute to execute was just bad. Jason Kidd's heave to win the game was off a horrible set that exploded in Dallas's face. And Dirk Nowitzki -- you know, the guy that's seven feet tall and as clutch as it gets -- didn't take a shot in the Mavs' last two possessions.
New Orleans Hornets
The Bulls won a game they were supposed to, but the Hornets made it tough on them. So why an F? Because they had it. After a 13-0 run to go up 95-91 with 1:30 left, the Hornets watched the Bulls close on an 8-0 run. Here were their possessions: turnover, blocked shot, blocked shot, turnover. Derrick Rose hit a big shot, but the Hornets really showcased exactly why they have such a horrendous record.

Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:13 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 6:25 pm
 

Derrick Williams, Jack fight over Dunk Contest

Jarrett Jack did not think Derrick Williams did well in the dunk contest. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

There's nothing better than making fun of the Dunk Contest and there's not much more exciting than athlete-on-athlete violence on Twitter, so get ready for a good time right here, right now.

On Saturday night, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams had an up-and-down Dunk Contest. The highlight was his second attempt, a side-of-the-backboard, alley-oop assisted by Ricky Rubio. The lowlight was his third attempt, a string of misses as he tried to complete a self-toss, through-the-legs throwdown.

But it wasn't either of those dunks that set off New Orleans Hornets guard Jarrett Jack. No, it was Williams' first attempt, in which he rode in on a motorcyle with a mascot and then jumped over the bike to throw down a windmill.

On his Twitter account, @JarrettJack03, Jack objected to what he deemed a less-than-masculine scene.

"Definitely against all the man laws ever created. Dudes can't ride on the back of motorcycles," Jack opined. He later pointed out that Williams has a "cash register mouth," a reference to Williams' "underbite."

Jack went on to call the Dunk Contest the "worst... of all time" and explained that Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, the eventual Slam Dunk contest winner, has "dolphin teeth."

It wasn't long before Williams, posting on his account, @realdwill7, felt the need to respond.

"Hahaa who?" Williams wrote when someone informed him of Jack's criticism, implying that he didn't know who the seventh year pro out of Georgia Tech was.

Later, he took an apparent dig at Jack's future with the Hornets, writing: "All I know is come draft night.. That team lookin for a point guard." Shortly thereafter, he realized it might be time to simmer down. "I need to chill. chill button pushed," Williams wrote.

After the extended back and forth, Jack suggested that perhaps Williams needed to be a little more self-effacing. "I hope the dude Derrick Williams aint takin it too serious they are just jokes," he wrote. "If you can't laugh at yourself, what can u really laugh at?"

So that's good. We've apparently reached a Dunk Contest detente. In case you were wondering, the next meeting between the Timberwolves and the Hornets will be on Mar. 10 in Minnesota.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:29 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 12:05 am
 

Reports: Buyer for Hornets finally emerges

The Hornets might have an owner. Great timing. Only been a year and a half. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ben Golliver   

NBA commissioner David Stern has been hinting for some time that the league-owned New Orleans Hornets have a buyer. On Friday, a name finally emerged.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that a group led by a California businessman could pay up to $340 million for the franchise, while agreeing to keep it in New Orleans for the foreseeable future.

A group led by Los Angeles-area businessman Raj Bhathal, who founded one of the country’s leading swimwear manufacturing companies, has emerged as a top candidate to purchase the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA, sources said Thursday. The group includes Larry J. Benson, brother of Saints owner Tom Benson and former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy.

Bhathal, 72, and Larry Benson, 66, each once owned franchises in the now defunct World League of American Football, a spring league venture initiated and funded by the NFL in 1990. Bhathal owned the franchise in Orlando, Fla., while Benson owned the team in San Antonio, his home base.

ABC26.com also reported that a Hornets sale is pending and provided an estimated sale price, although they did not reveal details of the ownership group.

Although there is no word yet from the state, city, NBA, or new ownership, the New Orleans Hornets, owned by the NBA, will be sold within the next 10 days to 2 weeks to an out-of-town owner. 

The new out-of-town owner will pony up $340 million for the team. 

The sale price would reflect a $20 million increase over the $320 million that the NBA reportedly paid to purchase the Hornets from the league, according to the Orange County Business Journal

The paper provides some background on Bhathal's business as well.

Raj Manufacturing makes and sells swimsuits under its own brands and through licenses with Irvine-based St. John Knits International Inc., Guess Inc. of Los Angeles and New York-based PVH Corp.’s Tommy Hilfiger Group, among others.

Bhathal started Raj Manufacturing with his wife Marta more than 40 years ago. Both sold their stakes in the company to their children, Lisa Vogel and Alex Bhathal, in 2007. The siblings run Raj Manufacturing as co-presidents. Raj Manufacturing has $130 million in annual sales, according to a Business Journal estimate.

Stern has maintained since the league took over the Hornets that the league was not interested in buyers who wanted to relocate the franchise.

The league's ownership of the Hornets has drawn plenty of criticism, including from the likes of former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and it sparked a major controversy in December when Stern reportedly vetoed a 3-way trade that would have sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers. Paul was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stern is scheduled to speak to the media on Saturday night during his annual All-Star press conference. Surely the Hornets sale will be a hot topic.

Hat tip: HoopsHype.com
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:10 am
Edited on: February 23, 2012 1:12 am
 

Report Card 2.22.12: Knicks cruise, Griffin flies

Posted by Ben Golliver  

It was all lollipops and gumdrops for the Knicks on Wednesday night. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


New York Knicks Wednesday was a highlight factory for the Knicks, who dominated a reeling Hawks club from the jump to take an easy 99-82 victory. Jeremy Lin continued to show he can play the role of distributor, finishing with 17 points and 9 assists, as Carmelo Anthony was able to score 15 points on 16 shots. Sharpshooting Steve Novak was big off the bench again and new rotation additions Baron Davis and J.R. Smith connected on multiple alley-oops. The best part: New York enters Thursday night's showdown with the Miami Heat with none of its players having played more than 34 minutes on Wednesday.
Blake Griffin This dunk. Ridiculous. Timofey Mozgov makes a cameo, too.
New Orleans Hornets Don't look now but the hard-luck Hornets have won four out of their last six games. Impressive, considering they began the season 4-21. On Wednesday, the Hornets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers by getting a whopping 21 points and 13 rebounds from trade piece Chris Kaman plus an astoning 17 rebounds from rookie Gustavo Ayon. This would be an A+ for the Hornets but they are supposed to be tanking.
DeMarcus Cousins The 16 points and 16 rebounds will jump out at you, especially because he notched nine boards on the offensive glass. But the 6-for-20 shooting (!) in 27 minutes brings his night back to Earth. Kings won't complain, as they got a nice come-from-behind road win in Washington to close out the first half of their season.
Boston Celtics The hard-luck Celtics got pounded again, as Oklahoma City's All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 59 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and five steals. The poor Celtics basically went seven players deep without starting point guard Rajon Rondo, who was serving a suspension. They were down 20+ in the first half after allowing 72 points at halftime. Oh boy.
JaVale McGee At this point, most normal people would be embarrassed. JaVale McGee simply doesn't seem to have that self-awareness gene, so he continues to force his coach to bench him for mindless acts. This time: a volleyball goaltend deep into the stands.


E FOR EFFORT
Luke Ridnour (17 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and one amazing game-winner)
Blake Griffin (27 points,12 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and too many ridiculous feats of athleticism to count. An All-Star effort all-around.)
Chris Paul (36 points, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 rebound on 11-for-16 shooting. He guided the Clippers into the break with a 20-11 record. MVP talk is in the air.) 
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:07 pm
 

Stern says Hornets could be sold by end of month

Posted by Royce Young

Stop me if you've heard this one before: The New Orleans Hornets will have a new owner soon. It's been a running theme for a while with the league saying buyers were lined up way back in September.

But according to David Stern via an interview with NBA.com, for real this time, the Hornets could be sold soon. Maybe within a couple weeks.
“We’re moving on dual tracks on a buyer, and with the state’s contribution under a new lease that will likely be complete, both of those, by March 1 or on or about March 1. The deal itself can’t close until the legislature confirms the role of the state, and the legislature convenes in March.”
Stern also told USA Today, "I'm optimistic and hopeful that we will complete the sale by the end of the month ... We're talking with multiple perspective buyers, but we're anticipating the ability to close by the end of the month ... We've had offers from seven but winnowed it down to two or three, and we're working on it."

The league has owned the Hornets since George Shinn decided to sell the team but couldn't find a proper buyer. By proper, I mean a buyer that would plan to keep the team in New Orleans. That's been Stern and the league's mission since purchasing the Hornets for an estimated $300 million.

Stern obviously can't wait to wash his hands of the situation as it came to a head with Chris Paul and the rescinding of the trade that sent him to the Lakers. Moving the team to an actual owner is definitely something the NBA wants to do before the end of the season.

But as this thing's gone, it's kind of a believe-it-when-we-see-it thing. Hopefully it's done sooner than later. For everyone's sake, but most of all, for general manager Dell Demps. I'm sure he'd like to go back to a normal working environment.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:43 am
 

Report: Heat targeting Kaman

The Heat reportedly have interest in Chris Kaman if he's bought out from the Hornets. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The Heat are not through trying to build their roster. FoxSports.com reports that the Heat are attempting to acquire Chris Kaman, should he be bought out of his contract after the trade deadline. 
Heat officials, including president Pat Riley, have been calling people who know Kaman to ask about him, a source told FOXSports.com on Wednesday.

The thinking is the Heat’s best effort to get a center would be to sign Kaman — if his contract is bought out by New Orleans after the March 15 trade deadline.
via Miami Heat Chris Kaman Minnesota Timberwolves Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers trade 021512 - NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN.

A trade isn't feasible due to the very little flexibility the Heat have on their roster to make salaries match. Kaman was put on the block in January and even allowed to stay away from the team while a trade was negotiated, but a deal wasn't found. After a week the Hornets actually publicly announced they were taking him off the block and he rejoined the team. So the odds of another team swooping in to snatch him up are very low.

The Heat would be a great fit for Kaman, allowing him to compete for a title and giving the Heat a legitimate center down low. In stunning news, Eddy Curry has failed to make an impact and the Heat face the same problem they had last season with size down low. Joel Anthony is a skilled defender and has made great strides offensively this season but still lacks the bulk to make an impact down low. If Kaman were to agree to a deal for the veteran minimum, which doesn't seem likely, it would mean the Heat would start four current or former All-Stars. Which is just kind of ridiculous.

It's no guarantee the Hornets will buy Kaman out, nor is it likely he'll lean towards the Heat if bought out. It's entirely another team, like the Boston Celtics could make a similar offer, or a team with more cap room could make an offer. Kaman would have to agree to a buyout in the first place, and there's been no indication either way of Kaman's feelings on that front. 

It's a scary thought for the rest of the league that the Heat could wind up with Kaman, and you'd have to think that puts separation between them and the rest of the league in terms of who is the best team in the league by shoring up their biggest weakness.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:16 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 2:33 pm
 

Report: Cuban bashes Stern for Chris Paul trade

Mark Cuban questions David Stern's Chris Paul trade. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The Los Angeles Clippers added Chris Paul and became an instant contender; the New Orleans Hornets traded away Chris Paul and have the worst record in the Western Conference, by far.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants the world to know that the league-owned Hornets, with NBA commissioner David Stern calling the shots as de-facto owner, screwed up in making that trade.

ESPNDallas.com provides Cuban's trade analysis, in which he argues the Hornets should have simply held on to Paul for the duration of his current contract rather than trade him away to the Clippers after previously discussing a 3-way deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
"You're better off just taking the cap room, or whatever," Cuban said.

"I don't think it was about the Lakers, per se," Cuban said before the game. "I think it was just the way they did the deal, which was ridiculous. I don't think it was about which team. I think it was the fact that, even with the Clippers, we just went through this whole (collective bargaining agreement) and said the incumbent team still has the advantage and then the team the league owns (wimps) out. And look how it's worked out for them.

"Bad management gets you bad results."

It's impossible to believe that Cuban actually believes his own cap room argument but it's an absolute certainty that he enjoys reading the "Cuban blasts Stern over management decision" headline on every NBA website. That's probably endless amusement for him.

The recent case studies in handling disgruntled superstars all point to getting maximum value in trade rather than risking flight in free agency. Ask the Toronto Raptors if they could re-do the Chris Bosh departure. Ask the Cleveland Cavaliers if they could re-do the LeBron James departure. Ask the Utah Jazz if they are pleased with the return they got for Deron Williams, who is holding up the future of the New Jersey Nets as he contemplates his next move. Ask the Denver Nuggets if they're constant with the ransom they got for Carmelo Anthony at last year's trade deadline.

There's no question that Stern was operating from the right playbook in moving Paul, who had clearly had enough with the dysfunction and ownership questions in New Orleans. Look no further than the Cavaliers for additional proof. Do you think owner Dan Gilbert is happier with getting nothing but a trade exception in James' departure or getting the No. 1 overall pick and Kyrie Irving, his next franchise player, by trading guard Mo Williams to the Clippers last season? Obviously, getting the rebuilding value back is key for a struggling team that needs to drastically change course.

In addition to a likely lottery pick coming over from the Clippers, the Hornets still hold matching rights on Eric Gordon, who has star potential, and they will have a top-5 pick based on their own performance. That's a potential up-and-coming "Big 3" in New Orleans as soon as next season, depending on what happens with Gordon in free agency and how the lottery balls fall. Al-Farouq Aminu, also acquired in the trade, isn't worth writing home about, but he's probably worth at least a mention here. Meanwhile, if Paul walks, all New Orleans has is its own pick plus cap space to chase free agents that don't want to play for the Western Conference's worst team. The choice is here.

If Cuban's larger argument was that the management decision to trade a superstar for parts continues a bad precedent that was supposed to be fixed during the lockout labor negotiations, he's right, of course. The system was changed but it wasn't entirely overhauled, and Stern and the Hornets had to act in their own self-interest, not take a stand for the greater good of the league. The risk/reward calculus was crystal clear given Paul's years of frustration and the weak Hornets roster that would have surrounded him this year. He had to go as soon as possible. 

The conclusion that Cuban likely wants you to take from his comments is not that Stern, the owner, is an idiot for the trade. It's that the NBA's system is still broken because not even Stern, the commissioner, trusts its new mechanisms for retaining franchise-player talent. That's an excellent point, although everyone seems to have been acting under that assumption since the first day that the lockout was lifted.


Posted on: February 14, 2012 12:23 am
Edited on: February 14, 2012 12:36 am
 

Gordon to have arthroscopic knee surgery

By Matt Moore 

The New Orleans Hornets announced Monday night that their best player, Eric Gordon will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and will be out up to an additional six more weeks. Gordon, who has missed all but two games since being traded for the Clippers, has had repeated setbacks with the knee injury this year.

There was some concern going into the trade of Chris Paul for the package that  the  Hornets received in return concerning Gordon being injury prone. This only further complicates the Hornets' decision making this summer when they attempt to sign Gordon in restricted free agency at a reasonable value. 

A team statement from Hornets GM Dell Demps, who's pretty much having the worst professional year possible, reads:

“After consulting with our medical staff, we concluded that surgery was the best route and in the best interest of Eric for the long term. We had hoped with rest and rehab, Eric's knee would have healed.” General Manager Dell Demps said. “Eric is eager to return to the court and we are confident Hornet Fans will get to see him soon.”

The Hornets are 5-23 this season after a win over the Jazz Monday night.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com