Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:43 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2011 5:48 pm

Lakers' Phil Jackson hints this is last season

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson says this will be his last season on the bench. Posted by Ben Golliver. phil-jackson

Judging by his public stances so far this season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson has his foot out the door, heading for retirement after the season's conclusion.

Already this season, Jackson has questioned Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's future, speculated about why Pat Riley stepped in for former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, didn't get behind Rudy Tomjanovich's Hall of Fame candidacy, argued that the NBA shouldn't play on Christmas and said the NBA shouldn't have taken over ownership control of the New Orleans Hornets. What a list!

The Los Angeles Times reports that all those shots at the league and his colleagues come as Jackson eyes the end of his coaching career.
Jackson was asked again if he could see himself taking some time off and coming back to coach. "No," Jackson responded quickly.
Why not? he was asked. "I think I've put in my service time," Jackson, 65, said. "I think I've done my due diligence that I set out to do, especially with this organization."

Jackson said he has "coached about as long as I want to coach."
Jackson previously left the bench for the 2004-2005 season, but returned to coach the Lakers to back-to-back titles the last two seasons. With 11 rings as a coach, and a surly attitude throughout this season, Jackson has every reason to call it a career and exit stage left.

The Times notes that long-time Lakers assistant Brian Shaw is expected to take over as head coach should Jackson depart after this season.
Posted on: December 31, 2010 3:13 pm

The top 10 of 2010

Posted by Royce Young

Seems like every year around this time, people all start wondering, "Was this the best sports year ever?" The clip shows start rolling every bit of stock footage they have, put a catchy song to it, wipe of the hands and boom, 2010 is wrapped.

Other than the two clear-cut top NBA storylines that have already been covered (LeBron's decision and Los Angeles winning the title in seven games), what else was big from The Association in 2010? What else captivated, caught attention or was just downright excellent?

Well, I'm glad I asked. Here are the top 10 (for 2010, get it?) NBA stories from the past calendar year, excluding, um, the top two stories.

10. LeBron's elbow

Nothing really took over the 24 hour news cycle like a good Brett Favre story quite like LeBron's elbow. What was wrong with it? Can he actually play? Will he have to shoot everything left-handed?

But the elbow story was so much bigger than just an injury situation in the Cavaliers series against Boston. It really was the downfall of LeBron in Cleveland. He played one of the most confounding playoff games ever in Game 5, constantly deferring to teammates and really just stopping short of sitting down at mid-court and waiting for the game to end.

His Game 6 effort was better, but still, the image of LeBron tossing his No. 23 jersey to the floor after the final buzzer is something that's burned into the memory of Cleveland. It was the beginning of the end for LeBron in his home state. He left without the title he promised and quite frankly laid an egg in his last games there.

Maybe it was because of the elbow, maybe not. The elbow was the trunk of the story, but the branches stretched far and wide.

9. The NBA Hornets

I get the feeling this story didn't get played up near as big as it actually is. What we're basically seeing in New Orleans is the death of a franchise. Like right in front of us.

The league has stepped in and is trying all forms of CPR it can think  of, but with the attendance issues coupled with still bad situation in New Orleans, time is probably limited for the Hornets.

A league being forced to purchase one of its own teams isn't unprecedented, but it's surely not something you see every day. People like Phil Jackson have raised the question of how the league handles a situation like Chris Paul if it has greater interest in the Hornets and really, it's something for everyone to ponder.

8. Two tall people go down... again

It shouldn't really come as a surprise, but Yao Ming and Greg Oden are out for the season. Again. But it's more than that this time as both are facing career crossroads.

Yao has probably seen his last game as a member of the Houston Rockets with the team shopping his $17 million expiring contract and Oden will become a restricted free agent next summer, so who knows what happens from here for him.

The two big men aren't connected in any way, but the fact that two of the league's most promising seven-footers have been lost for yet another season is something that's nothing less than a shame. In a league running thin on true centers and post players that can affect the game on both ends, two have been shelved for the remainder of the season. But for them, it's a lot more about what comes next than just losing the 2010-11 season.

7.  Finga Gunz

The actual incident occurred in 2009, but the fallout and result of Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittendon's locker room showdown stretched into 2010.

David Stern suspended Arenas for the remainder of the season on Jan. 6, shortly after a game against the 76ers in which Arenas flashed his now infamous "Finga Gunz" during pregame introductions.

Arenas said his teammates asked him to do it, tweeting, "I know everybody seen the pre game pics..my teammate thought to break the tention we should do that..but this is gettn way to much." Immediately sensing how this was probably about to be something, he tweeted, "I wanna say sorry if I pissed any body off by us havin fun...I'm sorry for anything u need to blame for for right now."

Well it was something. Arenas would go on to apologize a month later for his actions in a Washington Post editorial and would get sentenced to two years' probation and 30 days in a halfway house another month later.

Of course "Finga Gunz" was basically the beginning of the end for Arenas tenure in Washington with him being traded to Orlando in early December.

6. The shadow of lockout

Just as we all start having a bunch of fun with this NBA season talking about how ratings are up 30 percent, how more people are attending games, talking about how much talent is in the league, we get another story about how the owners and players couldn't be farther apart on a new collective bargaining agreement.

It's pretty much a certainty at this point that there will be a lockout next summer. Will that produce a complete work stoppage and therefore a loss of games? Let's hope not.

The NBA is really enjoying one of its most popular times in a long time, drawing in younger audiences and totally supplanting baseball as the No. 2 sport in America. The league has recovered from the darker days earlier in the decade to come out with new stars, new energy and a game that's growing worldwide. A lockout wouldn't necessarily destroy that, but it's something that's cast a shadow over everything in 2010. And it will absolutely carry over through 2011.

5.The Summer of Durant

First came the scoring title, which made him the youngest ever to win it. Then came second in the MVP voting. Then came a playoff berth. Then came a fantastic six-game series between his Thunder and the eventual champion Lakers.

And all of that was really before Kevin Durant actually got everyone's attention.

It started with a simple tweet about his contract extension in Oklahoma City. It ended with him holding up a gold medal and MVP trophy for Team USA in Turkey, the first World Championship title for the United States since 1994.

In a summer where televised decisions, big contracts, PR and distractions ruled, Durant ended up owning our hearts during the summer of 2010 just by being himself. He was always humble, never fake, always said the right thing and played really, really good basketball in Turkey.

4. Blake Griffin, basketball destroyer

We had to wait an extra year to get our NBA introduction to Blake Griffin, but I think it was well worth it. Maybe my memory fails me here, but I don't think any rookie the past 20 years -- LeBron included -- captured the attention of people quite like Griffin.

We're talking about Los Angeles Clipper games being must-watch TV. We're talking about sellouts at Staples not for the purple and gold, but for the other tenant. We're talking about nightly highlights and the constant anticipation to see the Ultimate Blake Highlight that keeps us glued to the TV when he's playing and refreshing Twitter waiting to see a slew of "OH MY HEAVENS BLAKE GRIFFIN!!!!" tweets.

On top of that, it's just the way Griffin plays . It's controlled recklessness. He plays like every possession might be his last. He jumps with everything he's got for every rebound. He dives for everything. He falls hard, but gets up. The words "animal," "beast" and "monster" have been used to describe him. But I don't think those even fit.

Here's the thing though: He's actually quite good outside of the flashy dunks. He's averaging 21-12 and has a well-polished post game and has given Clipper fans a reason to hope.

3. The NBA does Dallas

This wasn't any old All-Star Game. It was 24 of the biggest basketball stars on the planet and 100,000 of their closest friends.

The NBA took its talents to Dallas, where indeed everything was bigger. The game was played in Jerry Jones death star, with a tiny basketball court placed in the middle of the monstrosity. The game itself was OK, but the glitz and glamor of the game was something else. It was the biggest crowd ever to see a basketball game and more than that, a basketball event for the ages.

To see LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant all standing on the hardwood while a giant scoreboard hung overhead and 100,000 people look on flashing cameras was unlike anything the NBA's ever seen.

2. The sagas of Carmelo and CP3

At some point, Carmelo Anthony will be traded. I'm convinced. But until then, we'll all just continue on reading every rumor, digesting every report and speculating on every trade scenario after trade scenario.

Whether it's the Nets, the Knicks or someone completely different, Carmelo is going somewhere. We've waited months to get that answer and after getting kind of a close a few times, we still just wait. But it's the daily story in the NBA with constant rumors and reports circulating everywhere about it.

But before Melo came Chris Paul. Reportedly Paul was unhappy with the direction of the franchise and wanted out. Badly. Days went by and it just seemed like the Hornet star was going to demand his way out of New Orleans. But it never happened. Doesn't mean it's over by any means, but those winds have calmed for the time being.

So we wait on that big news to break. Right now all the attention is on the Nuggets and Anthony but all it takes is one source to pop up and say, "CP3 still wants out." And then we start all over.

1. Free agency

The story in the NBA over the past year has been stars on the move trying to position themselves for a better run on a better team. Or to find some brighter lights of a bigger market.

Sure there's some overlap between this and "The Decision" but the Summer of 2010 is something people were counting down to for years. Big names were available, at the right price. Amar'e Stoudemire. Chris Bosh. LeBron. Dwyane Wade. Carlos Boozer. Joe Johnson. Steve Blake. Just kidding.

Player movement was the story. It became seemingly all about LeBron because of what happened in his little TV show, but before that, it was about all the players that were out there. Dwyane Wade went to Chicago and spoke with the Bulls. The Rockets went hard after Bosh. Joe Johnson signed a stupid $120 million deal. Stoudemire wanted New York all along.

When looking back on 2010, the Lakers winning a second straight title will be remembered. Then LeBron. But if you can rewind to what you were thinking around June 20th, it was about all the available players. It became about LeBron because he made it that way. But when those 10 superstars were up for grabs at one point, and for that short time, it had everyone's attention.
Posted on: December 29, 2010 10:03 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:54 pm

Phil Jackson 'isn't happy' that NBA owns Hornets

Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson is "not happy" that the NBA has taken over ownership of the New Orleans Hornets. Posted by Ben Golliver phil-jackson

It's a two-man race to see who can be the biggest Grinch of 2010, and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Miami Heat forward LeBron James continue to feverishly make their respective cases. First, Jackson said there shouldn't be NBA games played on Christmas. Shortly thereafter, James said there shouldn't be NBA games played on Christmas. Then, last week, James said the NBA should contract some teams, singling out the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Jersey Nets, which led to national headlines galore.  On Wednesday night, Jackson upped the ante, the Associated Press reports, saying that he is "not happy" with the NBA's ownership takeover of the struggling New Orleans Hornets.
Speaking before tip-off against the Hornets on Wednesday night, Jackson said the league's takeover of the Hornets raises questions about who has the final say if a star like Chris Paul demands a trade. Jackson says the NBA will have to find a way to make decisions about major roster moves that won't irritate anyone else in the league. Jackson also says New Orleans has not shown it can support an NBA team to this point and if that doesn't change in the near future, someone is going to have to move the club.
The Lakers were on a 3-game losing streak entering Wednesday night and this is possibly Jackson's final lap around the league, so there are legitimate reasons why he might be getting more candid in his recent remarks.  But, just like James, Jackson ventured into "reckless" territory with these comments.  The Hornets and their employees are Jackson's professional colleagues, and their success is now directly in the best interest of the NBA and all of its teams and employees. As the sale has already been approved, the water is under the bridge and criticism in hindsight is neither productive nor necessary.  While Jackson isn't wrong to raise questions about competitive balance given the unprecedented nature of a league-owned team, a head coach isn't telling the league office and its 30 ownership groups anything they don't already know. They've discussed it, they've voted on it and they've approved it. That's that.  As for the possible relocation of the Hornets, that's a topic that has been discussed ad nauseam, and Jackson adds nothing by raising the issue himself. Given his influential stature, he may even undercut local efforts that are currently underway to help keep the team in Louisiana. If Jackson was a member of the media, this wouldn't be a big deal. But he's doing no favors for guys like Hornets coach Monty Williams and Hornets GM Dell Demps, who could certainly use some help from an important colleague rather than another (loud and important) doomsday-predicting voice.  Put it all together and all we're left with, as we often are with Jackson, is pointless, mean-spirited griping. Please, Kobe Bryant, start making some shots so that maybe Jackson's mood will turn.
Posted on: December 27, 2010 9:31 am

Shootaround 12.27.10: Hornets are selling tickets

Posted by Royce Young
  • Is Jason Williams' career winding down?: "It's not getting any better," head coach Stan Van Gundy tells the Orlando Sentinel. "J-Will gets on it and he has a hard time pushing off that foot. He's staying behind. He wants to know what's going on. I think he's a little nervous about it right now."
  • Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News: "The Spurs took care of business Sunday night, as you would expect from a league power against a cellar-dwelling team. But their 94-80 victory over Washington might be their last easy breath for the next couple of weeks as they approach their toughest scheduling gauntlet of the season. The Spurs will face the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night, followed by games Thursday in Dallas, Saturday against Oklahoma City, Jan. 4 at Boston and Jan. 5 at New York."
  • Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News: "Avery Johnson didn't hear LeBron James throw the Nets under the contraction bus, so he didn't feel the need to defend his Brooklyn-bound franchise on the upswing. But Johnson did take exception to James' belief that the league would be better off without the Nets and Timberwolves. 'I disagree,' Johnson said Sunday. 'Maybe the league would be better if we didn't have three stars on one team.' Speaking to the media prior to Miami's game Thursday against the Phoenix Suns, James said the NBA was better in the 1980s when 'three or four superstars were on one team.' He singled out perennial bottom-feeders New Jersey and Minnesota as candidates for contraction."
  • Michael Schwartz: " It’s always disappointing to drop a game against a losing team like the Clippers, especially considering how bad the Suns played in that first half. This is a game they should have won, and now they’re three games under .500 for the first time all season thanks to the loss."
  • John Reid The Times-Picayune: "For the second consecutive home game, the Hornets attracted a crowd larger than 15,000. The announced crowd Sunday night at the Arena was 15,626, the second largest crowd of the season. The announced crowd for Wednesday’s game against New Jersey was 15,423. The Hornets are expected to have a sellout for Wednesday’s game against the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mayor Mitch Landrieu have pushed for increased fan support because the Hornets can opt of their lease agreement with the state if they don’t average 14,735 at the Arena for a period ending Jan. 31."
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: December 21, 2010 11:15 am

Game Changer: New Magic struggle to open

The new Magic struggle to get it together, the Rockets put the after-burners on in the last five minutes, and Jason Terry is a fourth-quarter man, all in today's Game Changer.
Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.


Not a super start for the Orlando Magic's new trio of weapons. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jason Richardson combined to shoot 6-23, score 27 points (mostly from the line), grab 9 rebounds, and dish 9 assists. Oh, and the Magic got trounced by an underwhelming Hawks team 91-81
There were some good signs, though. Turkoglu and Arenas both worked their way to the line three times, and looked in the flow of the offense. Turkoglu in particular looked like he was fitting back in with the Magic. In the second quarter, Turkoglu dished a perfect inside-lob to Dwight Howard over the Hawks defense setting up a massive dunk. 

Defensively, the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been. So that's good news, but they also didn't control the glass as well as they needed to outside of Howard. That's got to get shored up and fast. 

It should be noted that the Magic didn't have time for a practice with the new guys before last night's game. In reality, not even a walk-through. They simply walked out on the floor and tried to play together. When you consider that, it's a wonder they were even in this game, much less lost by only ten. 

When it comes down to it, the three are just going to have to shoot better. Jason Richardson we can expect that from. The other two we can't really depend on for that. 


After the Mavs defeated the Heat last night, coach Rick Carlisle called Jason Terry one of the best fourth-quarter scorers in the league. Turns out Carlisle's on to something. Terry averages 3.0 points in the first quarter, 4.0 points in the second, 3.1 points in the third, and 5.9 points in the fourth quarter. Not bad for an old guy.


After Mike Dunleavey (MIKE DUNLEAVEY!) tipped in the game-winner to drop the Hornets yet again Monday night, you have to wonder if the Hornets are running out of ways to lose. 

Your blog line of the night? Take it away, At The Hive:

"Today marks only the second time in the last 2,000 years that a total lunar eclipse has occurred on the same day as the Winter Solstice. The next time it will happen will be in 2094, when Trevor Ariza< will be clanging jumpers in a nursing home."


Monta Ellis: 44 points, 7 assists
LaMarcus Aldridge: 29 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists
Dwight Howard: 19 points, 20 rebounds
Tim Duncan: 20 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists


The Rockets scored 25 points in the final five minutes of last night's win over the Warriors
Posted on: December 15, 2010 10:53 am
Edited on: December 15, 2010 12:37 pm

Shootaround 12.15.10: Knicks-Celtics non-rivalry

Posted by Matt Moore
  • Michael Jordan was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame last night. Well, technically he was inducted in 1993, but couldn't make it because he was busy off being Michael Jordan. So he went in at halftime of a Raptors-Bobcats game. Better than the lady who spins plates on sticks. 
  • Do Boston and New York have a rivalry ? Not really, but the thing is, every time Boston says they don't have a rivalry with someone that team beats them. Happened with Atlanta last year. They don't have a rivalry but still shouldn't say so, you know?
Posted on: December 14, 2010 6:27 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 6:28 pm

3-Up, 3-Down: The top keeps rising

Posted by Royce Young

Three teams that are rising and three that are falling in this week's edition of our Power Rankings:


Chicago Bulls (6): The Bulls are quickly becoming a strong riser in the East. They made the biggest jump going up five spots in the rankings. They're winning with a ton of defense and with Carlos Boozer back, are a cool 6-1 and winners of six straight. Now with Boozer playing at a high level, coupled with Derrick Rose's MVP emergence and the fact Luol Deng is a capable third scorer, the Bulls have every right to stake a claim as one of the East's true contenders.

Oklahoma City Thunder (10): Floundering a bit here and there, they have. While the Thunder just rose up two spots this week, they are definitely in the category of rising. Oklahoma City is playing better and have three more home games after blowing the doors off the Cavaliers Sunday by 29 (largest win ever by the Thunder in OKC). Expectations were a bit inflated before the season so some were a little discouraged with OKC's up and down start, but the Thunder appear to be settling in. Kevin Durant is regaining his scoring machine swagger, Russell Westbrook is tearing apart opponents and even James Harden is finding some offensive game.

Milwaukee Bucks (16): The Bucks were a big riser, going up five spots this week. A lot of that is because of their big road win over the streaking Mavericks, but the Bucks are winners of three straight and of four of five overall. Plus, the wins are against quality opponents (Magic, Pacers, Rockets, Mavs). At 10-13, Milwaukee has been disappointing after its playoff run last season, but it appears that the Bucks might be finding themselves a bit lately.


Phoenix Suns (19): The Suns have slipped five spots and could be heading for an even bigger dip as the schedule doesn't get easy ahead. After a winnable game against Minnesota, the Suns play at Dallas, at Oklahoma City, at San Antonio and home against the Heat. Yikes. They've lost three straight and have fallen below .500 at 11-12. After next week, Phoenix could be multiple games under.

New Orleans Hornets (14): The fall continues. The Hornets are 3-7 in their last 10 and have dropped three straight. And this is after starting the season 8-0 and then 11-1. Consider this fun fact: The Hornets haven't scored 100 points in their last 13 games. Offense is a big issue late in games with Chris Paul desperately looking for scoring options. Trevor Ariza hasn't been the answer and coach Monty Williams continues to sit potential spark Marcus Thornton.

Denver Nuggets (12): This feels like a temporary fall, as the Nuggs have dropped three of four, but all were on the road against decently decent teams. They're quite inconsistent though, so Denver is certainly a candidate to drop multiple games. But at the same time, the Nuggets also look like one of the top teams in the West on any given night, so who knows, they could be headed up. But Chauncey Billups is now battling a wrist injury and with the Carmelo stuff reaching its apex, the distractions could weigh heavily on the Nuggets.

Be sure to check the full rankings out here.

Posted on: December 11, 2010 11:27 pm

Report: Jindal working to keep Hornets in NOLA

Posted by Royce Young

According to The Times-Picayune, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is quietly making plans to keep the Hornets in New Orleans.

The report says Jindal's chief budget architect has "quietly formed an interagency task force aimed at coming up with ways to keep the National Basketball Association New Orleans Hornets in Louisiana for the long term." So take that as you want. With all signs pointing to the team leaving, having the governor's support could be vital.

From the report:

"We're looking at a number of things that we're not ready to talk about," Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater said last week. With the state facing an expected $1.6 billion budget shortfall, it's unlikely the state will have any general fund tax dollars available for an incentive package, but Rainwater said there are other ways to structure a deal.

"We've been talking to the team, and we've been talking to the NBA and potential buyers for some time now about keeping the Hornets (in New Orleans)," Rainwater said. "We've discussed some creative ideas to keep them here in Louisiana. We're not going to do anything that jeopardizes funding for higher education and health care."

With the attendance issue becoming a growing problem, Gov. Jindal is asking fans to buy as many tickets as possible for the team's upcoming games. Of course the effort is to try and meet the attendance threshold in the team's existing contract with the arena is met. Right now, the team is way, way short. Even Friday's game against the Thunder that saw 14,428 was under the attendance threshold of 14,735.

Under their lease agreement with the state, Hornets can opt out if their average attendance is not 14,735 by Jan. 31, 2011. Not including Friday’s game against the Thunder, the Hornets need to average 15,579 for their next 13 games. The Hornets had one of their smallest crowds of the season – 10,823 – for Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons.

So even with the help of the state, things aren't looking terrific for the team. But it's a small victory for the Hornets to have the support at least.

Category: NBA
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