Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:01 am
By Matt Moore
There was almost nothing enjoyable for Hornets fans Wednesday night in their 90-67 loss to Chicago which was the kind of game you show kids to make sure they never play basketball, ever. Almost.
Will Ferrell was in town to do player introductions, and he was predictably hilarious. If you dig Ferrell's specific brand of humor and the NBA, this was a perfect nexus. Here's video:
I think my favorite is "He still lives with his mother, Carlos Boozer." Though "His favorite movie is 'The Notebook,' Derrick Rose" is also quality. Derogative while not being mean or a series of cheap shots. Good clean, fun.
Unlike the game. Which was not good, clean, nor fun.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:09 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 1:42 pm
By Matt Moore
Oh, no, there's (insert problem in the NBA)! Quick, let's contract some teams!
That's pretty much the standard fare from a lot of mainstream basketball scribes. Their proximity to large cities, usually coastal, is something you should try and not look at too closely. It's like one of those 3-D images. Yes, it's a schooner, which is a sailboat, and you still have a headache.
The answer always seems to pop up. "Oh, we don't have enough stars!" Contract! "There's a lockout and the owners want more money!" Contract! "We're out of sandwiches in the media room!" Contract!
There's about a billion reasons why contraction won't be happening. David Stern won't allow it on his watch. Losing games, twice in 12 years? Sure. Losing teams? No way. One thing hurts your fans. The other hurts your business.
But let's say it did, because there are more fans of big market teams than small market teams, and big market teams love the idea, because they get a talent influx. Who goes on the chopping block? Here are teams that would be up for contraction, if we're going to go ahead and kill off sections of fans.
(Franchise valuation data courtesy of Forbes, attendance via ESPN.)
1. New Orleans Hornets: Trying to avoid this conclusion is something I spent a solid hour on. Surely there's a way around this. But there just isn't. The Hornets staged a massive ticket sales promotion in order to try and boost their attendance profile for a potential buyer as well as to satisfy various city and state requirements regarding their lease. The result? They're 26th this season. With Chris Paul having gone to the Clippers, things are going to get worse before they get better. If we absolutely have to chop off a team, you have to start with the Hornets, as much as it pains me.
There are a lot of factors here, but George Shinn's horrific ownership should not be overlooked, nor should two natural disasters in the span of five years. But it's never been a strong market, and if we have to make cuts with our minds and not hearts, the Hornets have to be silenced.
Biggest argument against: Have you no soul? Honestly?
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Such a great playoffs run. But here are the facts. It's one of the newest franchises, with little in the way of successful history (as in, none outside of last season). It's been evaluated as 29th in overall worth by Forbes. Despite making the playoffs last season and being expected to contend for the West this year, they are 21st in attendance, Z-Bo or no Z-Bo.
The Grizzlies are trying to build a new culture of passion and success in Memphis. But if we have to make the cut today, they have to be on the block. If you need me I'll be in the corner gurgling arsenic.
Biggest argument against: Memphis' playoff run shows what can happen if that fanbase is engaged.
3. Charlotte Bobcats: Terrible team. The newest in the league. No success to speak of. Poor ownership. A fanbase damaged by George Shinn's tenure in Charlotte (hey, look, a theme!). The overriding influence of college basketball and its permeating stench throughout any sports discussion. The reasons go on and on. I mean, just look at their attendance.
They're... 14th this season?
That's up from 21st, which really isn't that horrible. And that's why they manage to slide to three. If you took the way the Bobcats have been run and put them in Memphis, New Orleans, or Sacramento, they're toast, first out the door. But Carolina gets basketball. So they slide to third. So... uh... good for them?
Biggest argument against: Decent attendance, run by the sport's biggest icon, awesome mascot.
4. Milwaukee Bucks: We're going to kill off the first team Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then Lew Alcindor, ever played for? The 1971 champs?
Yeah. We are. Milwaukee is rated last in the league by Forbes in overall value. Despite some promising drafts, they have yet to put together a contending core. Their arena situation is not dire, but it's going to get there in the next five years, and Milwaukee voters are unlikely to come streaming to the polls to help the team out. Killing off a franchise with this much history is pretty horrific, but at some point the dollars and cents have to matter.
Biggest argument against: Championship team, history, good ownership, active fanbase.
5. Sacramento Kings: No one has fought harder to keep their team than Kings fans have. They have staved off their owners feeding vultures from Anaheim. They have scrapped up enough support for a new arena plan coming to vote this month during a recession. They have chanted and made documentaries and brought signs and banners and petitions.
And it still might not be enough.
This may be the best example of why contraction is flawed. Ten years ago, even six years ago, this would be incomprehensible. The Kings were on the verge, the doorstep, had their foot jammed into the entryway of the Finals. The biggest problem with contraction is that we look at it through the lens of the present. "Oh, the Bobcats/Kings/Bucks are terrible." But in five years, those teams could be San Antonio. Or OKC. Or Orlando. Winning will change your bottom line, and losing will change it just the same. But considering the arena situation at present time, the financial situation of the club, and their ongoing attendance issues, it's impossible to leave them out.
Biggest argument against: Here we stay.
6. Atlanta Hawks: You want to talk about history, this one's like chopping off a limb. But the Hawks are 28th in value, have been unable to put together legitimate success, and feature one of the most lackluster fanbases in the league. Atlanta may simply be oversaturated for the NBA.
Biggest argument against: It's called the Highlight Factory, for crying out loud.
7. Philadelphia 76ers: You can already hear the sounds of those coastal writers crying out in agony. Start talking about an East Coast team that won a title within the past 30 years and it's a whole different story. But the 76ers come in at 22nd in value, just had the team sold, no real success even if you count the Iverson years that victimized a terrible, terrible Eastern conference, and continually have horrible attendance. They're bottom ten this season, and their team is a handful of games out of first in the conference.
Biggest argument against: Erasing what Moses Malone and Julius Erving did should be a federal crime.
8. Minnesota Timberwolves: 27th in value, 24th in attendance despite all the excitement. The only reason this team gets put so high is out of practical considerations. Basically, despite killing Kevin Garnett's prime and bobbling the next All-Star they landed in Kevin Love, their owner is close friends with David Stern and one of the heads of the Board of Governors. You see that guy getting his team lopped off any time soon?
Biggest argument against: Rubio? Rubio.
9. New Jersey Nets: Is there enough room in New York for two teams? Of course. Is there room for two fairly terrible teams? Additionally, if they can't get Dwight Howard, they should just pack up and go home, anyway.
Biggest argument against: They will always make money because they will play in New York now, and Prokhorov may come after you.
10. Indiana Pacers: No NBA championships (3 ABA). They are 25th in value and dead last in attendance, despite being a top five team in the East. The Pacers have simply been unable to capture the city's attention since The Brawl. Maybe that just did too much damage, combined with the emergence of the Colts. Yes, it's a historic team, but without any championships since the ABA. And with the Fieldhouse eventually needing a new home and all the money the city has spent on sports and event facilities, hard to see it coming through.
Biggest argument against: 8 points. 9 seconds.
In the end, any of these teams could become the Spurs in the next ten years. Or the Blazers. Or the Jazz. Or the Magic. It takes ownership, a little luck, and the subsequent success. Get that, and you're good to go. But we never see that when we talk about contraction. We only see the benefits for the Bulls, the Lakers, the Knicks. And we forget that while there are more fans in cities than towns, having an NBA nation makes the game that much stronger. But if we have to do the deed, those are the teams that should get the axe.
Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:02 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Hornets will be without power forward Carl Landru for the next couple weeks as the team announced Sunday that Landry will miss 3-4 weeks with an MCL sprain.
The injury occured Saturday against the Pistons after a collision with Jason Maxiell in the third quarter.
Obviously in response to losing Landry, the Hornets signed forward Lance Thomas for 10 days. Thomas, a 6-8 second-year pro out of Duke, was in training camp with New Orleans and saw brief playing time in two of the Hornets' first three regular season games before being waived on Dec. 31. He spent his first pro season in the D-League.
Not a massive blow to the Hornets as the team is just 4-20 and has lost five straight. They've been without Eric Gordon for pretty much the entire season as well as center Chris Kaman who was being shopped in trade talks. Kaman has returned, but the team isn't built to win right now, which isn't the goal. It's a rebuild for the Hornets and though obviously Monty Williams and the team wish they could have Landry out there, losing him for a couple weeks isn't the end of the world.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:30 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:40 pm
Chris Kaman is apparently a thing, now.
The one-time All-Star traded from L.A. to the Hornets has been benched for the time being while the team attempts to trade him. There were talks that Kaman could be bought out, but a report from Sports Illustrated indicates that it may not get that far, because the Rockets are hot to trot for him. From SI.com:
While no deal is imminent and the pieces are still being discussed, sources said the talks have involved the Rockets' two top-10 picks from the 2009 draft -- center Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2 by Memphis) and power forward Jordan Hill (No. 8 by New York). The Rockets have other young former first-rounders who could be included as well, among them second-year forward Patrick Patterson, third-year point guard Jonny Flynn and third-year small forward Terrence Williams. They also have a 2012 first-round pick from the Knicks that the Hornets would love to obtain.via Houston Rockets discuss acquiring Chris Kaman from Hornets - Sam Amick - SI.com.
This comes after another SI report indicated that the Sixers are out of the running for Kaman, prefering to hold on to their valuable assets despite short-term injuries to both of their centers, Nikola Vucevic and Spencer Hawes.
For the Rockets, a simple question.
This is a team badly in need of a star player. They need a quality starting scorer, a franchise player, someone to take them from the "borderline 8th seed, one-and-done at best" mediocrity they've settled into and towards a future of contention.
Chris Kaman is pretty much the opposite of that.
It's certainly true that Thabeet is nothing to give up for Kaman. But Jordan Hill is posting a 19 percent-plus rebound rate, playing pretty solid defense for a third year guy, and shooting over 50 percent. Is he a good basketball player, yet? No, but he's more than acceptable, and has room to grow. Better still, he's a movable contract. Why would the Rockets send out a quality young player and a draft pick they can move later for a 29-year-old on an expiring contract? Kaman is a quality center when healthy, but he's not something to build around. But if the Rockets really want to make a run this season with Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, and Luis Scola, sure, Kaman's as good a center as any, even if the have Samuel Dalembert.
It's also possible the Rockets are clearing cap space for the summer. The question then is who they're targeting if not in trade.
All around, a confusing situation surrounding Kaman.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:15 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 10:40 pm
Chris Kaman was never going to be a part of the New Orleans Hornets' long-term future after he was acquired in the Chris Paul trade. With a big expiring contract and some quality ability left in him, he was always seen as a trade piece for the Hornets to flip for more assets or a young player.
And according to ESPN.com, that's exactly what the Hornets are "actively" looking to do. The team has made Kaman inactive for the time being, started with last Wednesday's game against Oklahoma City, publicly saying that it's to let younger players play. But the real reason is because the Hornets want to find a trade partner for him and don't want to risk injury.
Hornets general manager Dell Demps released this statement Friday night:
"We had a conversation with Chris and expressed that the Hornets are going to go in a different direction. We mutually decided for a number of reasons that we are not going to play Chris as we pursue a trade. Chris has been the ultimate professional during this process and we thank him for the way he has handled the situation."
The report says that nothing is even close to being done for the time being, but Kaman will likely stay inactive until a trade is completed.
"It's just something (where) we want to play our young guys and we certainly don't want to disrespect Chris at all," Hornets coach Monty Williams told reporters before Friday night's game against the Magic.
"This is something we want to keep internally. It's certainly not disciplinary and he understands and I talked to him. We're going to play Jason Smith, Gustavo Ayon and Al-Farouq Aminu. It's just difficult to play that many bigs and I understand how difficult it is for (Kaman) to not get the minutes he wants."
Kaman, 29, is set to make close to $14 million this season, making him an extremely valuable expiring contract as teams try and position for the free agency frenzy of this summer. Plus, the bonus is that he can still play a little.
Playing the younger guys, while an excuse, also is a good thing for the Hornets. Not only is getting much-needed experience for guys like Ayon and Jason Smith wise, but it also means the Hornets have a better chance of, well, losing. Which is honestly what they need to do right now to ensure a high lottery pick.A contender could target Kaman to bring in for some big man depth, but teams that are looking for cap space will also likely be players for him. But remember, before anything gets done, it has to pass a potential veto from David Stern. So better make it a good trade, Dell Demps.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 4:56 pm
The Hornets failed to extend and lock up their new franchise centerpiece before the Jan. 25 extension deadline and the word was because Eric Gordon straight rejected their offer.
But according to the Times-Picayune, Gordon and the Hornets reached a mutual agreement to sit and wait.
"It wasn’t that I turned down anything, it works both ways,’’ Gordon said. "Yes, I’ll be restricted, but I am just a basketball player right now and the future is unclear.The report says that Gordon wanted a maximum per year salary of either four or five years. Which obviously the Hornets didn't want to dish out. For a lot of reasons, too. For one, Gordon isn't a max dollar player and two, the Hornets are owned by the NBA and aren't exactly the most cash flexibile organization in the league right now.
GM Dell Demps said in a press release that the Hornets were close to getting it done with Gordon but couldn't come to a meeting point. He also said the team is optimistic and encouraged that the Hornets will be able to retain Gordon in restricted free agency this summer.
They're going to have competition though as the Indiana Pacers are already reportedly chomping to get a piece of their hometown guy.
Gordon is out another three to six weeks because of a knee bruise and has only played two games with the Hornets so far this season.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:55 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 4:57 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
His short-term future, thanks to an ongoing knee injury, isn't all that clear either.
The Hornets announced on Thursday that Gordon will be continue to be sidelined with a knee injury that's led him to miss all but two games this season. Gordon hasn't played since Jan. 4 and could miss up to another month and a half,
Hornets guard Eric Gordon will be sidelined for an additional three-to-six weeks the team announced. After undergoing further tests on his right knee, it revealed a right knee contusion. Team doctors recommended rest for his knee. Gordon is expected to resume full basketball activities and return to the court once the recommended rest time is up. The injury occurred in the second half of the team's opening night game in Phoenix.The Hornets are 3-15 on the season and currently have the worst record in the Western Conference. In Gordon's absence, they've tried to make due with a backcourt of Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli, but good luck with that. New Orleans desperately misses his scoring, ranking No. 28 in the league in points per game, with just 87.6, and ranking No. 25 in the league in offensive efficiency.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:38 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 9:40 am
When Eric Gordon reportedly rejected the Hornets' four-year extension offer, it had quite a few consequences. The Hornets will have to convince their best player to re-sign in restricted free agency or match what will be a huge offer from him, based off of what is obviously a complicated relationship with the often-injured but dynamic shooting guard, or else run the risk of him signing the qualifying offer and entering unrestricted free agency in 2013. And it means other teams will be circling like wolves around a wounded deer.
One of those predators is the Indiana Pacers, according to multiple reports.
Both Yahoo Sports and the Indianapolis Star report that the Pacers will make huge runs at Gordon in restricted free agency.
Hard to see how they get him, however. The Pacers, under the new CBA, can only offer Gordon a four-year deal, and for presumably less money than the Hornets offered. If Gordon were to sign the offer sheet, the Hornets would have every ability and inclination to match it. Even a front-loaded contract likely wouldn't make the Hornets blink with the cap room they have at their disposal. It would essentially take GM Dell Demps letting Gordon go due to an unwillingness to play for the Hornets. That decision would also probably seal the fate of the Hornets for the next three-plus seasons, and threaten everyone in the organization's job as ownership, whenever it gets settled, if it gets settled, would look to clean house.
So, no, that's probably not going to happen.
But it doesn't mean the Pacers shouldn't give it a shot. Gordon with that core would be pretty exceptional and it would give him the opportunity to contend for a title in the city he's from originally, where he was born and in the state he went to college. The Pacers won't be the last team to be linked to an interest in Gordon now that he'll enter restricted free agency, but they may be the best.