Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: July 29, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 3:07 pm

Report: Paul decides to stay put

Posted by Royce Young

Following his Monday meeting, Chris Paul and the Hornets released a statement saying things went well. Everyone kind of rolled their eyes and didn't think much of it because that's what players and PR people do. Ken Berger told us exactly that very thing shortly after the meeting went down.

But according to one report, Dell Demps must've made a nice impression.

An article from the Times-Picayune says after hearing Demps' plan for retooling the roster, Paul is "on board with the team's direction and will not seek to force a trade."

Demps must have one heck of a plan then. In the article it gives a hint on the direction:
Demps said they plan to put the necessary pieces around Paul by coming up with creative ways to make trades. Sources said Paul is confident Demps will be able to make the necessary moves on a roster that has remained stagnant during free agency. Backup center Aaron Gray remains the Hornets' only signee this offseason.
What necessary moves? Sign Shaq? Go after Tracy McGrady? I don't get it. He obviously must mean wait for the trade deadline or next offseason, because pickings are slim right now.

But not so fast there. Berger continues to hear differently on Paul's intentions from his sources. He sends along this info:
While Demps may have bought the organization some time to deal with the Paul dilemma, a person with knowledge of the point guard's strategy said Thursday his desire to be traded before the start of the season did not diminish based on Monday's 90-minute meeting. Both sides agreed to stay quiet about what was discussed in the meeting, but the person familiar with Paul's situation said his camp "wants him moved" before the season starts. But with no games until November, Paul's operatives are willing to give the Hornets' new decision-making team "air to breathe to work on it," the person said.

The NBA's memo Tuesday warning teams of stiff penalties if they tamper with Paul means that Paul's new agent, Leon Rose, ultimately will need the Hornets' cooperation to broker a deal. With two years left on Paul's contract before he can opt out, the extent to which Demps is willing to engage in serious trade talks will be the next shoe to drop in the Summer of CP3 saga.
So this isn't over quite yet. In fact, it might just now be getting good.

The Times-Picayune story says the Hornets won't listen to any offers for Paul. Also mentioned is this quote: "Chris never said anything about a trade, '' a source close to Paul said. "All he said is that he wants to win. He does so much in the community. He hasn't built those courts around (town) for nothing. Of course, he wants to be here.''

Which I find odd because Paul publicly said he'd be open to a trade if the right situation presented itself. This sounds like positive spin from Paul's camp so in order to not come out looking like a bad guy. Not everyone wants to walk down the road LeBron did just to get a shot at winning. Besides, there have been multiple reports saying CP3 would like to be traded to a contender. Multiple high-profile, plugged-in insiders have reported the same thing. There's definitely some smoke here. And this report from the Times-Picayune might just be an effort to put out some of the fire.
Category: NBA
Posted on: July 26, 2010 8:41 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 8:42 pm

CP3 isn't the first to ask for a way out

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Paul publicly backed off any trade demands today in a statement via the team and Twitter. He said the meeting went well and hoped to spend his whole career in New Orleans.

OK then, that wraps it up. Let's go home boys.

Or not. As Ken Berger reports , most of that stuff is probably just positive PR spin and the trade discussions will rage on. And plus, the NBA frowns upon this sort of thing so much that, it fines players that announce trade desires publicly. So it's in CP3's best interest to play it cool and keep quiet, even if he's dying to break loose of NOLA.

The thing is, CP3 is far from the first that's wanted out. Some have already drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant's Laker saga from two years ago where he wanted out of Los Angeles and was very nearly dealt to the Bulls. But as is the same with Paul, the Lakers had the trump card because Kobe was still under contract and LA didn't HAVE to do anything.

But other than Kobe, who else has asked out? What other situations are there that are at least somewhat similar to CP3?
  • One of the more famous example and honestly, maybe most relative to CP3 was Charles Barkley's trade demand in 1992. The team that drafted him, the 76ers, had just missed the playoffs with a 35-47 record. Barkley was upset and asked out. The team obliged and he was shipped to Phoenix. Barkley then asked again for a trade, as he was seeking one last shot at a title. Before the 1996-97 season, Barkley demanded a trade to the Rockets, who already had Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. He got the deal, but not the ring.
  • Stephen Jackson demanded a trade from Golden State in 2009 and was fined $25,000 for his public statements. He said he was fed up and added, "I mean, you gotta hear it some way. You want me to send you an e-mail, Facebook or something? I'm a grown man, I have six kids, I'm married now, so I speak my mind. I thought I had freedom of speech but obviously I don't." Jackson was shortly traded to Charlotte.
  • In 2007, Nazr Mohammed then with the Pistons basically just said trade me or play me. He backed off the demands but was eventually traded to New Orleans. And we all continue to chuckle at the fact Nazr Mohammed once demanded a trade.
  • In 2008, Devean George - yes, Devean George - wanted a trade out of Dallas. He called on the same line as many others: trade me or play me. Eventually the Mavs brokered a deal with New Jersey to bring Jason Kidd to Dallas, but because it was going to cost him money, George vetoed it. George didn't get traded but as you can see, as drifted off into NBA obscurity. 
There's certainly precedent set for Paul in asking for a way out. In mosy cases, the team ends up obliging the request because of chemistry fears and it's never good to have a disgruntled player. That doesn't mean Paul will end up leaving NOLA, but if we learned anything here today, it's that CP3 isn't the first to ask for a way out and he won't be the last.

Posted on: July 26, 2010 6:24 pm
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Posted on: July 26, 2010 2:18 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 2:18 pm

Chris Paul: "The meeting went well"

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Paul met with the Hornets earlier today to discuss his future with the team. Despite what might come of it, it's pretty certain that CP3 wants out and the Hornets want to keep him.

Following the meeting, Paul's folks issued this statement through the team which was also posted on CP3's Twitter :

“The meeting went well.  It was great to get an opportunity to sit down with Coach Williams, President Weber and our new General Manager Dell Demps. I expressed my desire to win and I like what they said about the direction that they want to take the team.  I have been a Hornet my entire career and I hope to represent the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana for many years to come.”
Nothing surprising from that statement. Paul is far too conscious if the image issue it would create in publically demanding a trade. He remained positive and "hoped" to represent New Orleans for many years to come. It read as a nicely spun statement that neither confirmed nor denied any of the reports. Had CP3 definitively said, "I want to stay in New Orleans" or "I would prefer to look at my options" then we'd have a better idea.

But like I said, CP3 isn't going to start that type of public campaign. Of course, indications are the meeting went well and it's entirely possible Paul was completely encouraged and energized from it. Does that mean he'll be wearing No. 3 for NOLA this October? Yet to be determined.

Category: NBA
Posted on: July 26, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 9:34 pm

The LeBron effect on Chris Paul

Posted by Matt Moore

The words are not weak. Chris Paul, a young man that has brought himself to be not only arguably the best point guard in the National Basketball Association, but an important member of both the social and business communities in New Orleans and his home of North Carolina, is being regarded as weak. This behavior as of late, the trade demands , the partying, the sulking, it's not like Chris. This isn't who he is. At least, that's how it's being regarded in the media. In reality, nothing about his behavior seems out of order for a young point guard on a struggling team. So naturally, the wheels of blame have begun to turn. We like Chris Paul too much to make him into an egotist. There must be something else at play. Let's see... charitable, no... hyper-competitive... no, can't blame that, that makes too much sense... ah! I got it!

LeBron James DID IT!

But even as the idea sounds ridiculous and fabricated, there are good reasons to head in that general direction. Nowhere has that been as explicitly outlined as in Adrian Wojnarowski's article that all but drew scepters and pentagrams around James and his marketing firm, LRMR. That was then followed up by James tweeting :

"Best of luck to my brother @oneandonlycp3 . Do what's best for You and your family"

Which is a nice sentiment, but still seems like James intruding into matters which are not his business. And if that's a wee bit of tampering, we can only imagine what went on this weekend when the two were partying it up in Vegas . In the midst of all this is a report that Paul himself has not  signed on with James' marketing firm , LRMR. This contradicts a July 8th report saying just that, along with the indication that Paul has joined CAA, which also represents LeBron James and the other two super-friends. 

It's been confirmed that Paul has left Octagon, but not that he has joined LRMR. He's hanging out with LeBron, but we don't know if they talked about business at all. 

The question we need to be asking ourselves is if Chris Paul is really that easily "corrupted" or "influenced" or whatever term you'd like. Is this player who has shown a tremendous amount of maturity in his short time in the NBA really being "turned to the dark side," or whatever overblown phrase you'd like to use, by a marketing firm that has yet to land a marquee client or business deal and a player that has yet to win a championship? There's no doubt LeBron is powerful, arguably the most powerful player in the NBA. And there's no doubt the two are friends. But in all of his dealings, CP3 has never come across as the type to be railroaded or to do as he's told. He seems much more like a motivated individual that keeps track of his dealings and has a clear set plan for establishing his legacy.

Turning his back on New Orleans doesn't seem like it's in his character, that's true. But for a guy who's known as one of the most competitive players in a hyper-competitive environment (ask Julius Hodge about that), a trade request from a team that's been spinning its wheels doesn't seem out of line. The most logical conclusion is that LeBron James definitely did have an impact on this, but not in pressuring Paul, but by leading by example, even if that example is currently being spit on by most of the free world. 

James' decisions in the last two months have been driven by an athlete-centric decision tree. He's not putting the fans first. Not putting the teams (and thereby their owners) first. He's putting himself and his brand first. And in doing so, he's helped increase the arms race that started three years ago with the Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen trades that made Boston a champion and pushed the Lakers towards the Gasol acquisition. This is how you win championships, by playing on loaded teams, not by shouldering the burden. Paul has watched three of his best friends become a superpower, while he is playing for an 8th seed in the West with an aging core and two young Bucks, one of whom plays his position. 

Paul can't stand to be left behind. That's what James has shown him. That if he wants to keep up with the tone of progress, he's going to have to take matters into his own hands. The question is if the Hornets are going to blink first.

Posted on: July 26, 2010 8:38 am
Edited on: July 26, 2010 2:36 pm

Shootaround: 7.26.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • Stan Van Gundy isn't a true believer in this CP3 to Orlando stuff : "Much ado about nothing,'' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy Saturday told the Orlando Sentinel when asked about reports linking his team to Paul. "We are only involved in this story because someone said he wants to be traded and someone said he wants to come to Orlando,'' Van Gundy told FanHouse Sunday. "It's a New Orleans and Chris Paul story.''
  • Hornets' fans are disappointed with Chris Paul. And how could you blame them? Any time a player wants out of a contract or asks for a trade, it's seen only as betrayal. And for a guy like Paul who seemed so happy in New Orleans just a few years ago, asking out now just looks like a copout.
  • KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune on Tracy McGrady's situation: "The Bulls have made no definitive decisions on the future of Tracy McGrady, who will work out for management on Monday. McGrady, a seven-time All-Star, is trying to find a home after playing just 30 games last season because of microfracture surgery on his left knee in February 2009. McGrady has been effusively public in his desire to play for the Bulls, whom he toyed with in 2000 free agency."
  • More advice from LeBron to CP3, as Frank Isola of the NY Daily News shares : "It is being reported that LeBron James is advising Chris Paul that he should remain in the Western Conference thus forming a potential rivalry with the Miami Heat should Paul's new team and Miami both reach the Finals. Can you imagine getting career advice from this guy? I'm really hoping that Paul hung up the phone when James offered that suggestion. If LeCon cares so much about rivalries, why did leave Cleveland to play second banana to Dwyane Wade?"

Posted on: July 24, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 1:18 pm

Report: Chris Paul prefers Orlando

Posted by Royce Young

The Chris Paul situation is heating up. He has a meeting with the team Monday that could influence him to stay or maybe to go. And now there's a report telling the world where he wants to be: Orlando.

Chris Broussard of ESPN reports the Magic have emerged as Paul's top preferred destination, supplanting the New York Knicks. In the story, Broussard mentions that while the Knicks are still high on Paul's list, he believes the Magic would be a better fit. Plus, CP3 also realizes Orlando has much more to offer New Orleans in a trade and thus believes it's a more realistic destination than New York,

CP3's desire to play in New York is largely tied to Carmelo Anthony and the chance to form a new Big 3 in the Big Apple with Amar'e Stoudemire. But that's not a guaranteed situation, especially with reports indicating Anthony prefers to re-sign with Denver. On top of that, the Knicks probably will be able to present the least attractive offer to the Hornets. Ken Berger's original report mentioned the Hornets would want to move Emeka Okafor with Paul, and if the Knicks took back Okafor, they wouldn't have the cap space to sign Anthony anyway in 2011.

Paul does have two years left on his contract so the Hornets don't have to move him by any means. But the team understands the predicament its star is in and realizes the unwanted situation new coach Monty Williams would have starting his coaching career with an unhappy star.

That's why the Hornets may indeed decide to trade Paul. But New Orleans would not limit itself to the four clubs on Paul's list, Broussard points out. Instead, the Hornets would look for the best deal for its franchise, according to his sources.

Currently the four teams Paul reportedly prefers are the Knicks, the Magic, the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on Friday that Paul's agent Leon Rose reached out to all four teams this week. The Bobcats and Nets have also made inquiries about packaging a deal for CP3.

If Monday's meeting doesn't go well for the Paul camp, there are teams lined up ready to pony up just about anything to grab CP3. This thing is getting good. Well, that is unless you're a Hornets fan.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com