NBA Jam Unveils Hornets Roster

EA Sports has a new version of NBA jam coming out in October of this year, and today Marc Stein unveiled the rosters for the Western Conference teams. Here is the Hornet’s relevant portion of what he had to say:

New Orleans Hornets

Players: Chris Paul, David West and Peja Stojakovic

Legend: Larry Johnson

It was mistakenly reported last week, thanks to a paperwork snafu, that Larry Johnson would appear as a third Knicks legend alongside Patrick Ewing and John Starks. We are pleased to clarify now that Grandmama is actually in the game as a Hornets legend — after LJ and Kendall Gill formed the original Jam twosome for the Hornets in Charlotte colors back in ’93 — which will undoubtedly please the real-life Chris Paul. After hearing stories about CP3’s old Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket as a kid in Winston Salem, I’m fairly sure he’ll be partnering LJ when he uses himself in the new Jam.

The Hornets wound up with one more player on the team as well- small forward Trevor Ariza who will have to relive his days as a Houston Rocket if he wants to play as himself.

Larry Johnson is a good pick as a Hornets legend. I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t put Muggsy Bogues in there for fun. The longtime Hornet was in NBA Jam Tournament Edition a long time ago and it was very entertaining to dunk with him, mainly because he’s so short. There were plenty of teams that have two or even three stars from the past included in the game, but the Hornets only have Larry.

I can’t help but think that the team would have been better suited with someone other than David West. Of course he’s one of the top three players on the team in real life, but as far as NBA jam goes he just doesn’t have what it takes.

If you’ve played before you might remember how much of the game is centered around dunking hard, making three pointers, stealing, blocking and fouling hard. David West just doesn’t do any of those things particularly well. I’m guessing his biggest strength is going to be fouling since he’s been known to get T-ed up on occasion, but even that isn’t really his strength in reality. What he does well just isn’t important in this version of digital basketball. Nobody takes two point jump shots, and if you’re playing in the post you’re doing something wrong.

Long story short, I don’t think he will get a lot of play. Peja and Paul should be the duo that most Hornets fans play with for a number of reasons.

Peja is presumably going to be a three point monster, which is perfect for the game. Paul’s game will also translate well, as he will undoubtedly rack up steals, threes, and dunk on the fast break. Offensively Peja and CP3 should be one of the better duos on the game all things considered.

On defense they are going to have a hard time. Being able to time blocks is a key skill to have, and it’s made much harder when you’re trying to do it with two guys that combined for 13 blocks all of last season. Paul will undoubtedly be the among the best in the game at stealing the ball, and that should be enough to make up for nobody being able to jump.

Larry Johnson should be solid. He was nothing special in the old one, but according to Marc Stein, the players who were in the original game are going to get special treatment in the new one. In my book, he’s still not as valuable as Peja or Paul, even if he does get a little extra love from the good people at EA.

And if you were hoping to play as Michael Jordan let this be a buzz kill to you. He’s not in it because of his contractual ties to NBA 2K11.

I know it’s been a boring summer, but good times are coming.




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