Nice article. I had the pleasure of playing in a charity golf tournament with Bob Licht after the 07-08 season. He was our celebrity golfer. He was very personable and gracious as I chatted him up about the Hornets for the entire round of golf.
Conversation with Bob Licht
The other day I had a very nice experience around the city involving the Hornets which I wanted to share it with you in its entirety. Fair warning: not all of it is about the on-the-court product, as there is a good bit of narrative and details about other aspects of the Hornets experience and what the organization does for the city. Please enjoy.
For the skimmers: the basketball stuff is nicely bulleted at the end.
One of the great things about living in New Orleans is that you bump into stars of various brilliance from time to time, and it’s totally no big deal for either party. For example, I often park just near Drew Brees’ house, and he frequents one of my coffee shops (mine; I was there first, Bubba). Saturday morning, just after we handed the Heat their ashes, I participated in a diabetes awareness and fund-raising event that required me to get up and walk about our beautiful Audubon Park. These things always attract serious folks, exercising folks, professional charity crews like these guys, party types, and local organizations.
My ladyfriend’s nephew is an 11-year-old with diabetes, so she got involved (her group raised over $1000). As I was scouring the internet for news and snide comments following the Bad News Bees’ win the night before on my phone when my Hornets rep, Charles, comes to say hey. This fact alone should speak volumes to everyone reading this. My rep, who doesn’t need to sell me anything (since I have 4 seats and only one butt), who I met once since he’s new to me this year, recognized me and came over to say hey and talk about the game.
She was then asked to snap a picture of the Hornets crew: reps, honeybees, and Bob Licht (CST play by play guy for the folks who don’t know). Rather than try to play beekeeper with a honeybee, I took the opportunity to say hey to Bob. Since I had met Gil at a Hornets event last season, I was happy to put another notch in belt . . . Victor Howell, you are next.
The Hornets were gently working the crowd, make no mistake about it, but I know that they have a stake in this as members of the Hornets family have diabetes. Bob was active prior to the event by helping to pep up the fund-raising teams, for instance. The honeybees were passing out bam-bams and schedules and the crew had some charming and tasteful, hand-painted signs saying “Hornets Step Out.” The reps were also carrying signs and started a few Hornets related chants.
So after saying hey, I went about my business enjoying “Edguy Radio” on Pandora until i noticed Bob just ahead of me. I drummed up a conversation with him by asking why he wasn’t in Milwaukee; though I knew it wasn’t being broadcast, I didn’t know why. This led to a nice long conversation between us while we walked around our beautiful park in our fair city on a gorgeous day after an exhilarating win all while doing a good deed. I offered to let him get back to his socializing after I’d expended by `glass of tea on the porch’ window of time, but he graciously noted my genuflection to the guest-host relationship, said he was having a good time socializing, and we enjoyed another mile.
Bob is a nice, intelligent, and personable guy, a consummate professional, and a proud and passionate fan and member of the Hornets family. I truly enjoyed our conversation and look forward to many more.
The highlights of the conversation:
- About CST: This topic is understandably a little dry, so we didn’t stay on it. He did say another network could pick up the slack in the 65 games being broadcast, but it’d be pretty expensive and probably would not be picked up by another local network as a result. Supporting his claim: no one has yet. This does seem to be a long-standing deal, so there should be hope that it can be renegotiated. It seems that somehow the city was involved early and I wonder if they still are.
- About Okafor: I described him as hyper-intellectual, and he agreed. He’s extremely high on Emeka and essentially called him one of the best post players since he’s been in the league.
- About the Heat: He was very happy, understandably, about the win. It was a statement and have people taking notice of what we have done and what we are doing. He noted that Coach Malone had been on the Cavaliers staff for the past 5 years and is very familiar and friendly with James, noting some friendly interaction between them Friday night during a timeout.
- Regarding the supposed popularity of the Heat: I mentioned to him that we had sold out our arena before they sold out theirs. He then recalled that they fired their season ticket sales staff since they had, in theory, sold out their tickets. Well, guess what? Wrong!
- About the new team members: He is thrilled with the attitude of the team. These guys are largely people that have a point to prove. He mentioned Smith particularly, not as a knock on him, but rather as an example to help explain the play of our newcomers. He added to that and referenced his recent article, which I not read yet (shame on me), that details “Monty’s Mantra.” Monty’s Mantra is: No excuses.
- More about the new team members: Bob said that at least one media figure failed to really give us the time to grasp the meaning of some of the moves that we made in the off-season. The Ariza trade was the case in point. When Bob pointed out that, for example, we have not had an athletic small forward in a number of years they doubter was silenced, but was still a doubter.
- About the coaches: He’s really big on Monty and the staff. He said the staff is very versatile and intelligent. They use the abilities of the players they have and bring them into a fitting system, putting them in fitting roles, rather than asking them to play outside their experience (so, worse).
- About Chris Paul: It’s inevitable that Chris Paul comes up in these conversations, and the trade talk. It came up this time when I mentioned that these wonderful pictures were out there of the Miami’s $45m trio staring at Chris Paul doing his thing and they still just look like. This is probably a result of photo selection on the part of other players (people pick the pretty pictures from the ones where they are exerting), but I don’t think such ones of Chris exist. The little dude is mean and is always going full-speed. Bob agreed that Chris is extremely focused and dedicated to the game. Talking about the most coveted players around the league, he thinks Chris is far better off for us than other such stars are for their teams. Other stars, to put it charitably, have other interests. Chris does not. Bob did not dissent when I claimed that Chris’ momma raised him right.
- Of the CST punsters, it was actually Bob that came up with the Dell-Monty monicker for what I’ve been calling The Hive Mind.
This post was submitted by 420ftJesus.
Charles is great! (He's my rep as well.) By the By 42 you were mentioned the other night on the radio broadcast. Jerry -v outed what section you seats are in. Im on the other side of the guy in the first row of the balcony who is always screaming.
Thanks, fellas. I've got a couple more in the works, actually . . . so be nice, eat your veggies, yada yada yada, and there's more where that came from. 2 hints, one for each: one relates to what not to eat with chicken, the other relates to someone who said he's considering leaving the organization . . . but I'm not sure he means it . . . the latter will be out soon; the former, much later.
Great post, 42, thanks. Well, where DOES Mek fit in in terms of the top post players in the association?
I, too, agree. The mind-set of the team seemed to be great all the time. I think Paul is a huge factor too, but attitude towards games is mostly a coaching thing.
Great journal 42. Great article to read. Hornets are not just a N.O. basketball team, but the organization is a part of the N.O. comunity.-
Awesome post! I love it on so many levels. Would love to get more conversation started about Monty's staff throughout the Hornet community. They are the unsung heroes of this team so far.
Yeah, I think the most recent time Gerry was wondering who sang Xanadu. I'm probably the only goof in the arena with the Rush discography on my iphone and happened to be listening to them that very day. (From Farewell to Kings, around 1976, I think). I got a thank you email back from K, actually, since I emailed the general address. Was that the time? I write from time to time. I love Gerry. He's a knowledgeable guy about basketball and EVERYTHING, he's not afraid to make lofty comparisons, and is never afraid to educate of be educated. He's also really embraced the city. I do love the guy's work, though. I have an eclectic education and style myself, so I feel an intellectual kinship with his persona at least. I chose sitting next to them for a game as one of my Lagniappe Rewards . . . I can't wait! Keep the courtside . . . I want V-side! And, yes, Charles is great. He's a class act and a great rep. He always writes back and even just kind of socializes. He's my third rep, actually, and I like him the best. The first had a better voice and was a little more like a honeybee, but I'll still take Charles.
Wow. Absolutely amazing article. A pleasure to read. It shows you how great of an organization this is, and how lucky the league is to have a team in New Orleans, a town that has gone through so much and is still so supportive in so many aspects. Thank you for this post. Bob is a very nice guy.