Farewell Marcus Thornton

Published: February 23, 2011

When the Hornets began taking down signs featuring their nearly homegrown star, Marcus Thornton, most of us knew that it was time to start letting go. Sure, we pretended that it was just a coincidence that the Hornets only homegrown player was no longer a part of their marketing to a fan base who regarded him as one of their own, the epitome of what can happen if you work hard and dream big, but on the inside we all know this day would come.

Even as the trade deadline drew closer, and hope appeared alive that Marcus would remain with the team which gave him opportunity to explode onto the scene last year, it was difficult to envision a situation in which Monty Williams and Marcus Thornton would peacefully coexist far the future. It was no secret that the two butted heads, the main cause being a different in emphasis.

Who caused the problem, or who was right and who was wrong, are no longer relevant. It doesn’t matter anymore if Marcus would have performed better had he been starting, or that Jarrett Jack was given an infinitely longer leash than Marcus.

It’s unlikely the player who transformed from Marcus Thornton, to lil’ Buckets, and then into just normal Buckets, will make a return as a free agent. So, for fans in New Orleans, Marcus Thornton’s only full season will be how he is remembered by most.

He exploded onto the scene, scoring 20 points during the first time he played double digits in minutes, starting a streak of 6 straight games in which he finish both categories in double digits. By the end of the season, that was a regular occurrence for Marcus Thornton, who averaged nearly 20 points a game from January until the end of the season.

Even after receiving the 6th most votes for Rookie of the Year, some referred to him as the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA. Shortly after, I did an interview with Thornton, which might as well be looked at one last time as well.

And don’t forget this-

I asked the people behind “Thornton’s Thunder”, who were all set to shoot a Hornets commercial with their sign today for Fox 8, to write a little goodbye to Marcus. It seems only fitting since they were arguably his largest fans.

We are so grateful for the amazing moments we’ve experienced when Marcus has hit the floor.  You have brought so much PRIDE  and EXCITEMENT to that arena, how could we ever thank you!!  Your heart stayed in it and everyone felt it!  You will be missed far more than you may know, but just remember, we will see you again!  (You know this)…I’ve said it before, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!  You’ve faced tougher challenges than this, and we believe in what you’re about, so go do your thing!!!! Show these folks (whoever they may be) that you are a greater man because of this… I KNOW YOU ARE!!!  We will see you in SAC…

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Good luck, Marcus. You made what should have been a depressing year into one of my favorites. You will be missed.


  1. Hornet Seantonio

    February 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I love marcus thornton and his effort. Good luck in Sac for sure, just dont ball to hard on us. And if he has to, could he keep that mess to california…#### wouldnt look good in my arena.

    (ps. he would eat belinelli alive)

  2. Michael McNamara

    February 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Was my 2nd favorite Hornet last year and a pure pleasure to watch. I wish him all the best, and actually wish he would have landed on a team that would fit him better and would continue to develop his all around game. It will be interesting to see if he can play better outside of the New Orleans Arena, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up next year.

    I hope the guy has a long career and one day reaches his potential- in the Eastern Conference.

  3. James Online

    February 23, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dell Demps! Getting a solid NBA player and getting rid of a D league talent at the same time, priceless! Thornton will fit perfectly with Sacto, though he would have been good in New Jersey as well. You know, where it doesn´t matter if you run the sets, can shoot, or play defense. Good riddance!

    • Monty'sDoghouse

      February 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

      You deserve something evil to happen to you today troll.

      • Hornet Seantonio

        February 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

        You must embrace wickedness with love. only then can you truly conquer your trolls

      • 42

        February 23, 2011 at 10:39 am

        Preach on!

      • Monty'sDoghouse

        February 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

        Buckets – Thanks. You and Dimes made Hornets basketball infinitely fun last year. No other team in quite a while was able to boast such a nice record on the backs of two rookies drafted 20 or lower. You gave us the Heart Attack Hornets and were clutch enough to not make it the Fall Apart Hornets. You gave us your energy and embraced this city whole heartedly. For that we can only show love and appreciation. This is the end of an era. Let’s hope that our city and your careers somehow cross paths again someday.

        The two Hornets that probably loved this city the most and embraced New Orleans with all their tiny hearts (NBA relative) are gone. It’s a sad, sad day.

        It’s business.

  4. JS

    February 23, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Man this one definitely hurts. Hopefully he continues to develop as a solid NBA player and a great 6th man off the bench

  5. 42

    February 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I wish it would have worked out.

    Best to you, Marcus.

  6. 42

    February 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Let’s agree that he and Collison, Our Rookies, probably staved off some season-ticket lapses, feeding the attendance this year, helping to keep the team here in the end.

    If nothing else, basketball in this city will always owe a debt to Our Rookies.

    They may go on to be stars or not, but they will always be Our Rookies and will always have a place here. Let that be their legacy.

    Rookies! Rookies! Rookies!

  7. MaxJD_Nola2NYC

    February 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Marcus will be the only player I will cheer for wearing another uniform other than Hornets when he plays against us!! I hope he murders bellinelli and Green on 3/12

    • Hornet Seantonio

      February 23, 2011 at 11:10 am

      Posey is my favorite player, kind of tickled me watching him light us up that pacers game early on in the year. He killed us late in the fourth

    • renee

      February 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

      I agree. I will be rooting for Marcus to whoop up on the Hornets and show them what fools they are for getting rid of him!!!! I hope when he returns next year he makes this trade hurt the Hornets!!!

  8. Stewart

    February 23, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Best wishes, Marcus. Every time you were called to the scorer’s table this year, we got goosebumps. No other Hornets player will ever electrify that building like that again. Thanks, bro.

    And when you return to The Hive next month wearing a Kings uniform, I will sit quietly with a smile on my face as you ram a giant 40 point game up our asses.

    By the way, condolences to our fellow small market friends in Utah who have to say goodbye to D-Will today.

    • renee

      February 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

      I don’t think I will be sitting quietly when he does that. I will be proudly cheering for him!!!

  9. renee

    February 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

    It’s a sad day in Hornet’s land now that Marcus Thornton is gone. This team has lost a GREAT player for what….Carl Landry???? Puhleeze…this is not a trade up but only trying to appease Monty and get rid of a player he didn’t like. i saw Grow Up Monty and coach the talent you have.

    Sorry to see you go Marcus. The fans of section 305 love you and you will be greatly missed. Dun, dun dun dun……GEAUX MARCUS!!!!

  10. Sum

    February 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Wow!! Hornets fans will miss you Marcus. I remember last year, I used to sit up and watch just because of you and collison. To be honest, that was one of my most favorite hornets teams of all time, better than ones with larry johnson and alonzo and even better than the team a couple of years ago that beat dallas in the playoffs. And now, you both are gone. Sad sad day. Good luck in Sactown.

  11. Hornets fan in KC

    February 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Good luck Marcus. You should have been playing 25-30 mins a game since the start of the year. Man our team sure is old now. If Paul leaves in a year we will be the worst team in the league. At least Monty will still have a collection of his buddies on board. I do like Landry but hope we tested the waters with the Bobcats. Supposely they just want an expiring contract and a first rounder for Wallace. Maybe they would have taken Marcus and an expiring contract instead?

    Looks like the playoffs are little concern now with Denver dealing Melo and Utah dumping D-Will. Glad to see him go East Utah always seemed to beat up on us.

  12. Gec

    February 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

    best moment of the season so far: Marcus and Ariza deflect the pass, CP steals, ‘Meka dishes his firs assist of the game and Marcus finishes the job…
    I already miss Marcus and that hope i had every game, i always hoped he would go crazy and win us the game with his plays and his energy.
    I had very high expectations for him, he was my fav hornet and i wanted him to be a Hornet for life and i always saw a bright future for this franchise with a backcourt like Paul and Thornton.

    I still think he is the perfect SG for this team offensivly.

  13. HiMyNameisSteven

    February 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    im really really upset to hear this news. i really like landry and always have. but to give up marcus to probably rent landry for one year is the worst decision that has been made in years. this is the biggest steal since pau to the lakers. the kings were going to lose landry this offseason anyway and now they get the chance to sign marcus to an extension. the only roster spot that was vacant was at the 2 guard for them. i think they are getting a future jason teryy/jamal crawford and i really think the hornets will forever regret this decision. it was obvious from the start monty wanted marcus out of town and it is sad that it came to this. again i think landry is a very good player but we really need a backup center not another d west/j smith/d anderson. literally we have 4 guys who all do the same thing. this does not make us much better of a team except now j smith is the 4th forward which is good. but we gave away a great player someone we need with an offesnive punch for a position probably least needed. id be ok if we got say dalembert but this is an awful awful move the more i think about it. again i like landry but not we are stuck in the back court with willie green and belly and jack being our scoring punch. hate to say but that isnt going to scare anyone. bad move very disappointed.

    only upside is that the kings are going to be in anaheim soon so i can see marcus play more often since i live in LA so at least there is one positive from this move

  14. RobertM320

    February 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I think we all need to wait and see how this shakes out before we start condemning Monty. For one, did anyone notice that the original trade was to include David Andersen, but now its cash? Maybe, just maybe, there’s a move somewhere involving a Banks/Andersen/Belinelli/trade exception combination that nets us a Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace type. I don’t have any idea, other than maybe its Demps moving a small piece to open the way for a bigger deal. Everyone kind of says we need a true 2 guard and a solid backup 4/5. Getting Landry fills the second, and allows us to dump Andersen or Smith along with pieces to get a true 2, thereby accomplishing our goals. Patience, Hornets fans!

    • HiMyNameisSteven

      February 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      if thats the case then i will re evaluate my statement

  15. chiefyoungblood

    February 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    so the Cleveland game last year is the definitive Thornton game so far ?

    • NolaHog

      February 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      I would say the Cleveland game is at the top of Marcus’ efforts. The all time comeback against Sacramento was also a good one. Their front office obviously took note of his performance in that game. Best play is the deflection of the inbounds pass and then finish against Memphis in OT this year.
      I agree with the other comments that Thornton and Collison’s contributions to this team will be forever appreciated. They were shining beacons that carried us through some potentially dark times.

  16. ThePurpleHornet

    February 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Man oh man … I’m missing him already! Not sure why the team gets rid of someone who gets cheers louder than CP3 when stepping to the scorers table, especially when you are looking for the fanbase to attach to the team for ticket sales. IF CP leaves us, who do the fans attach to now? I have a feeling this trade will come back to haunt us. While we got a good player in Landry, we got rid of (imo) a dynamic and explosive scorer in this league, which is hard to come by in the NBA.

    I might have to get me a Thornton SacTown jersey lol, nah.

    • 42

      February 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      I think the cheers are more a message to Monty combined with fan love. There is no need to send Monty a message about Chris, so just fan love which is, sadly, less raucous.

      • QueenBee

        February 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm

        I agree 42. Chris still gets the loudest cheers in pregame intros and of course we can hear the cheers for Marcus clearly as they usually happen when subs are coming into the game and not much else noise is going on. He did get cheers when he scored too though.

        I’ll miss Marcus though as I thought he was really fun to watch.

  17. Brazilian Hornet

    February 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for everything, Marcus. We love you. Above all, you will always be a Hornet.

  18. Thornton's Thunder

    February 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Very well written, Joe…very well written indeed! Thanks for the video clip…I’ll never forget what the arena was like when those moments occured!! ‘The New Orleans Arena…where Marcus Thornton happened!!!!’

  19. QueenBee

    February 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Welp, I said wake me after the All-Star break so here I am. 🙂

    Sorry to see Marcus go but looking forward to see what Landry will bring to the team.

  20. QueenBee

    February 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    The Hornets do well down the stretch and into the playoffs, not many will be thinking of Marcus Thornton.

    I loved his ability to get to the rim. So fast in his driving. Fearless is what I used to call him.

  21. QueenBee

    February 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    LOL @ that video clip. One of my favorite Hornets dunks of all times. LOL. Marcus’ll probably do that to Landry on 3/12. LOL!

  22. TruthBeTold

    February 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I understand the logic of who we got in the trade, but not who we gave up. Two words commonly used by Monty when talking about Marcus “defense” and “inconsistent.” Now, the last time I checked “his guys” Jack, Belinelli, Smith, Anderson, and Mbenga are the farthest things from being ideal. Jack is ok on defense, but inconsistent on offense. The rest should be showered with the same two words! The thing that separates Marcus from them is offensive ability. With the exception of Jack, none of these guys can create their own shot!!! If their not “wide open” it’s pure panic on offense. Smith, Anderson and Gray are the most pathetic 7ft players in the NBA (I can’t call them big men because neither likes the “post area”). How pathetic is it when you try to include a player in a trade (Anderson) and the other team flat out says “no we don’t want him?” Marcus was the only NBA caliber player on the bench that any other NBA team would consider trading for, maybe Jack and/or Green too. This is the bench Monty wanted cause none of these losers played here last year. CP3 is going to look at this roster in the off season and will laugh, therefore, he will be gone! He wants to play with “athletic” players who can play above the rim, which no one on this roster can except Ariza. Guess I’ll buy a half season ticket package next year, cause CP3 is gone and there’s no other “exciting” player on the roster.

  23. m-W

    February 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Great post Joe, and with a great video. I loved that so much. So quick, so explosive, and with that fastdraw shot. Man, I will miss him.

  24. JCS

    February 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I echo the good stuff people said about him or whatever, but um…now that the kid is gone, can we stop giving the players shitey nicknames? Little Bucky was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Please, let’s make it stop.

    • 42

      February 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

      How about Turkey Glue? Kobme?

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