Hornets Beat: Fan Edition

Published: July 25, 2011

In this weeks edition of Hornets Beat, we will be taking a look back and then forward from the perspective of some of New Orleans’ finest souls. We have a superhero (of sorts), four writers, and five questions. No time to waste on this fine Monday Morning so let’s get to it.

The Purple Hornet was a Bee-Zanie last year, and is one of the most visually recognizable fans the Hornets have ever had. Alejandro de los Rios covers the Hornets for Gambit’s Blog of New Orleans. say-what is a long time contributor and owner at Hornets Report. Mason Ginsberg is a writer for HoopDat. I’m some dude who snuck by security.

1. When and why did you first become a Hornets fan?

The Purple Hornet, Superfan- I’ve been an NBA fan since I can remember and followed a bunch of teams in my life time. When I heard we were actually getting an NBA team in 2002, my loyalties went directly to our hometown team. I can’t imagine following anyone but the Hornets now.

Alejandro de los Rios, Gambit- Three years ago when the Hornets made that crazy run and lost to the Spurs in Game 7 not only made me a Hornets fan but also reinvigorated my love for the NBA

say-what, Hornets Report- I first became a Hornets fan during the relocation process, probably January of 2002. I suffered through the loss of the Jazz and was glad that the NBA was giving us a well-deserved second chance.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- I’ve been a huge basketball fan for my entire life, so I naturally became a Hornets fan the instant that the team announced it was moving to New Orleans.

Joe Gerrity- I had followed the team to some extend since I decided to move to New Orleans originally, but it was the first game I attended after they came back from Katrina, against Philadelphia, that I really became a die-hard.

2. What was your favorite day in Hornets history?

The Purple Hornet, Superfan- “..with the 13th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft..the Hornets select…Julian Wright from Kansas” KIDDING. As a Hornets fan, I can’t pick one day in history, so I’m going to choose the 07-08 Season. 56-26 and Conference Champs, beating the Mavs in the first round and taking the Spurs to 7 games in the Conference Semis. It was the season where we all saw the start of greatness in the city or so we thought.

Alejandro de los Rios, Gambit- When they hired Monty Williams and Dell Demps, shook themselves out of the funk of the Bower/Scott years and became a competent and exciting young franchise

say-what, Hornets Report- Opening night, October 30, 2002. Hornets beat the Jazz. Nothing could top that night for me.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- October 30th, 2002 is up there (opening night of the Hornets’ first season in NOLA), but I think April 29th, 2008 edges it out (game 5 series-clinching victory over Dallas). It still stands as the city’s only NBA playoff series victory, and I won’t soon forget how nice it was to convincingly prove all of the doubters wrong who made us the trendy pick for a first round upset.

Joe Gerrity- I want to say it was the watch party that Hornets247 threw for the opening game of the playoff series against LA, but I think I’m going to go with April 29th, 2008. It was my birthday, and I got to dance in the streets with Soul Rebels after clinching the series against Dallas.

3. What was your least favorite day?

The Purple Hornet, Superfan- April 27, 2009 — 58 point loss to Denver in the playoffs. Besides the game 7 loss to the Spurs in the Conference Semis, this was the hardest loss to sit in the Arena for. Even though 3/4′s of the Arena had left, we sat there until the final buzzer and endured the full pain with our team.

Alejandro de los Rios, Gambit- Every day someone reminds me of the sketchy ownership situation or another CP3 trade rumor comes up

say-what, Hornets Report- Not so much a day as it was an era – the 2 year fiasco that was the OKC years. The Hornets, and George Shinn, botched their “temporary” stay in OKC and OKC’s politicians and business leaders with an eye towards looting the team didn’t help. The Hornets made New Orleans feel like unwanted stepchildren.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- The game that stung the most was game 7 against the Spurs in the 2008 Western Conference semis (5/19/08). I know it was the greatest season in the team’s brief tenure here, but having it end on our home court after being up three games to two really hurt. Least favorite day overall? June 30th, 2011. Regardless of the state of the Hornets’ franchise, basketball is better than no basketball, so the day that the current lockout began tops all else.

Joe Gerrity- The loss against the Nuggets was pretty awful by itself, but at the time Frogs

Gone Fishin, a band from Denver, was staying at my house. There was no getting away from that one no matter how hard I tried. They still bring it up whenever I see them…

4. What would you expect your interest level would be in the NBA if they missed an entire season due to a lockout?

The Purple Hornet, Superfan- My interest level will be the same no matter what. I love basketball, have always loved basketball and will always love basketball. I’m ready for the season to start tomorrow, but we all know this will be a long and drawn out process. I’m just hoping we get to see some basketball this season.

Alejandro de los Rios, Gambit- As much as I love the NBA…I can live without it. That’s not to say that I won’t go back to watching games when they get back, but the owners and players are pretty stupid to go from one the most exciting seasons in recent memory to a labor dispute that could cancel the next

say-what, Hornets Report- If the NBA were to miss the entire season, I’d probably lose whatever remaining interest I have in the league. Yes, that was my initial reaction to the question. But, I really need to qualify this response. I’d lose total interest if the end result were a CBA that didn’t result in financial and competitive balance for the smaller market teams and/or left the top players on each team with too much control over player and coaching decisions. If these concerns are met, I still wouldn’t just come back as if nothing happened, but I’d eventually come around.

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- Like most of us, my interest level in the NBA would obviously be diminished in the short term with no basketball being played. That being said, I’m a sucker for pro basketball and love the NBA too much to be any less interested in the league itself whenever play resumes, no matter how selfish the owners and players act.

Joe Gerrity- If we miss an entire season, small market teams take a bad deal to resolve things, and Gary Chouest makes it clear he wasn’t going to buy, then it would be a lot harder to care as much. Fortunately I don’t think any of those three things will happen.

5. How do you feel about re-branding the franchise under a new owner?

The Purple Hornet, Superfan- Funny you ask. On a certain website this week, while searching for hats, 4 out of their 5 hats were Charlotte Hornets hats. I’m not one of the fans pushing for it, but if it happens, it happens. I’m a firm believer that winning cures all. Win and the fans of New Orleans will show up and claim the Hornets as their own. Let’s get an owner first, one who is looking to improve this roster and win some games. Personally, re-branding is the last thing on my to-do list. IF it happens though, my name choice is The KREWE of New Orleans.

Alejandro de los Rios, Gambit- I don’t necessarily think a new owner will “rebrand” the franchise. At least, I hope not because the Hornets PR and marketing have done a great job forging the team’s identity here in New Orleans (even though, as I’ve said, the Hornets need to put in five times as much effort to get less than half the attention of the Saints).

say-what, Hornets Report- The Hornets desperately need a rebrand. Ten years later and people still call them the Charlotte Hornets. Now with the mess George Shinn created that led to his turning the team over to the league, a fresh start is needed more than ever. The Hornets have long been referred to as “cheap” and “struggling”, why keep a name with so much negative baggage?

Mason Ginsberg, Hoopdat- If the objective is to give the team a more local flavor, then sure, why not? At first I was skeptical of the idea, but that kind of action would show a great deal of commitment to the city, so any new owner who wished to do so would be okay in my book.

Joe Gerrity- I would support an owner who wanted to localize the branding a little more. The fact is, Hornets aren’t bees. They also live in nests, not hives. The whole thing is very confusing, especially since I’ve never seen one in Louisiana.


  1. Hornet Seantonio

    July 25, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I love the name Hornets

  2. Nithenz

    July 25, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Started watching them in 92, so it would certanly suck if the Hornets were re-branded…

  3. da ThRONe

    July 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    1. I became a fan the day they moved to NOLA. It’s funny how that works. From complete indifference to loyal fan.

    2. The day we drafted CP3.

    3. Game 7 against the Spurs. I was there was proud of the team and fan base.

    4. It’s hard to say. Mostly likely it won’t change much. One of the problems IMO with hoops is it harder to follow. Unlike football which are Sat. and Sun. afternoonms.

  4. da ThRONe

    July 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    As for the last question. One one hand I’m just use to the name Hornets so normally I would say no. In this case I do think the team needs a new image. Something maybe a little meaningful to New Orleans. This would really make sense if we plan on blowing the team up. And start with CP3 and build around him. Hopefully snag a big name via trade.

  5. MelDee

    July 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    if they have to change the name, then i’d go for the blues.

  6. da ThRONe

    July 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    How about the New Orleans Bayou!

  7. Gaiking

    July 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I’ve been a fan of the Hornets since the season they were added to the league, I was like 8 years old when my mother bought me a pack of NBA trading cards, I remember going through them and looking at the team logos on the cards and picking then and there the Hornets as my team because of how awesome the logo was. I’ve followed the Hornets since and have always considered them as my team.

    The Hornets have been the only professional sports team I follow and support and will continue for as long as they are the Hornets. I get extremely sad when the subject of rebranding the team comes around, it wouldn’t be the same for me without the Hornets logo.

    I realize that most of the fans of this site are fans since they moved to New Orleans and as such I wasn’t expecting one of the 5 to be an old school Hornets fan; but it would have been nice to have read the answers to those questions from an older perspective.

    • 42

      July 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      Are you suggesting a theme for a edition of this series?

      I think you are.

      Be careful what you wish… Ha!

  8. Hornetsworldwide

    July 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    1. In 1992 i was 8yrs old. Turn on the TV after moving to Australia and remember seening Muggys Bogues balling in the land of the giants, from then on the Hornets had my heart.
    2. Not a particular day rather the two Playoff runs the hornets made in 2001 & 2008.
    3. 2001 losing game 7 in the 2nd rnd to the Bucks and in 2008 to the Spurs.
    4. Im a NBA junkie, Need I say more.
    5. I understand that the new owner may want the city to feel more connected to the team by re-branding it. But let me just say The Hornets have always been one of the most popluar team because of their name and colours. The Hornets have a big International following. Personally Im a hornets fan first, regardless of were The Hornets play I will always support them.

    • Hornetsworldwide

      July 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      *Where they play*

  9. crazyb1125

    July 29, 2011 at 1:13 am

    1.) When=since they first announced that the hornets will be in New Orleans. why? because i’ve been praying and hoping for a New Orleans basketbaLL team to be formed down there for a long long time. I’ve also been praying at that time that the Saints would win the super-bowl. thank you GOD for answering my prAYS for that!

    2.) I’m gonna have to say the whole 2008 playoffz series with texas (DAL, & SA) seing Jannero Pargo score 30 pts in that game convinced me that we never should’ve let him go. we need all those players and more to get us at least back to that point to convince Paul.

    3.) when in 08-09 playoff run against the Denver Nuggets. they complete destroyed us at home as well as away, and the player( who was one of my faves when he was in da NO) that torched us badly was apart of that team i’m talking about J.R. Smith!

    4.) my interest level in the NBA would defintely go down to the point to where I’ll be watching BASEBALL, and I don’t like watching basebaLL. well I’d watch it if we had an MLB team in New Orleans, but other than that no, but my interest in the HORNETS will never fade away!!

    5.)I think they really should Localize it for sure. I just wish UTAH would localize thERE TEAM TO SO WE CAN CALL our old team name back! or maybe a team called the New Orleans cajuns,crabs, or cresents,hell i’d would even put in that name category the N.O. Hurricanes, because not even a hurricane can slow down the spirit of New Orleans!!! with new team names,new arena, new uniforms, might attract new players, more people, and more cover time on ESPN. Money$ money$ money$

  10. BJAH

    August 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

    It has bugged me since the first day the Hornets moved to N.O. I was sure we would change from the Hornets to something that fit New Orleans. I was so excited when we got another NBA team, but I will admit that keeping the Hornets logo made it hard to really be a solid fan – I know that sounds like a very weak fan, but the “Hornets”! I love what the organization has done making the Hornets look a bit more N.O., especially the fluer-de-bee!. But all you have to do is look at the Hornets24/7 logo. It’s that silly looking little bee! Jeez, it makes me crazy. Please change the name to fit the city, it IS a big deal for New Orleans.

    • da ThRONe

      August 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

      Yeah I live in L.A. now and sometimes when I wear my NOLA Hornets gear people say Charlotte Hornets and I’m forced to correct them and inform them the Hornets has been in NOLA for a decade now.

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