Hornets Beat: Gassy Hugo Edition

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Published: August 22, 2011

Congratulations! You’re a winner! As a prize I award you with this week’s edition of Hornets Beat. We’re looking at (what else?) some lockout related issues. No need to beat around the giant Air Hugo, so let’s roll.

Joining us this week are Will Hibert (LSUHornet17) from At The Hive and mW from Hornets Hype, along with ktulu909 and defuz from Hornets Report.

1. Fact or Fiction: The New Orleans Hornets stand to lose the most of any team in the event of a prolonged lockout.

Saw this guy at the Hornets Family Fun Day

Will Hibert (At The Hive)- Fact. The Demps/Monty duo basically have one season to prove to Chris Paul that they can build a championship contender around him here. If that season is significantly shortened or lost, that already daunting task becomes near impossible. Also, the league’s (Stern) attempts to prove to potential owners and the rest of the league that New Orleans is a viable NBA market certainly won’t be aided by the negative press and declining fan interest resulting from a prolonged lockout. All of this combines for some tremendously bad timing for the Hornets, who certainly have some issues that the rest of the league does not.

defuz (Hornets Report)- Fact. With refund options already forwarded to season ticket holders, any games lost in this coming season will only mean a loss from the number of seats sold to date. We may have a potential local owner waiting in the wings, but my confidence level is waning after their past committal issues.

ktulu909 (Hornets Report)- Fact. With the current ownership situation and constant relocation talks before a looming lockout, diminishing the fans’ interest in this team can only do more damage to the franchise than good.The NBA may benefit long term,but the New Orleans Hornets may end up casualties.

mW (Hornets Hype)- Fiction.  The Hornets are owned by the NBA, and Stern indicated the NBA won’t sell until the new CBA is in place.  The team will be worth more by then, and a new owner should be eager to capitalize on CP3 and co. with rules likely to be better than currently in place.

2. Do you support a hard cap?

Will Hibert (At The Hive)- I’m not sure if I’m for a totally hard cap. I certainly think that the cap needs to be “harder” than the current format. It is simply too easy for the large markets to pay the luxury tax every year and outspend  the competition. Ultimately, I want whatever system will best even the playing field between large and small markets. If that means a hard cap, then so be it.

defuz (Hornets Report)- Yes. Parity will only come with a level playing field, not super-teams arranged by players or big market teams with deep pockets.

ktulu909 (Hornets Report)- Yes. In my opinion a hard cap is the way to go to promote parity throughout the league. That way you dont have big market teams buying themselves championships.

mW (Hornets Hype)- Yes.  Modern sports don’t work without a hard cap.  Exhibit A: NFL.  Exhibit B: MLB.  Case closed.  Also, a fake issue by players.  The hard cap could be set at any number, be it $50M or $150M.  So, what number that cap is should be what the Union is discussing with the League, not whether there should be one.

3. Do you support guaranteed contracts like those that existed in the last CBA?

Will Hibert (At The Hive)- I don’t have a huge issue with guaranteed contracts, but I do think they should be shorter. The four year mid-level contracts (Posey, MoPete), can kill absolutely kill a team’s cap situation. Maybe guarantee contracts for 3 years with only team options or incentive-based years available after that. In that case you could still offer a 5 year deal, but with the last two years being a team option or a team option with partial guarantees based on performance.

defuz (Hornets Report)- No. I can see a compromise where the first year or two can be guaranteed. Beyond that, it’s suicidal and results in teams with ridiculously priced subs sitting on the bench and holding back their ability to improve their squad, often for years at a time.

ktulu909 (Hornets Report)- No. Guaranteed contracts are one of the major problems that got the NBA where it is now. Look at players like Mashburn, Davis, Peja, etc. All are perfect examples of how guaranteed money can cripple a team for years.

mW (Hornets Hype)- I think there might be a good middle ground on this one.  The NFL is a little weird when “contracts” can be torn up, like, whenever.  I don’t mind giving a player a little security, but to have someone sign for $120M over 6 years and blow out his knee 30 games into that contract…well, that’s not right either (especially if it counts against the cap the whole time).

4. Who do you trust more, the Owners or the Players Association?

Will Hibert (At The Hive)- Trust? Can I pick neither? I feel like the players themselves are pretty sincere in their stance, but I also get the feeling that many of them are simply going with the flow and have no idea what exactly is being fought over. As for Billy Hunter, he may be even less likeable than David Stern, which is saying something. So far, I really have not been a fan of his constant hellfire and brimstone routine. With people like Donald Sterling and Clay Bennett representing the owners, how can you not trust them? Basically, I trust neither side, but because the owners winning this fight is probably the best bet for the continued long term success of the Hornets in New Orleans, I am firmly planted in their camp.

defuz (Hornets Report)- Owners… by a hair. In a declining global economy I find the specter of millionaire players squabbling with billionaire owners somewhat sickening given the dysfunctional model the NBA is today. They both need to accept lower financial expectations and embrace parity. Maybe I’m dreaming.

ktulu909 (Hornets Report)- Is neither an option? If I have to pick one, I suppose I side with the owners in this particular situation. I’m sure they aren’t losing money like they say they are, but the current system is and has been clearly broken for some time now.

mW (Hornets Hype)- Neither.  But the Union is going to get NHL’d if they don’t wake up.

5. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you care about Cheerleaders at NBA games?

Will Hibert (At The Hive)- Hmm. I’m going to answer this as a fan who has only been to games in the Arena, and I guess I’ll go with a 6. I certainly like them better than some of the other forms of timeout entertainment (especially the Mardi Gras race). They are infinitely less embarrassing than some of the brainless contests we saw last year (Kleenex pulling race anyone?). Ultimately, I don’t think I’d care much if they were gone unless it resulted in something worse taking their place. They are talented and a decent distraction 2 or 3 times a game during breaks.

defuz (Hornets Report)- As I attend with my wife, I’d have to say, 2. I’m there for the game. I appreciate their part of the overall entertainment package, but to me they are meaningless. That said, if they were eliminated, I can see where they would be missed by some. In the event she doesn’t read this, maybe my rating would climb by a point or five…..

ktulu909 (Hornets Report)- Three. Sure they are great to look at and I can appreciate all the effort gone into the routines, but I have to say it would never change how I view the game-day experience.

mW (Hornets Hype)- Care? Zero.  Appreciate?  No comment.

Will Hibert (LSUHornet17) writes for At The Hive . mW operates Hornets Hype. ktulu909 and defuz are long time moderators at Hornets Report.

There are also a number of recent journals that you should definitely take a look at, if you haven’t already–

8/18: New Orleans- The Place Superman Should Be by neitzelbaby12

8/20: The Best Most Realistic Offseason Move by da ThRONe

8/21: Legit Trades- Part 1 by neitzelbaby12

8/21: Lockout=Good/Bad 4 Hornets by The Mackbee

8/22: CP3 & other NBA stars may be heading Down Under by neitzelbaby12

2 comments
crazyb1125
crazyb1125

1.)Fact w/no owner, CP3 walks,no Cahance of resigning D.West, Refunds for everyone! seems like the Hornets loses a lot from there! 2.)Yes I think a hard for every team is in order. I betcha the Lakers,Mavericks,Magics,Spurs, and Heat won't be happy about that but it will fair Battle field then! 3.)No! Guarantee contracts will always kill teams and prevent them tradind to other teams. Prime example: Emeka Okafor. 4.)Neither to me. its both the Players fault and the owners as well!!! 5.)2-5 I would say.

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

1. I think it all depends on the CBA. We get the right CBA even losing an entire year. Will be a plus for us. 2. No a hard cap isn't fair for all parties. As much as I hate the Lakers a 48million dollar hard cap would cripple them. I think we need a cap ceiling that's no more than 15% higher from the cap and a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 luxury tax. 3. From a player stand point whats the point of signing a non guarenteed contract. Can't believe the NFL players agreed to NGC. Awful deal. I would suggest as system that give but parties an ETO in the middle of the contracts. This is one area front office personnel just has to be smarter about the deals they give out. 4. The players easily. They may not be right, but or much more honest and this is why they will lose.