Cutting Loose

Published: June 2, 2013

You’re playing so cool
Obeying every rule
Dig way down in your heart
You’re yearning, burning for some

Somebody to tell you
That life ain’t passing you by
I’m trying to tell you
It will if you don’t even try

You can fly if you’d only cut

Loose, Footloose
Kick off your Sunday shoes

— Kenny Loggins, Footloose


Most of what the New Orleans Pelicans are doing now is preparing for the draft and free agency, and they are not really inclined to tip their hand on their plans, regardless of what it may seem. When they start bringing in prospects, even then the information sent by the organization is serving a purpose other than informing the public and other teams about their plans.

Other preparation involves the healing of some injured Pelicans players.

  • Eric Gordon’s walking boot is off, which is good progress.
  • Greivis Vasquez wants fans to know he’s doing well.
  • Jason Smith is looking good as the New Orleans Pelicans
    support Oyster Fest

    I’m cautiously optimistic that this event is not only the first of many such events, but that the effect will be to educate the locals and the world about the importance of our coastal regions to our delicious seafood that so much more for the region than make meals worthy of traveling the world to taste.

    From out of the water, to shucked, covered in cocktail sauce and slurped away in about five minutes, Tuesday’s visit to the Bayou was about more than the freshest-possible raw oyster tasting experience–but it was a nice side benefit. Members of the New Orleans Pelicans joined local business owners and restaurateurs on a visit to local oyster beds near Empire, La. The trip was an opportunity for the organization to learn about oyster farming and how it serves in the creation and restoration of wetland habitat.

    The New Orleans Pelicans are committed to utilizing their new branding as a means to educate and increase awareness about the need for coastal restoration. Today’s visit to the Jurisich Oysters family-owned oyster beds were an important step. The family took the group on its harvesting boats into the bayou and allowed the opportunity to observe as it used alabaster and limestone to build the new bedrock for future oyster beds. Owner Mitch Jurisich explained the role his oyster farm plays in coastal restoration, “Oysterman have been known since the early 1900’s as coastal planners. Our forefathers lined their shorelines with oyster shells to protect themselves because that’s where they lived… We constantly do things that improve the habitat and keep the ecosystem alive.”

    The tour served as a kickoff for Oyster Fest 2013. The Co-Founder of Oyster Fest, which takes place this weekend of June 1 and 2 in the French Quarter, Sal Sunseri spoke about how important coastal restoration is to his livelihood as well. As a Co-Owner of P&J Oysters, Sunseri was thrilled to see the work being done on Louisiana’s shoreline. “The original idea was to create the oyster capital of America right here in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Part of it is that we’re celebrating the farmers, the restaurateurs and chefs that have created it,” the restaurateur explained, “What we want do now is give back to the coast. Just like the (New Orleans) Pelicans, they are directly related to coastal restoration and we want to create a partnership that helps America and the rest of the world realize just how vital the Louisiana coast is, and that the oyster creates the foundation for all fisheries and plays a major role in the restoring the coast.”

    Jason Smith’s Oyster Fest Tweet

    He also found his favorite fan (on instagram).

    • Around the Site

      With the draft just a few weeks away (June 27th), the Sixth Pick Tournament has tipped-off.

      Mike pulled together Pelicans-involved news and rumors.

      Finally, James Grayson takes his talents to Sellicks Beach gives a review of Joe Ingles, an Australian SF playing in the European League’s FC Barcelona outfit.

      `Voices’ of the People

      I also watched Eagles all season during the Euroleague and I totally agree with you. The guy is an average defender at best, can’t handle the rock very well and his athletisism is not good for the NBA level. It is true however that he can stretch the floor. If Dell wants to take a bet in europe at that position here are a couple of guys he can target


      This an interesting dilemma, big man with foot issues versus inefficient self-centered gunner. I think in comparison I will take Len, not because I believe he will be great, but because he takes less of the table.

      I think there is an interesting comparison between Rivers and Shabazz. Last year the bad press Rivers was getting as far as attitude was concerned turned out to be unfair or at the very least did not predict how we would carry himself. You do have to wonder what we really know about Shabazz’s personality. Crazy Dad or not. Nature or nurture. My guess a lot of people out there succeed in spite of wacked out parenting.

      Still I’ll vote for Len, though Schwan made me think about this one a lot more than I though I would


      I think their is a danger with Shabazz to get to distracted by superficial criticisms , I mean why not be encouraged by superficial praise like his name is Shabazz Muhammad , that’s a name. Great names always pan out in the NBA ( ie.the championship pistons they had an incredible 4/5 great name rate, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton , Tayshaun Prince, Rasheeeeed Waaaaallaaace ). But if you prefer to look at what you actually know… here’s what we know he’s long and strong enough to play the 3 , he’s strong enough to continue to score in the post against NBA athletes, he has always been able to score, he rebounds fantastically for his size and he cares ( it seems the argument is rather he cares the right or preferred way their is no real argument that he does not care about basketball or winning ) . He is the reality to Len’s expectation . Len could be this or that , but all you really know is he is 7 ft, 19 , and has foot problems. Vote Shabazz ya’ll.


      42 Sense

      The latest in good news for Sacramento is the hiring of former lead assistant to Monty Williams, Mike Malone, as their new head coach. Vivek Ranadive’s familiarity with him from their mutual time with the Warriors likely played a role, but so did Malone’s talent, evidenced by clear difference his presence on the coaching staff has on the on-the-court performance.

      The Hornets were able to attract Malone to New Orleans in the midst of turmoil on the ownership front, partially by making him a Lead Assistant, partially because of Monty Williams. Furthering this, Sam Amick joins the Cowbell Kingdom podcast to discuss the Malone hire and more. During the course of the discussion, he praises Monty and his reputation around the NBA.

      Additionally, James Borrego left the Hornets to become a lead assistant in Orlando.

      The Pelicans should be able to attract more talented coaches than the Hornets did under Monty’s first 3 seasons. While the team had Chris Paul under contract during that first season, those coaches hired on amid swirling rumors that Chris Paul would be leaving that same Summer. The Pelicans, on the other hand, have Anthony Davis under control for more than 5 more seasons and other talent under contract for the near-term, along with good books and a rapidly improving off-the-court portfolio of resources.

      Randy Ayers, the current lead assistant, has head coaching experience and come to New Orleans in Monty’s first season, taking over as lead assistant with Malone left 2 years ago. He is known as capable, wise, and a teacher. Bryan Gates has head coaching experience in other leagues and has been with the team since Monty’s first round of hiring with Borrego and Malone. Fred Vinson hired in with Ayers and has been known as a coach who helps acclimate and develop rookies. Dave Hanners was added after Malone was hired away. He has an extensive background, including being an advance scout for the national team and a video coordinator.

      No coach was hired since Borrego left, leaving the team with 4 assistants instead of 5. The Pelicans, therefore, may in the market for a coach. This lack of manpower compared to previous years may explain some of the regression of the team in some key areas, but refraining from making a hire for hiring’s sake is positive.

      This team needs some coaching changes, but not at the top level, which is what those who analyze shallowly immediately recommend. Rather, at least 1 assistant needs to be added. Things are either stagnant or regressing, making this acquisition potentially as influential as any other for the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason.


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