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The Hornets take the Red Carpet

Published: February 26, 2011

Tomorrow night, the Academy will hand out the Oscars to celebrate the finest films of the year. 10 movies are nominated for Best Picture this year, and they each have made a unique contribution to the landscape as a whole, similar to how each Hornet has contributed in their own way to what has been a roller coaster season for the Hornets. In that vein, let’s take a look at how life imitates art as we draw the parallels between the Hornets and these Best Picture nominees. (Contains some Spoilers)

Chris Paul / True Grit

Rooster Cogburn is considered an All-Time great tracker and bounty hunter who simply is not what he used to be physically, but remains elite due to his savviness and sheer determination. Chris Paul has gotten through this season due in large part to his “True Grit”, as he has fought back from the most severe injury of his career to lead the Hornets right back into the hunt for a Western Conference title.

He has his eyes set on the prize, and although he might have to face some Young Guns in the first round, many expect CP3 to go right after the Thunder like Rooster did in the climactic scene in True Grit. Head on, with no fear, CP3 leads the Hornets into the playoffs, willing to do whatever it takes to complete the task at hand.

Monty Williams / Inception

Opening Scene: The Hornets sit in the locker room of the practice facility, waiting for their new coach to show up. Monty Williams calmly walks through the door and stands in front of them quietly for a few seconds. The room is silent. Players anxiously wait for their new leader to give them direction. Finally Monty speaks.

“Don’t think about defense.”

He turns around and walks out of the room with a sly smile on his face. For the rest of the practice, they don’t know why, but all the players can think about is defense, and thus the stage is set. Monty has performed Inception on this team, and on David West specifically. Before Okafor got hurt, this team was on pace for the second greatest defensive improvement in the last 35 years!

Here’s hoping none of the players check their totem.

Dell Demps / 127 Hours

Dell Demps was trapped. He had two point guards and one of them had to go in order to ensure the survival of the team. One arm had to be cut off in order to ensure that the body as a whole could survive. It’s a decision no GM wants to make, to get rid of a young, talented guy on a rookie contract, but the fact was that he played the same position as his superstar and Demps chose to take the risk by getting rid of a vital piece.

After hearing the story of Aron Ralston, nearly everyone asked themselves, “Would you do that to survive? Could you even do it?” Many fans questioned Demps about the decision he made (and they still do), but he made a tough decision and moved forward. I guess this makes Jarrett Jack a prosthetic, right?

Willie Green / The Fighter

Mickey Ward was not the most talented, he was not the biggest, and he had numerous obstacles standing in his way, but not only did he find a way to survive in his sport, he actually thrived. He had issues with family, tragedies that would cause any man to break down and consider giving it all up, yet he kept moving forward and because of that he came out on the other side tougher than ever.

Willie Green endured a tragedy this year that no person should have to endure and nobody would have blamed him if he had simply taken the rest of the year off to take care of personal and family matters. But after a short time away, Willie came back to the team and has performed better than ever. He might not be the most skilled two-guard in the league, but he gives 100% effort every night and he refuses to be outworked. There is no quit in Willie Green. On a team where the leading scorer takes up Boxing in the offseason, it is Green who truly is The Fighter.

Marcus Thornton / Black Swan

From every direction, Natalie Portman’s character is pushed and pulled to be something or someone different. Her director wants her to embrace her dark side, her new friend wants to see her let go, and her mother wants for her to remain a child. Over time, her identity is lost and split personalities emerge, until one day, when asked where her true self has gone she exclaims, “She’s not here anymore!”

And such is Marcus. Pulled in all directions- fans wanted to see the carefree guy they knew last year, Monty wanted to control him, and his teammates asked him to mature both on and off the court. In the end, Marcus simply lost his identity, and now He’s not here anymore! Here’s hoping that he has a happier ending than Portman did. Although I don’t know which is worse, (SPOILER ALERT!!!) death or playing for the Kings.

Other, less obvious, connections:

Emeka Okafor / The Social Network

More than almost anything, Mark Zuckerberg was fueled by not getting invited into the Final Clubs. Emeka has never been to the playoffs- the ultimate destination being the FINALS. Oh yeah, and both guys are wicked smart.

DJ Mbenga, Aaron Gray, Quincy Pondexter, Pops Menash-Bonsu/ Toy Story 3

The toys wish that their owner would stop taking them for granted and just play with them more. These little used reserves just wish that Monty would play them more. Oh well, at least they have each other. And is there any doubt that Mbenga would make a great Mr. Potato Head?

Marco Belinelli / The King’s Speech

The guy doesn’t talk much, but I have gotten a chance to be there when Joe interviewed him and Marco is quite charming once you get past the sometimes hard to understand accent.

Jarrett Jack / The Kids are All Right

An unconventional family is reenergized when somebody new is introduced into the dynamic. At certain times, the new member appears to be a perfect fit, while other times it appears that this new member might just tear everything apart. Such is Jarrett Jack.

Winter’s Bone . . . I got Nothin’

Here is the synopsis, you figure it out:
With an absent father and a withdrawn and depressed mother, 17 year-old Ree Dolly keeps her family together in a dirt poor rural area. She’s taken aback however when the local Sheriff tells her that her father put up their house as collateral for his bail and unless he shows up for his trial in a week’s time, they will lose it all. She knows her father is involved in the local drug trade and manufactures crystal meth, but everywhere she goes the message is the same: stay out of it and stop poking your nose in other people’s business. She refuses to listen, even after her father’s brother, Teardrop, tells her he’s probably been killed. She pushes on, putting her own life in danger, for the sake of her family until the truth, or enough of it, is revealed.


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