Five Storylines Sure to Rock the World of New Orleans Hornets Fans

Published: November 11, 2011

Whenever this silly lockout does come to a conclusion, New Orleans Hornets fans are going to find themselves right in the middle of some pretty serious stories that will likely determine the long and short term future of the franchise as a whole.

Ha! You thought the lockout was a big deal? That was just the tip of the iceberg.

Things are going to get U-G-L-Y, and we don’t have an alibi. We don’t even want one. What does that even mean? Why would you need an excuse for being ugly? Who even cares if you are? I was told long ago by an electrician of mine that ugly is only on the inside. Can’t say I disagree even a little.

Anyway, we’re going to be right smack in the middle of a hailstorm with our names all over the pelting comments. Our opinions will matter because in the world of the internet my comment means just as much as yours or Bill Simmons, and oh BOY is there going to be a lot of opinionated content, both good, bad, and ugly. We’re going to scream and we’re going to shout. We’re going going to attack our computers and swear off the team and our fellow fans. Friends will turn on friends. Enemies will realize they have more in common than they thought.

Some will go crazy, as some always do. They will become fixated on one issue, unable to talk about anything else. They will shout about it endlessly on all articles and forum threads and news posts, regardless of what the story is actually about. They will relate a Mo-P hangnail to the immediate need to fire Jeff Bower. They will insist that Monty be let go for not playing Thornton enough, even as the team is undefeated. They will act irrationally, and they will be asked to stop, and they won’t. They just won’t stop, because YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THEY STILL FEEL THE SAME WAY THEY DID EARLIER. OBVIOUSLY THEY WILL AT SOME POINT SWITCH TO ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT IS LOUDER. THEY NEED TO BE THE LOUDEST BECAUSE THEY ARE THE RIGHEST!!!

Here are the issues that will divide and bring us together. This is what our year looks like if (<– that’s a big if) the players accept the most recent deal.

The push for 11,000

No, that’s not a typo. I’m predicting the Hornets are going to flirt with getting 11,000 full season ticket holders before opening tip of game one. For those scoring at home, that would be an increase of roughly 4700 (75%) from the end of last year’s regular season. This one won’t divide us at all, and will be an awesome way to stick our middle fingers up at the rest of the league for doubting us.

David West’s Free Agency

While West hasn’t always been spectators’ favorite defensive player, he’s generally avoided being a part of conversations that threaten to ruin friendships. That might change. Signing the guy to a 10 million dollar a year deal is treading water. Don’t get me wrong, he’s one of my favorite players. I love that he’s always been here. We share the same opinion about Joe Paterno. I just don’t see what the point of signing an older guy who is a known quantity and now coming off a serious knee injury is, unless the deal is great. It won’t be.

Some will say, “Joe. There is nobody to replace him with.” That’s kind of right (we’ll discuss that in another article), but we have no chance of winning the title with the core as presently built, and nobody is going to trade us an older unhappy all star (dwight???) for an even older all star with a longer contract. Being pretty good is cool in the NBA, but being young and talented with the potential to be great for a long time is much more fun.

Unless the plan is to pretend to win a title with West and Paul, and then blow it up about halfway through if things aren’t going extremely well and get a ton of draft picks and young stars, I just don’t see the point. That plan, though, is actually not too shabby.

CP3: To Trade or Not to Trade

As far as issues go, this one is the biggest and it really hasn’t been addressed yet by the fan base. Chris Paul is the basketball son that New Orleans had been begging since 2002. He’s cool. He’s a size that inspires the less than enourmous. He’s low key and down to earth. He helps out around the community and says mostly the right things in interviews. On the court he ain’t too shabby, either.

But there was that “big three” comment…

And it isn’t exactly a well kept secret that he really, really wants to win…

So Hornets fans (and certain GM’s) will face a point where they will look at themselves and ask the most important question they will face about players all year– With the new CBA, additions to the team, and future salary cap flexibility, have we positioned ourselves to the point where keeping Chris Paul and attempting to re-sign him after the season is worth the risk of losing him for just about nothing to a larger market, and having to rebuild the team from utter scratch and without lots of draft picks in what will be a very, very deep and talented draft?

Let me be the first to say that I would love to watch Monty and Dell build a team from draft picks and hand picked free agents. I would also love to see them build a team around CP3, but I really think Dell is going to have to get lucky to make that reality. Just my opinion.

*Because the sign and trade limitations in the proposed CBA are phased in, CP3 could still take part in a traditional sign and trade to big market teams.

Who Dat Owner?

We’ve all long thought (and I still think) that Chouest is the guy who buys the majority of the team. I keep my ear to the ground and people I trust have told me that he wants to do it still, that he’s preparing to do it. But don’t think that there aren’t lots of other potential owners who are interested, both local and long distance.

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen since nobody has fully outed the groups that have formed to purchase the team, but you can bet that if there is a choice, we will have something to say about it. Something loud.

Dat Owner Gonna Rebrand?!?!?!

Quick get under your desks! A Nuclear bomb is coming! That’s about the best way I can describe what’s going to happen after a new owner buys the team. I’ll be at the press conference when whoever it is first takes questions, and I’m going to ask this as soon as possible. It’s funny because I really don’t even care that much. I like the Hornets because I like making insect jokes and stupid puns (Bee-fense!). I understand it makes no sense, and I really don’t care. If they re-brand, great. I hope it’s something sweet.

Anyway, other people care a lot. Like, a ton. That’s the nuclear bomb I was referring to. The desk? This post…

Good luck when it hits. You’re going to need it. If you can, seek shelter and try to avoid the immediate fallout.

edit: Late addition- Will the Hornets Remain COX Blocked?
As I’ve mentioned a number of times the team is in the last year of their agreement with Cox Sports Television, which remains unavailable to DirecTV customers, which make up the entirety of televisions at an unfortunate number of bars and homes in the New Orleans area. For those unlucky/lucky people, televised Hornets games are harder to find than actual Hornets. Cox Sports needs the Hornets more than the Hornets need Cox Sports. I would expect a big jump in revenue to the Hornets as a result. It’s unfortunate, but I doubt the Hornets will insist on more availability as a prerequisite for an agreement.


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