Zo is Returning to Charlotte

IMG_2559

This Friday should be a pretty big night for the history of the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats franchise. When the Miami Heat come to Charlotte, the Hornets will be honoring Alonzo Mourning as one of the legends of this franchise for his achievements both on and off the court. This will be the second time this season the Hornets have chosen to honor an important player from the past and give them a night of their own. The first one, Dell Curry, was a bit of an easy one for the Hornets to make happen considering he works for them….Zo not so much.

Zo is currently the Vice President of Player Programs for the Miami Heat and hasn’t been seen much around these parts since his departure from the city in 1995. As some of you may recall the terms under which Mourning departed were not exactly ideal. George Shinn informed Zo he was not worthy of the money he requested, even though, according to Zo….he wanted to stay in Buzz City. Pat Riley decided Mourning was worth the cash and made the trade for him. The Hornets received Glen Rice, Matt Geiger, and the 6th overall pick in the 1996 Draft (Kobe Bryant or Vlade Divac depending on how you want to look at it) in exchange for Zo in and a few reserves.

Mourning was drafted 2nd overall behind Shaq in the 1992 draft. While Zo was in his rookie season in 1993 he was elected to the all-rookie team and with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks ….he was just 7 blocks shy of averaging a triple double! He is also responsible for the single greatest shot in the history of the Hornets franchise. On May 5th, 1993 against the Boston Celtics in game 4 of the first round of the playoffs Zo jacked up a 20-foot buzzer beater in Charlotte Coliseum that would win the series for the Hornets and send them to the second round to face the Knicks.

giphy

In Zo’s final season as a member of the Hornets in 1994-1995 he lead the team in points, rebounds, blocked shots, field goal percentage and made his first ever appearance in the NBA All-Star Game. Alonzo still currently holds the Hornets franchise records for most blocks with a grand total of 684. Zo was inducted into Naismith the Hall of Fame on August 8th of 2014, where he elected to wear a teal shirt and purple tie….coincidence? We think not.

miami sports.org

pic via miamisports.org

I am glad to see Zo receiving the recognition he deserves. Now if we could just get this franchise to recognize a few more greats like *cough* *cough* Muggsy, Grandmama, Baron and Glen Rice to name a few!

 

Hornets - Alonzo Mourning, Mugsy Bogues, Dell Curry and , Larry Johnson 1995

2 down…4 to go!

 

What Cam Newton Taught the Carolinas About White Privilege

cam newton

As told by some white boys from the Carolinas lol

Why do people hate Cam Newton?

  1. He is not on your team– I will admit that if this man was not on the Carolina Panthers and was on the Atlanta Falcons I would find no greater joy than in stopping him (because he is unstoppable).
  2. He does it differently– This is for the football purists and non-millennials that love a simple drop back QB that is a “game manager”. They want a quarterback that is the silent leader, a general leading his troops who supplants his own personality for that of the team. (Even though they would more than likely have loved Joe Namath or Dandy Don) They don’t want to see Cam come in and change the game and win because that goes against everything in “the book”. Fair enough. We are about to witness Super Bowl 50 and possibly the changing of the guards. Times are changing in the NFL, as are the styles of play. The future will probably hold more quarterbacks like Cam Newton and fewer like Peyton Manning.
  3. Race– Okay. Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. This is certainly not the only piece of the puzzle, but we believe this is the part that white people (we are two white guys) want to sweep under the rug and ignore or we believe that it is not our place to talk about it. Being able to ignore white privilege and not talk about white privilege is…well… white privilege.

The time has come to ask ourselves why is it when a white player celebrates in a sport people laugh it off and call him confident, BUT when a black player does they are labeled cocky, and people shake their heads in disapproval and call it “showboating”? Just maybe, Cam Newton is helping shine a light on this double standard for a lot of white people in the Carolinas. We love him and we are seeking to understand why it’s not universal.
We see this man every week doing things like hosting dinners for underprivileged youth in Charlotte. We see him visit and connect with children with cancer. We see him donate thousands of dollars to schools. We see him visit the families of the victims in Charleston. We see a “ man that has never been convicted of a crime while playing for Carolina, a man that has never abused or beat up his girlfriend, a man never convicted of a drug charge or DUI, a man never arrested.”(Marlon Jones) and we turn around to the world with pride only to hear him called “classless”. We are left incredulous and we want to know why this is happening!

Do they hate him because of a smile and a dance or is seeing a successful man of color in a position of power subconsciously scaring them? It’s a question worth asking, not just of others, but of ourselves.

Are we witnessing a watershed moment? White people on social media, on the radio and at the bars in Charlotte are having open discussions about how race is playing a role in how a man we adore is perceived outside this community. We are having to confront the fact that it is unfair and that if he were white this would likely not be happening. We are asking ourselves about our own feelings in past situations. White men (and women) are talking about white privilege, and in a southern town no the less!

“BUT He stole a laptop in college!” Yea and Peyton Manning was sued for pulling down his pants and sitting on a trainer’s face when she was working on his foot ( I’m sure all of us are proud of everything we did when we were 19 and 20. Right?) We won’t even go into the HGH investigation . You probably won’t see people mention these things on facebook, but you will see how “Cam should pay attention this week because Peyton can teach him a thing or two about class.” Why? Because he is an older white man and you are more comfortable with that?

Cam was viewed as a “thug” from the beginning of his career and he was put in the position of having to disprove prejudices and stereotypes. Once again, he’s guilty until he proves himself innocent. Though the perception of him may slowly be changing, the people of the Carolinas are left wondering why it seems to have taken him longer to win the favor of the public.

Cam-Newton-Fist-Bump-To-Fan-GIF

P.S. Maybe Ryan Clark can put into perspective for you….

It is not as much his black skin but his culture. The fact he has not adhered to the typical white Quarterback culture and has remained himself.

“For so many years black qbs didn’t have to conform to a way of playing quarterback. They had to conform to a way of behavior”- Ryan Clark

Beer, Basketball, & BBQ is still on for tonight!

***WE ARE STILL ON***

When: Friday, January 22nd from 4pm-9pm
Where: Good Bottle Co
What: Watch party for the Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic game.
Why: Free BBQ, Free Beer Glass and Free Basketball just for showing up. Everything is free but donations will be accepted and all proceeds will go to benefit the Most Valuable Kids – Charlotte Branch. 

Join us at Good Bottle Co. tonight for an awesome time of local/craft beer, FREE BBQ from “Q For a Cause” (Donations will benefit the Most Valuable Kids-Charlotte branc) , FREE Beer Glass & watch the Hornets take on the Magic!

Also, The Buzz Shop will be open! We will have CrownTownBasketball shirts & hats, as well as Charlotte VS Everybody shirts!

Get out of the house and escape cabin fever! 

12493403_962484647171325_3402113077837110662_o

Familiar Fowl Foe: NFC Division Round Preview: Seahawks at Panthers

camvrussell

By Jason Sharpe

After a bye-week of rest and preparation, the NFC top-seeded Panthers host the NFC Wildcard Round-winning Seahawks on Sunday at 1:05 P.M.

CHARLOTTE N.C. – The NFC Division Round matchup for the Carolina Panthers will be one that NFL fans have seen a lot the past few seasons, and one that fans just can’t seem to get enough of. It’s almost like the two teams are fated to clash on the field, specifically in playoff games.

The Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks already faced off on Oct. 18 in Week Six of the regular season in Seattle, where the “Cardiac Cats” grinded out a narrow 27-23 victory. Now the two teams meet again for the second time this year, and for the sixth time in the past four seasons, including last season’s NFC Division Round 31-17 loss in Seattle. Prior to the Week Six victory, the Panthers had not beaten the Seahawks the prior four times they’ve met on the field over the past four seasons.

Fresh off a playoff bye-week, the NFC top-seeded Panthers host the NFC Wildcard Round-winning Seahawks, with a trip to the NFC Championship Round on the line. Both teams will be running out onto the field at Bank of America Stadium with a chip on their shoulder. The Seahawks look to avenge their fourth quarter defensive meltdown during Week Six, while the Panthers look to reverse the outcome of last year’s NFC Division Round 31-17 blowout loss attributed to turnovers, and continue their historic season into the next round of the playoffs.

Headed into the week leading up to Sunday, the “X Factor” of the game was whether or not the Seahawks’ highly touted running back, Marshawn Lynch, would be dressed out and ready to play. Lynch ruled himself out of the NFC Wildcard Round versus the Minnesota Vikings, saying that “he just didn’t feel like he had it” coming off abdominal surgery on Nov. 25 and not having played in a game since. Lynch has been practicing with the Seahawks all week, but it was still up in the air heading into the end of the week whether he would be on the field for Sunday’s game. However, we got our answer shortly after midnight Friday on the east coast. According to ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, who asked Lynch about his status for Sunday’s game, the Seahawks running back replied early Friday morning with two words: “I’m ready.” With Lynch set to suit up on Sunday, the Panthers now have two days to incorporate Lynch’s presence into their defensive approach.

To sum up what to look for in this matchup, be ready for a close, defensive game. The game will come down to the battle for yards on the ground, as well as mistakes leading to a few big plays, which will make the difference in the outcome.

Keys To The Game

Panthers:
1. Limit turnovers. No turnovers would be nice. Any opportunity gifted to the Seahawks’ offense often ends up with points on the scoreboard.
2. Establish the ground game early. Very simple, the Panthers must be able to pick up yards by grinding it out in the trenches. Look for the Panthers to try and established the run game early via read option plays, which has constantly kept opposing defenses guessing, which Jonathan Stewart and company have taken advantage of when Cam Newton lets them keep the ball and find the hole for the medium to long gain on the ground.
3. Pick apart the “Legion of Boom” via quick short to medium completions and by spreading the zone. The Seahawks rely heavily on their secondary, who normally play man-to-man or cover three. The Seahawks tend to be overconfident in their man-to-man coverage, so quick completions for short gains out of the slot will be key to keep the drive alive, and win the game on the clock in regards to time of possession. If the Panthers desire to go deep, they must be strategic in the huddle. They must be able to sell a run or short pass at the line of scrimmage. The offensive line must hold the pocket to give Newton time to throw, and the receivers must coordinate being able to spread the secondary when they drop back into cover three. This will hopefully lead to one or two receivers gaining a step on whoever is covering them once the switch to the zone is made, leading to an opportunity for a big gain through the air.
4. Contain Russell Wilson, inside and outside of the pocket. The Panthers’ defense must break through what has seemingly been a weaker Seahawks’ offensive line this year and force Wilson to throw off-balanced on the run, without giving him the opportunity to scramble for yardage. A “QB Spy” must be incorporated in most defensive plays to achieve this. Look for Luke Kuechly to be the man assigned this job.
5. The “X Factor” – shutdown Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks’ running attack. With the aforementioned weaker Seahawks’ offensive line, the Panthers’ defensive line must be able to quickly shed their blocks and close up the holes for Lynch. The linebackers must be able to quickly recognize the run and rush to whatever hole Lynch tries to rumble through.

Seahawks:
1. Generate turnovers. Specifically, force Cam Newton out of the pocket for him to make a split-second decision when throwing on the run. Newton has used better judgment this season when the pocket collapses on pass plays and he is forced to scramble and/or throw on the run. However, there is still the chance that Newton will try to force a big play in a tightly covered area, which has historically led to interceptions.
2. Third Down. Stop the Panthers on third down, specifically on third and long pass plays when Newton sees nothing down field, and decides to tuck it and run. During these situations, Newton has been a huge factor this season for the Panthers to continue drives in close games.
3. Shutdown Greg Olsen. When the Seahawks faced the Panthers in Week Six, Olsen had a day against the secondary, with seven receptions for 131 yards and one touchdown. Olsen is arguably Newton’s go-to receiver, and the secondary must adjust to cover and shutdown Olsen, as they have had trouble facing opponents’ with receiving tight ends heavily incorporated into their offenses this season.
4. Shutdown the read option plays. Newton and Jonathan Stewart and company have become extremely synchronized in running the read option. When they establish the ground game early through Newton handing the ball of to the running backs in the read option, it normally leads to medium to long yards gained on the ground. This is where the Seahawks’ defensive line comes in. On paper, they outmatch the Panthers’ offensive line, and must be able to immediately recognize when the running back gets the ball on a read option play, adjust, shed the block and make the quick tackle.
5. Wear down the Panthers’ defense. To do this, the Seahawks must mix up their play calling while running a hurry-up offense. Marshawn Lynch must be able to take control of the ground game by running hard up the middle to wear out the defensive line and linebackers trying to stop the run. By running a hurry-up offense and mixing up play calling, the Panthers’ linebackers and secondary will not only grow tired by being forced to switch on the fly to either the run or pass defense, but being constantly kept off guard will wear down the defense mentally.

Charlotte Basketball: More Excuses than Wins

IMG_2374.JPG

The Hornets have reached that point in the season that Charlotte basketball fans have become accustom to, the time period in which the losing begins to become so prevalent that you are forced to frantically search for potential trades that could hopefully shake things up enough to get us into the 8th seed. It has been long enough since the season started that injuries are starting to take over but the playoffs are too far away to motivate, at this point in the season most teams are just praying to get through January and reach the All-Star Break. Charlotte basketball fans have not seen a playoff win since the 2001-2002 season, to put that in perspective I was in 8th grade the last time we won a playoff game…….I am now 28. However, it is important that we as fans do not become complacent, demand better and continue to cheer on our team. With that being said, tonight’s game against the Hawks and every game until the All Star break is extremely crucial.

Now,  let’s take a look at this Hawks matchup tonight. The Hawks lead the overall series by 15 games, they are first in our division with a record of 23-15, and they’ve won the 2 previous meetings this season by a combined 5 points (including our home opener).  Now if you read the nationally written game previews they will tell you that Hawks score in the paint well and the Hornets don’t, while that is true the Hawks are almost dead last in the NBA in rebounding, this is a perfect opportunity for Cody Zeller to step up. Cody has been on a bit of a rebounding tear the past few games, he has been in the double-digits for boards 3 out of the last 5 games. If we can get our bigs to rebound we can eliminate those second chance points in the paint (Spencer, I am looking at you, it is time for you to have some kind of impact).

In the previous two matchups the Hornets have also shot much better from 3 than the Hawks, we are going to need that good perimeter shooting and perimeter defense we saw from the Hornets at the beginning of the year to happen tonight. While from the outside looking in, the Hawks would appear to be a heavy favorite, winning 15 out of their last 18 games, and the two previous matchups against the Hornets, however the Hornets are a much better team at home and are a better team at home than the Hawks are on the road.

It is time to stop making excuses for this team and this organization, this fanbase has waited almost 15 long years for a playoff win. The Hornets need to win and they need to win NOW. If Charlotte can get a string of wins going this month they could easily find themselves back in the playoff hunt, they are only 2.5 games back behind the 8th seeded Magic.

What’s The Buzz?: Hornets look to slow down hot Warriors

Steph & Dell via NBA.com

Steph & Dell via NBA.com

 

by Trace Walker

On Wednesday night, Stephen Curry, alongside his Golden State Warriors, will come home to Charlotte. The roots run deep for Steph in Charlotte, as he attended Charlotte Christian HS and nearby Davidson College. Basketball runs in the family as Steph’s father, Dell Curry, played ten seasons for the Hornets from 1988-1998 and is the current broadcast announcer for the Hornets. Dell is also the leading scorer (9,839) and has the most made three pointers (929) for the franchise.

The Warriors come into the matchup smoking hot and have showed no signs of slowing down in the early stages of the season. A youthful Hornets team look to slow down the oncoming train that is Golden State. After losing defensive anchor Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Hornet hopefuls believed the 2015 season would be yet another year of disappointment, but the young team has overcome adversity to start the year off 10-7. Led in scoring by guards Kemba Walker (18.4) and Nicolas Batum (16.8), the Hornets have seen a spike (and no I’m not talking about Jeremy Lin’s hair) in offense.

 

Many believed that the Hornets would lack offensive power but the team is ranked 7th in points per game (102.5). The defense was also expected to take a hit, but Charlotte is ranked top ten in opponents points per game.
The biggest thing to keep an eye out for on Wednesday night is the ability to hit shots from deep. In the past, being consistent from three for the Hornets was nearly nonexistent. However, this year the addition of shooters Jeremy Lin, Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lamb, Frank Kaminsky, and Spencer Hawes have completely revamped Charlotte’s offense. The Hornets are averaging nearly 10 three pointers made per game, which is four more than last year. No stranger to the three point line are the Golden State Warriors whom are leading the league in three point shooting with 13 made a game. At the head of the GSW three point attack is reigning MVP, Stephen Curry. Curry has dominated the league this year, putting up video game like numbers nightly; 31.9 PPG, 6 assist, 5 three pointers per game.
Although no team so far has found an answer to beating the Warriors this year, trying to slow down Curry can do nothing but help the Hornet’s efforts in knocking down last years champions. The job of guarding Curry will fall upon PG Kemba Walker, who will be greatly tested on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for their opponents, the Warriors have proven that they don’t need to rely on Curry to win as he has not played in the 4th quarter in four games this season. Golden state has found great production from the rest of its team. Last week, big man Draymond Green dropped back to back triple doubles, the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to do such. The Warriors have also found double digit scoring from Klay Thompson (16.1), Harrison Barnes (13.4) and Draymond Green (12.8)
What the Hornets do have in their favor is their honeycomb court. At home, Charlotte has a clear edge and have gone 8-2 so far this year. The key for the Hornets in beating the Warriors is not found in one simple answer, but for their best chance to give Golden State its first loss, the Hornets must limit their turnovers, control the tempo, and force the Warriors to beat them from inside and not out. The Hornets will have to do without it’s big man, Al Jefferson. The low post star underwent a MRI on Monday and was diagnosed with a sprained left calf. Charlotte will miss the centers scoring (13.7) and rebounding (6.4), but it is expected he will make a return in two to three weeks.
With an injured Big Al, and a blazing hot Warriors team, the Hornets won’t have their work cut out for them. Hopefully Cam Newton, who was courtside at a recent game, left behind some of his winning ways for the Hornets. Tune into the game Wednesday night to see two young and energetic teams face off at 7:00 PM ET in Charlotte. The game is available for viewing on Fox Sports Southeast – Charlotte and CSN Bay Area. You can catch it on the radio on stations KNBR 680 AM and WFNZ 610 AM. Also follow @BringBackTheBuz on twitter for updates on the Hornets and the Charlotte sports scene.

POLL: Should PJ Hairston Be In The Starting Line-up? If Not, Who Should Be?

12205042_10153662511255688_1765352388_n

If you do not think PJ Hairston should be starting then please comment below who you think should be!