How to Fix “The Clash” – An Open Letter to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dear Junior,

My son and I were talking about the Clash at the LA Coliseum, and what a shame it was to have them do all the work to the stadium to make a track, only to tear it back up.

From that discussion, I had an idea for the future that my son thought was great, and honestly, so have several others that I’ve shared it with. My son listens to your podcast, watches your Lost Speedways documentary, and he said that if there was 1 person that would listen and possibly champion the idea, it would be you.

So here goes…

This past year, the Busch Clash was at the LA Stadium. This entailed building a speedway, only to tear it all back up. All that work and effort to make a raceway, only to destroy it after it was over. This is where my idea comes into play. On your Lost Speedways, you show the world tracks that have been abandoned and grown over. It’s sad to see. Along with those abandoned tracks, there are also countless small town tracks all over the map where Saturday Night racing is the norm. The NASCAR fan base has been dwindling over the years, and I think I have a way to revitalize it. What if each year, a “local track” was picked to be “revitalized” and refreshed, and then the Bush Clash would be held at that track. When it is over, that revitalized track remains, building more interest in the sport in that area, and nicer facilities remain to help fan that passion for the sport. Profits made from the previous Busch Clash can be invested in the next “local track”, creating another revitalized track, renewed interest in the sport in that area, and new fans.

The Clash itself would bring business to these small towns as well as helping to show the world the sport as well as its origin. For example, we live in Hickory, NC. Hickory Speedway was the birthplace of many NASCAR drivers/legends.

If the proceeds from LA was invested in Hickory, then folks could learn about that track and its history, the venue could get an upgrade while building interest that some folks new to the Hickory area, and inject some business live back into the area. After the “facelift”, some of the profits from the race that the track makes, could go to another track in need of an upgrade. Perhaps North Wilkesboro, then ?…

There’s basically no waste as was in LA, sparks interest in the sport, helps the communities, inspires young drivers to chase their dreams, and it’s a win for EVERYONE involved.

By the way, my son that I was discussing this with is 14…will be 15 in October, and he insisted that I share this with you.

Who will be the Charlotte Hornets Center of the Future?

Hello Hornets fans! I sit and I do a lot of reading of tweets, Facebook posts, and other related communication mediums, and I enjoy seeing all of the armchair Coach/GM/Owners discussing who we should trade for or who we should draft because we need a center. Do I agree with them? Let’s just say that aside from Vlade Divac, Alonzo Mourning, and Al Jefferson, when haven’t we needed a center? Now I’m not talking about a tall body to fill a need here, I’m talking about a quality center that can rebound, block shots and score the ball in the post, mid-range jumpers, and the occasional 3-pointers.

Yeah, I can’t think of any either. So, with the 13th and 15th picks in the draft this season, who does everyone see at 13 or 15 that is a starting NBA-ready center that we can draft? I’ve seen mocks where we draft Mark Williams, a 7’, 242lb. sophomore. Would we look to make a trade to move up in the draft to try and get 6’10”, 250lb freshman, Paolo Banchero or 6’10” 230lb freshman Jalen Duren? I don’t know that we want to jettison any of our current assets. All those guys would fit in the age range of what we are trying to do, but I just don’t know that we will make trades to get these guys, unless we see them falling in the draft and we can just move picks for a pick.

Here’s my quick take:

Sometimes the answer is right in front of your face. Granted, I believe it would be a solid move to draft a center, should one fall to us in the draft. I would not object to grabbing Williams, Banchero, or Duren, but I don’t see any of those guys coming in and being NBA-ready to start for 82 games. I do, however, know of a certain, 6’10”, 235lb center that I would welcome to the bench to start getting center minutes, and possibly take the starting role over from Plumlee about halfway through the season.

That center would be Kai Jones. Kai made some crazy noise in the G League this past season, averaging 18.3 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks. He’s 21, so the age range fits the team, his first day in the arena, he kissed the Hornet at center court, and he played a good bit of the season with purple and teal hair. This kid is passionate about being in Charlotte, on the Hornets, and was amazing in the G League.  Will the G League stats translate onto the NBA court? My belief is a simple yes. He’s had a season to cut his teeth in Greensboro, had a chance to mature and develop, bulked up to 235lbs, and I believe he has the open mind and desire to absorb every ounce of knowledge he can get from the other players and the coaching staff. If we draft a center, we can still do this exact same plan.  It’s not exactly like we are swimming in centers, and it would not hurt at all to get another big guy on the team, in the G-League, prepping to be the backup in 23-24.

I do want to take a step back and mention that we run PJ Washington at center in some instances.  He’s 6’8” and 232 lbs. I love his game inside and out, but he’s better suited to be a power forward. Plumlee isn’t a terrible option, as he is an NBA-size center, but I think we need to add some youth at that spot that can grow with the talent we have now.

Adding depth to this team is a necessity as you can see in most of these playoff losses teams are suffering right now, when the starters, or the bench does not contribute, they lose. Depth is key, and the next-man-up philosophy is what will continue to win games.  The Hornets had many, many flashes of this philosophy throughout the season, but they need to find consistency from everyone.

So, do I think Kai Jones should be our starting center for the 2022-2023 season? I wouldn’t frown upon it, and if he wasn’t, I don’t have a single problem seeing him gain more and more minutes as the season ramps up, and before the trade deadline, he’s getting most all of those minutes. I’m thinking of another 6’10” player that came from the Texas Longhorns that has had a pretty decent career.  Have you guys heard of Kevin Durant? I’m not saying Kai is the next Durant, but if his frame could hold about 242lbs…and even if he doesn’t grow another inch…maybe he’s the next Giannis. No pressure Kai, but I believe the sky is the limit for you. You can handle the ball like a guard, jump out of the gym, a wingspan for days, and you’re improving your range and battling in the paint. You got my vote to take the next step into NBA-Starter.

Just #KeepSwarming

Why The Hornets Need A Supporter Section

Crown Club Away Trip to ATL 2021

“We have to be mindful of not taking our fans for granted.” 

– NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

The landscape of sports is changing. As players gain more power, so does the equity of the fan with ever growing ways in which they can engage with a team. There are only so many signs in an arena and there are only so many spots for activation spaces for partners of sports teams to pop their tent up and get fans engaged in their product or make impressions. The expansion is mostly digital/social and creating new ways to get in-front of fans at home and outside the arena.

Beyond the success of a sports team this is the main way teams are increasing their profits. Selling additional assets to partners. My point being in bringing up all this boring stuff is that the level of which fans choose to engage with teams is what makes them more money. Fans have been told they aren’t necessarily needed in sports and media has played a role in downplaying their importance as well but if the pandemic has taught us anything around sports and events… That is simply not true. That asset talk will come into play later.

Charlotte sports have become the frontier of innovation in supporters groups and what the fan experience truly means. From Roaring Riot to all of the Charlotte FC Supporter groups ( I always hate to name names because there are so many and they all deserve recognition. So to avoid being rude I will be broad) and dare I give ourselves a compliment?

Though they may not reach every fan the groups have done a tremendous job of doing some pretty revolutionary stuff at a grassroots level for a town that is pegged as not being a sports town. Charlotte deserves to pat itself on the back for that. Across Charlotte we truly are a Hornets nest of rebellion and fans are fighting to “CHANGE THE CULTURE”. The oldest sports team in this town is barely in their 30’s and the generation that grew up with these teams have taken the reigns with a vengeance to change the “wine and cheese” narrative. This city grows so fast that I often think we do not take a moment to marvel in what has happened because we are eager for the next task. So this is my “kudos to you Charlotte!”. When we started Bring Back The Buzz 11-12 years ago we couldn’t have imagined this city would be doing this from soccer to football to basketball and beyond.

That being said, we’ve still got some work to do. “what’s next?”

Last year for the first time in about 5 years my brother and I left the bottom bowl of Spectrum Arena and went back up top. There were several factors but the driving force for us was that it rarely felt like we were surrounded by “fans”. Up top we sit next to the same fans every night who care about the team and for some being their took sacrifices. They love this team. They become friends you see every night and talk about family with and have conversations about the roster and rotations I’ve rarely had down low. Also, the chances of me being asked to sit in the 4th quarter when the game is tied with 4 minutes left severely drops.

Now I’m not saying there aren’t passionate fans down below because we know them by name as a fanbase from Jameet, Charlotte Man, Sombrero Man etc. But the issue is they are speckled around the lower bowl. We’ve all made the jokes about how the lower bowl has a corporate vibe. Companies giving their best sales man of the month tickets to the game and he shows up wearing a blue and yellow polo unaware we are even playing the Pacers. We lack a real presence as fans in the paint.

On our trip to Atlanta for Crown Club pictured above we had an interesting experience. We were organized and loud in the upper bowl. plenty of Hornets fans in the arena. similar to how we feel sometimes in Charlotte when we look around and see a lot of opposing fans… The only thing that took us out of the game was (honestly we were losing bad BUT) that Atlanta had a supporters section that drowned us out because they had more numbers (home), were together, were organized and close to the court.

Next, we went to NOLA…

This time in New Orleans we sat down low next to the basket. Not a massive amount of people. about 30 in our section and 40+ around the arena.

We took over Smoothie King Center. New Orleans fans and media took to twitter to talk about how loud we were. We were getting messages from people hearing us through the broadcast as Dell and Eric commented on the presence. Sam Farber mentioned it on the radio broadcast BUT most importantly I could see the shock in the Hornets players eyes. I’m not gonna say those fans changed the outcome of the game but I will say they put a little bounce in the player’s steps. There were less of us BUT it sure didn’t feel like it.

Just a handful of fans in New Orleans did that. Imagine what could be done at the Hive with a similar collection of people to lead chants, stand all game and ensure this small market still has hope for a home court advantage when the Knicks, Lakers and Celtics of the league come to town.

Some of you may recall the Cat Crazies of the Bobcats days… a seven win season was not kind to those faithful warriors but it proves there has been a seed of this desire for quite some time in this city. Now just is the proper season to water and nurture that if we want to “Change the Culture”. We’ve seen the success of such an operation across town and even Tepper mentioned his desire to bring a section for the Panthers one day in the future.

The issue with the Panthers and Hornets is 20-30 years of season tickets, corporate sponsors seats etc. that you would need in order to carve out this section. Well Atlanta proved to me it’s possible if the desire from the team is there.

I think your average fan can see the benefit of such a section especially with recent evidence. The issue is the aforementioned desire from a team. Which brings in my opening paragraphs. Where can the fans create that desire? By the section being a partner branded asset that the team can sell.

I can already hear the groans but when some thing is dug in so deeply for so long we do not have the luxury of being a Charlotte FC who had a section from the very beginning. It will be a grind. The sponsored asset is likely needed to move the needle for the Hornets.

The key to the success of this is that this is a relationship of all parties and in order to succeed needs to be authentic in nature. The Hornets and partner must understand that the value in this section IS the fan and if you are going to have a “supporters section” the supporters need to be involved.

THIS was not an article on HOW but more about the WHY so I will not get into the details of 70% STH and %30 and all the logistics at this point. This article was to articulate that Charlotte is growing up and we have innovative ideas on how we want to support our teams. We would like that opportunity to build our culture especially when it can be a win on and off the floor for the Hornets.

The 2022-2023 Charlotte Hornets Head Coach is…

Hello Hornets fans. It’s been way too long since I last wrote anything about our beloved Charlotte Hornets, so I think now is as good of time as any to return to the fold of writing about the team that I love and cheer for, no matter what happens. A special thank you to Bring Back the Buzz/The Crown Club, for giving me an outlet to start back writing again.

Since last we talked a lot has happened.  Coach JB increased our wins by 10 each season, getting us to 43 this year and being fired…

I really liked the guy and his track record with our youth was astounding. Combined with Mitch Kupchak, our team has amassed a lot of young talent and developed them beyond what many could have imagined. Best examples of this include the Martin twins and Devonte Graham. Granted Graham and Caleb are no longer with the team, we saw them improve their game and become attractive players that other teams wanted. Caleb has done a great job for the Heat and Devonte did a good job with the Pelicans.  Cody has done a great job with our Hornets as well, becoming a go to defenseman that we could count on to do the dirty work on the floor with great results. In addition to those guys, our primary guys like Miles Bridges, Lamelo Ball, PJ Washington, and even Jalen McDaniels took good steps in improving their game as well, resulting in Ball being an All-Star and Miles being right there in the mix as an all star and certainly a team leader. As for the firing itself, I am somewhat nervous. We have Kai Jones and James Bouknight that I really wanted to see what development would happen with them this summer, but with JB gone, I guess it’s on to the next man, whomever that may be. Basically Borrego’s team got blown out on the national stage, again, in the play-in, and that’s something that Michael Jordan, in my opinion, could not handle a second time. On paper, I fully believed that the play-in was going to be a hard fought game that the end result would have seen us in the playoffs.  Instead, we got embarrassed again, looking like a team that had never played together before. The scapegoat could only be Borrego.  As for who replaces him, that’s the next issue to cover.

With rumors of Mitch pondering retirement, one has to be rather concerned about who could replace him as well as what coach comes in and takes the reins. Do we believe he has pulled in enough talent and we can now just focus on what we have? I don’t think so. Mitch, please stay with us. We need you to find us a few more diamonds in the rough, and solid coach, and a few really good and positive trades. If you need help, give me a call and I’ll help out, though I don’t know how exactly I could help and keep you from retiring…but please don’t retire just yet.

I believe that we are past the point of grabbing an “assistant coach” who is really good at one thing and deserves a shot.  I believe we are at a point that we need an experienced head coach that can take the reigns, get the attention of the locker room and get them to buy into what needs to happen next.  Who will that be? The team is built to run, and with our youth, we can do just that.  In running, however, there has to be defense to get stops, otherwise it’s a game of trading baskets and the highest score wins.  We need stops and defense in the worst way.  We need a balanced coach with forward thinking ideas, who knows how to steer a team like this and motivate them, and get better results than “10 more wins”. Who would that coach be? I’ve seen rumors of Quinn Snyder and Frank Vogel. Do I think they are the guy? I really don’t know.  I know that we are an attractive young team to come and coach, but the results this coach will need to produce will be very high.  While it was said that the team had progressed ahead of schedule, they still aren’t in the playoffs, so, in my opinion, whoever the next coach is, they better have us in the playoffs, not the play-in, and we better be winning games in those playoffs. If we aren’t, well, they won’t be here a 2nd year.

Yes, I believe MJ has expectations that are very high.  Do I think JB needed to go? Honestly, I really don’t know. He did what he was best at and these guys have figured out what their talents are.  Now we need a guy at the helm that is seasoned. We need one that can get us into the playoffs and win.  Do I think they know who that is? Not really.  We aren’t the only team that will be shopping for a coach, but I do hope that we have someone in mind that is of quality and can continue to push us up out of the NBA gutter and gain us some respect. We are not a bad team, but we do not get ANY respect from the league, and by extension, neither do our players.  It’s truly a shame.

Do we need a 1-2 punch type coaching staff where experience and youth meet? Perhaps Alvin Gentry and Sam Cassell? What about Terry Stotts and Steve Clifford? Stan Van Gundy? Mike D’Antoni and an assistant coach that is a defensive specialist? Maybe our best bet is Darvin Ham who hasn’t been a head coach, but is one of the top assistants in the league. That carries a good bit of weight towards giving him the reigns as well.

I truly do not know where we will go with this. I’d love to hear feedback from everyone though. The one thing we can all agree on is that this coach has to be “The One”. If he’s not, ho-hum Hornets will remain…ho-hum.

The Hornets May Do Nothing at The Trade Deadline… And That’s OK.

Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee, right, collects a loose ball as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Yes, the NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and some Hornets fans are becoming very antsy about the obvious deficiencies we have at the Center position. There is a desire to make the move at the deadline that could potentially bolster the roster and ensure that this team improves from year to year in a very concrete fashion. The clear measurement in their eyes is that well if we made the Play-in game last year that it is a failure of a season if we do not make at least the 6th seed and Mitch should make the move by the trade deadline that ensures that result. After all, the team and Mitch both stated the goal for the season was to make the playoffs.

We are experiencing magic at this moment. The issue is so obvious. Just fix it and let’s get after it. Strike while the iron is hot!

While there is nothing more that my heart (that pumps teal and purple blood) desires than to just simply win a playoff series… dare I hope for more?

I have stated for years almost jokingly that a playoff series win would be my championship because I didn’t see it being possible for this team to make the ECF let alone make a Finals appearance in my lifetime. After 20 years of not winning a playoff series and this roster being seemingly so close to obtaining that goal I am suddenly struck with the capacity to be patient.

We over performed last year and were ahead of schedule. This year we have very obviously an improved team once more but as we have improved so has the rest of the east. Any other year this team would easily be a top 4 team but here we are on the edge of a sharp blade teetering back in forth between playoffs and play-in. This puts us in an all too familiar position as a team. The edge of playoffs.

This is not the first time we have sat in this position debating the merits of a trade to put us over the edge and its not the first time it has been about the center position. Remember Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert and the trade for Miles Plumlee? Roy was gonna come off the books that off-season and Spencer the next but in a desperate attempt to make the playoffs we made a horrible trade that left us with a bad center and 3 years of $12.5 Million. Then the Atlanta Hawks traded center Dwight Howard and the 31st pick to the Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and a 41st pick right before the draft. Howard turned into Mozgov from the Nets the next year. Mozgov was immediately moved in a three team trade that landed the Hornets with…… *DRUM ROLL*…. the return of Bismack Biyombo….

My point is that one desperate trade has had us flopping around the league like fish for water (a center) for years now and this time I’d like to be a little more patient.

Now, I don’t believe Mitch is dumb enough to do anything that would jeopardize the Hornets future like Rich Cho did year after year. For the first time I truly have faith in the GM to make the right decision and I trust him.

Of course, If the “price is right”, make the trade and let’s reap the benefits of it in this upcoming postseason BUT let’s not be so eager to beat the melting snow because we believe something needs to be done now that we repeat the same mistake and hurt ourselves for years especially when we have a young developing core like this.

It’s not the end of the world if we do not make the trade now. Prices are high and we still have the off-season. The team has chemistry. They are improving weekly with the roster that is already in place and hell, Mason is not looking to shabby lately on the court (besides the free throw). The team is looking to the future so let’s not make a move this season for the sake of this season’s playoff goal but rather make a move that puts us one step closer to a championship and if that doesn’t happen by February 10th… so be it.

NOLA Teal Takeover 2022 – LEARN MORE!

Once Again, Cam Newton Makes People Dumb

There is a lot of grown ass adults today refusing to look at the Cam Newton signing logically because of their feelings towards him. They don’t like the way he dresses, they hate the way his hair looks, they don’t like that he wore a towel over his head, and they let those feelings cloud their judgment.

The signing of Cam Newton makes sense both on and off the field for the following reasons.

  1. Sam Darnold is injured.
  2. PJ Walker is not a starter.
  3. We are a half game out of the playoff race.
  4. We are undefeated in the NFC South
  5. We have the 2nd best Defense in the NFL
  6. We are loaded with weapons on offense
  7. Cam Newton was the best QB option on the Free Agent Market regardless of his relationship with Panthers.
  8. Ticket sales (the avg ticket cost for Cam’s projected return has doubled within the last 24 hours).
  9. Tepper likes money.
  10. Tepper doesn’t like opposing team’s fans filling up our stands.
  11. We need a leader on offense
  12. Cam is arguably the greatest Panther of all-time (definitely top 4) and this mends the relationship.
  13. It mends the relationship with a lot of Panthers fans that didn’t like the way we treated Cam.
  14. Cam helps us establish a running identity.
  15. Cam helps take some of the pressure off terrible o-line.

Absolutely no sane person (not even Cam fans) are expecting Cam to come back and be 2015 Cam. I repeat…NO SANE PERSON. All Cam has to do is be better than Sam. Which if we are being honest aint that damn hard. Will this work? Who the hell knows but at least we are not giving up. Oh, and stop saying no one wanted Cam. Cam turned down offers from Seattle and Houston because they weren’t the right fit.

So get out of your feelings about another grown ass man, shut up and enjoy the ride!

Is Watson The Way? By Tyler Ball

BY TYLER BALL

After days of rumors swarming across social media about multiple NFL teams potentially trading for Houston Texans star QB Deshaun Watson, one surprising team atop of the prediction lists is the Carolina Panthers. The big questions at hand are does this trade make sense for a team one season after an almost complete rebuild, and at this point is another new QB the real answer to getting the Panthers back on top in the NFC South.

For this trade to be taken seriously the Panthers would need to basically demolish most of the strongest assets the team has at this time for one player. Some predictions are suggesting trading QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Brian Burns, RB Christian McCaffrey , and LB Shaq Thompson in addition to 2021 8th 1st round draft pick, as well as up to two or three more picks in the 2022 draft. 

Whenever a team is struggling or in the middle of a rebuilding season there are three people that get blamed: the head coach, WR, and the QB. But the real thing that needs to be analyzed is why are the pieces not working. Is it really the QB or is it another part of the process that isn’t meshing as well as it could?

At this time, I think Bridgewaters stats show he can make completions, he can work the field on his feet as well as his arm. He was able to make a viable offensive threat for WR duo Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, both of which produced over 1,000 yards this season. However, I think he can be more accurate with strong additions to the RT and O-line. Bridgewater was rushed and sacked almost more than any other QB in the NFC South this season. I think it would be ideal to attempt getting a strong TE candidate in the draft or offseason to help get relief for both blocking and converting third downs. This would allow Moore and Samuel to become more viable targets down field, presuming Bridgewater has the time to make accurate throws. Another benefit to this strategy would provide better offensive blocking for RBs. 

Honestly, I think this trade would be a mistake considering trading all aspects of leadership on offense and defense for one player. There is never any guarantee on their success with new teams and if the original problems are not addressed then can we really expect to improve with a new QB to start the season. Coach Rhule has already proved he knows how to draft strong talent, I think he deserves the chance to draft and recruit for the Offense before we throw in the towel.

Hornets Fans Buzzing with Hope!

It feels like forever since we have seen a 3-Pointer from Devonte Graham or a monster dunk from Sky Miles shake the rim. The NBA world went silent in March and when the teams began playing again this summer, the Hornets and their fans were left on the sidelines only able to watch others. Well, fear not fellow Buzzcity residents, after an exciting draft night and an interesting Free agent blitz we are less than a month away from tipping off a new season of Hornets Hoops, and although the stands may be empty at least to start the season, that will have nothing to do with a lack of interest from the fanbase.

The Hornets added 4 young players on draft night, including maybe the guy with the highest upside in the draft with the third pick. Lamelo Ball is a highlight reel passer with athleticism and size that could make him an impact player from day 1. He will likely need to add strength and show more focus on the defensive end in order to become a true two way player, but that is a common theme among most Rookies. If he puts in the work and can find a way to become even an average outside shooter, his and the Hornets future will shine brighter than it has in some time. The team also went big in the second round, adding two young athletic centers to the mix. The center position was one of weakness last year, so Vernon Carey and Nick Richards will get an opportunity early and often to get minutes.

The Hornets made a splash in free agency as well, in a surprise move giving Gordon Hayward a massive 120 million dollar contract. Some, including myself, have questioned the move in reference to the timing, and health struggles of the 1 time all star forward who will turn 31 this season. There is no arguing the fact that if healthy he raises the talent level and floor of the team, while hopefully being a positive influence on the young players. Only time will tell if this was a smart move by the Hornets front office, but it has absolutely made the fans a lot more positive towards the teams chances in the Covid shortened 20-21 season. I put together a poll for Hornets fans on twitter (@hornetssportspot) to see how they thought they would fair in the 3 match-ups versus each East team and in their 2 match-ups versus each West team. Due to the season being shorter the NBA hasnt released a full schedule yet, but have let us know how the breakdown of match-ups will be done.

Hornets fans expect the team to beat up on the weaker teams in both conferences, sweeping the Knicks, Cavs, Pistons, Thunder and Kings for a total of 13 wins.

Fans also expect the team to struggle against the powerhouses of the western conference, being swept by the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets and Mavericks. Yet in a suprise, have them not being swept by any teams in the east having them stealing at least one win from playoff locks like the Bucks, Heat, 76ers and Nets which seems to be a bit of a stretch.

The totals look like this:

Versus the East 25-17

Versus the West 13 -17

Final record 38-34 .528 winning percentage

While this would make for a wonderful season, I have to be honest and say I don’t see this actually becoming a reality. Fans are excited, and they should be, but a season like this would likely result in a 6 seed and would be considered one of the best single season turnarounds in recent NBA history for a team that finished last year with 4 more wins than the team with the worst record in the East. Right or wrong, we can all agree on this, it will be a great day when we FINALLY get to see our squad on the court again!

Why I like the new Hornets uniform and court

Fair warning, this is gonna read like you opened a recipe for a dish and the author spends the first 8 pages talking about how she loves casseroles because her grandmother used to make it when she was a kid and then she proceeds to tell you her life’s story while you turn to skin and bones furiously scrolling and waiting for the sweet embrace of the ingredients and directions.

We received a couple messages a month or two ago with renderings of the jersey of the new city edition uniforms. We didn’t share because we couldn’t verify the sources or the authenticity. So we sat on them to be sure.

During that time I went through a range of emotions about the jersey. Admittedly, my initial reaction was confusion. We talked about how the mint was too close to teal and how the contrast was just too confusing especially for a fanbase that already felt like the modern franchise had doctored the teal color from the old Hornets franchise (which just isn’t true, it’s just different material and ratio of colors that is playing a trick on your eyes). This is a fanbase that holds very dear it’s teal and purple and holds it’s branding in higher regards and priority than probably any other fanbase in the NBA and probably all of sports. We haven’t had much else.

Then, without reading any description aids from the Hornets I began to think about the colors, the potential meaning, the fact this was our hypothetical “City Edition” jerseys and like the Grinch’s heart my fondness for the jerseys began to grow.

We are often pegged as a place without culture, identity and history because of the rate of which this city has grown. Our history isn’t shared or taught and much of the physical evidence of it has been destroyed or lost somewhere along the journey. We often talk on our podcast about growing up in Charlotte and how we wished the city would be big and get the recognition and respect we thought it deserved. We talked about how that growth was a double edged sword. We got the nice, shiny and entertaining things but we also lost our identity and some of the institutions that made this place Charlotte.

History, those who move here very rarely seek it out and so most believe it simply doesn’t exist. It’s not entirely their fault as we have also done a poor job of maintaining it and holding it to any level of importance.

Partially, that realization was the origin of Bring Back The Buzz. it wasn’t just an NBA team from the 80’s/90’s. It was a moniker given to us in the Revolutionary War. It was something we as a region took great pride in from naval ships to sports teams to symbols of our local government we branded ourselves a Hornets Nest and took great pride in that. We were fighters.

The two of us were lucky enough to have a mother who is a bit of a historian. She studied anthropology and thus made history a very important part of our childhood. She volunteered at the Charlotte Museum of History and worked in Special Collections at UNC Charlotte. Though she was from Pennsylvania she made sure we knew where we were from and that we knew it’s story. We were privileged that she had access to all the information that the average person in this city does not. Not much of that information is readily available to the public and so it is not celebrated.

This brings me back to the Hornets uniforms. The “City Edition” uniforms. The team that made Charlotte world famous and put the town on the map. It makes me happy to see them celebrate our culture nationally in a way that frankly we haven’t done as a city since we named the team the Hornets in ’88 or brought back in ’14.

This team gave this city’s own citizens a history lesson by simply putting Mint (Charlotte having the first US branch Mint), Gold (The Carolina Gold Rush of the 1800’s) and Granite (The State Rock) on a jersey. Then they put “Trade & Tryon” on the court, the Independence Square that is the foundation of this city and why we are even here. Within hours of the reveal people learned something about the place they call home and if that isn’t a “City Edition” jersey then I don’t know what is.

What You Need to Know About New Hornets Uniforms!

The Hornets posted a teaser on social media, an image of pinstripes last week that alluded to an impending announcement. Fans speculate that these would be new pinstripe uniforms and they were correct in their assumption.

The following day they posted a video of players reactions to what we assume are the uniforms. The very next day they posted a graphic with the date 8.27.20 and in Hornets fashion their plans were interrupted when on that date by the league players planning what some incorrectly called a “boycott”. Out of respect the Hornets announced that they would be delaying their reveal to the fans by a couple days and admitted that their speculation of new uniforms was spot on.

This delay made two things happen. gave the Hornets a little more time to talk the strategy of their announcement and which they altered by welcoming media in to a preview a couple hours before the fans AND to also to pair the unveiling of uniforms with another announcement we will be sharing soon.

The zoom unveiling allowed media to hear directly from Hornets Senior Vice President Seth Bennett on the logic behind the design and even ask some questions.

So after we share the designs of the Icon and Association jerseys with you we have jotted down some notes, thoughts and takeaways from that zoom call.

NOTES FROM MEETING

  • Always the first question. When can I buy them? The aim is for them to be available world wide by Oct. 1st
  • There is a 5 year minimum on updates for Association and Icon uniforms and this had been in the works since 2016. This is the reason we stayed with old design for so long. This also means these are our jerseys til at least 2025
  • These are basically our main jersey. replacing the ones that many deemed bland and safe
  • This was designed with Jordan brand, NBA and the same “rare design” company who designed our first uniforms all took part in this.
  • There is no maximum amount of times this uniform can be worn like there are restrictions for city and statement edition uniforms
  • The Hornets purposely tried to tie together all the different eras of Hornets uniforms into this design. you’ll even notice the double pinstripe which is an ode to the 1997-02 uniforms (Which the Hornets plan to bring back and wear for classic nights sometime in the coming years. maybe an anniversary).
  • Still working on details for this years city edition uniforms for this season
  • Statement uniforms will remain as the purple CHA’s for at least one more season
  • We speculate that the city edition will likely have pinstripes as well and will revert back to Buzz City.
  • They specifically mentioned several times that fan feedback played a huge role in their designs. They listened to fans comments on social media as well as watched fan polls. Meaning your voice was heard so don’t ever stop sharing your thoughts because you could help with the next uniform design.