42 Pictures That I Feel Best Sum Up Charlotte’s NBA Story

Designer Alexander Julian and Kelly Tripucka show off the original Hornets uni in 1988.

New scoreboard at new Charlotte Coliseum after falling to the floor in a 1988 photo taken by Jeep Hunter

Opening Night 11/9/88 Starting lineups were announced

The cover of the Charlotte Hornets 1989-90 Media Guide, A picture of the attendance championship banner for the 88-89 season.

THROWBACK: 1991 NBA All Star Weekend in Charlotte

Everybody in the NBA world, from MJ to Magic, came to Charlotte for the 1991 NBA All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK, NY - 1991: Rookie Larry Johnson #2 of the Charlotte Hornets holds up a Hornets jacket during the 1991 NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.(NBAE Getty Images)

Hornets Draft LJ 1991

PORTLAND, OR - JUNE 24: Alonzo Mourning shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after being selected number two overall by the Charlotte Hornets during the 1992 NBA Draft on June 24, 1992(NBAE Getty Images)

Hornets Draft Zo 1992

 

Larry Johnson 1992 Slam Dunk Contest

 

CHARLOTTE, NC - 1993: (L-R) Larry Johnson #2, Muggsy Bogues #1 and Alonzo Mourning #33 of the Charlotte Hornets take a break during an NBA game circa 1993 at The Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.(NBAE Getty Images)

LJ, Muggsy and Mourning (The Big 3) 1993

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Alonzo Mourning Scores 33 Points vs Celtics (1993 R1 G4) + Game Winner

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Charlotte Hornets stars Muggsy Bogues, from left, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, a mural was painted of them on an uptown wall in 1995   

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Vlade Divac and Anthony Mason lean on a fence during a 1996 SI

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Glen Rice 1997 MVP NBA All-Star Game

Seattle Supersonics v Charlotte Hornets : News Photo

Ric Flair before a game against the Supersonics in 1998

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Master P’s short stint on the Hornets in 1999

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Hornets Draft Baron Davis 1999

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Bobby Phills jersey is retired

Edlen Campbell, Eddie Jones and Anthony Mason Rd. 1 Playoffs in 2000

 

Hugo brings out a Buck Head on a plaque at halftime of a game during the Bucks v Hornets playoff series 2001

 

Charlotte fans in 2002.

 

Hugo, shown here in 2002

 

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David Stern (red tie) poses for a picture with BET founder Robert Johnson (M), Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, and young children during a street party for the unveiling of the Charlotte Bobcats expansion NBA team on June 11, 2003

 

Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena marks the 10th anniversary of its grand opening, a sold-out concert by the Rolling Stones that took place on October 21, 2005. Check out the pics of the Arena's timeline leading up to its opening night.(TimeWarnerCableArena.com)

July 2003 ground breaking of Time Warner Cable Arena

 

Bobcats Jersey : News Photo

Gerald Wallace 2004

 

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Emeka Okafor was named the 2004-05 NBA got milk? Rookie of the Year

 

Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena marks the 10th anniversary of its grand opening, a sold-out concert by the Rolling Stones that took place on October 21, 2005. Check out the pics of the Arena's timeline leading up to its opening night.(TimeWarnerCableArena.com)

Rolling Stone Concert. first event in Time Warner Cable Arena 2005

 

president Fred Whitfield, majority owner Bob Johnson, managing partner Michael Jordan and executive vice president Bernie Bickerstaff (left-right) pose for a photo with the new head coach for the Bobcats Sam Vincent (center) at the Charlotte Bobcats arena on Friday, May 25, 2007

 

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Charlotte Coliseum demolition in June 2007

 

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Michael brings on Larry Brown 2008

 

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Jordan becomes majority owner 2010

 

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Bobcats make playoffs. Get Swept by Magic 2010

 

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Fans begin campaign to get Hornets name back to Charlotte

 

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Kemba picked No. 9 2011

 

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The Bobcats win 7 games in 2011-12 season

 

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New Orleans Hornets get #1 Draft pick, Bobcats get 2nd 2012

 

Jordan announced in May 2013 that the team had filed an application to the NBA to change its name to the Charlotte Hornets, beginning in the 2014-15 season.

 

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Bobcats get swept by Miami in Playoffs (RD 1) 2013-14 season

 

MAY 20, 2014 – After 12 years, the Charlotte Hornets name has officially returned to the Charlotte

 

Kemba Walker hits 3-pointer to force overtime and OT game-winner to push Hornets past Bucks in first return of the Hornets name. 2014

 

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Hornets win their first playoff game in 14 years but lose the series 4-3 to the Miami Heat in 2015-16 season

 

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Kemba Walker passed Dell Curry at the top of the Hornets’ all-time scoring list. 2018

 

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Kemba Walker becomes 3 time all-star as Charlotte hosts the 2019 NBA-All-Star week

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Keep Kemba

So these tweets came out today and the Hornets social media world flipped the F$&@ out

All this means is that Kemba can be offered more money by the Hornets and was eligible for the super max. In reality this makes it easier for the Hornets to come up with an attractive deal for Kemba that nobody can match because of bird rights. Basically we can offer him wayyyyyy more money than other teams

In my opinion OF COURSE you offer the max to Kemba but the big question is IF you have the money.

The hardest part about this is making the moves to have that money for Kemba not the convincing Kemba to stay part.

I’m not really that worried about Kemba wanting to stay as long as we have the money and at least make it seem we are at least attempting to win now.

I’m gonna keep it real with you. If you ask me would I rather see Kemba leave and win a title or would I rather see him stay and win a series… you’re damn right I’m picking watching him as a Hornet win even just a series. #Sports #Fan

At the end of the day I’m a Hornets fan. He can make more money here than anywhere else and he’d rather win here more than anywhere else. Show him the money and show him a plan.

You can win with Kemba and eventually you’re gonna have to pay someone if you want to compete. Especially in this market. This isn’t a Kemba problem as much as we have never put anything around him. So pay him if you’re ready to actually put talent around him and compete.

It’s only a waste if you give him no help. We could have any superstar in the league and it would be “a lot of money to spend to get the 12th pick” if you never put someone there to assist them.

So it’s not a question of if he’s worth it. Its if we do something to help him.

Now you have many people saying “set him free?”… why would i want to do that? We’ve had 2 teams in the finals for damn near the past 5 years, he’s more likely to have team built around him here then he is to make it to a finals somewhere else. I love him but i can’t really see you being that big of a fan if you’re saying “set him free”

All y’all asking for Kemba to leave for some noble reasoning gonna be sitting next to us at games for the next 5 years as we suck?

Cus it’s pretty easy to say he should leave when you won’t actually be the ones suffering through it and you can just tune back in the next time we get an All-Star or make the playoffs.

The future will be rough either way. I’d just much rather watch it with Kemba in a Hornets Jersey. The greatest Hornet of all time.

Did You Know: Why the Hornets Gave Robert Parish a Grandfather Clock

After 20 years in the league, at the age of 42 “the Chief” (given the nickname by former Boston teammate Cedric Maxwell, who said Parish reminded him of Chief Bromden in the movie, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”) Robert Parish was gifted a grandfather clock from the Hornets organization At halftime after breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA record for career games played after taking the court against the Bulls for his 1,560th game! He had stood the test time.

The Chief was brought in to assist Mourning in his development but Mourning was later traded. The Chief was in Charlotte from 1994-6. Even though it was short-lived he is beloved by Hornets fans to this day.

Hornets Fans Have Outperformed the Team for Decades.

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Let’s be honest. This franchise has done nothing for what looks like it’s going to be 15 seasons now. We’ve had 7 coaches in the past 10 years. The fan base threw them a raft with the rebrand begging them to show life and things are beginning to feel all too familiar again. The rebrand was never meant to be the “fix”. It was meant to be a second chance to get things right. This may be shocking to some of you but this stint has been around for just about the same amount of time as the original Charlotte Hornets franchise.

Now I’m a visual guy so let’s take a look at the progress reports lined up.

Original Hornets Take 2
1988-89 20-62 2004-05 18-64
1989-90 19-63 2005-06 26-56
1990-91 26-56 2006-07 33-49
1991-92 31-51 2007-08 32-50
1992-93 44-38  E. Conf. Semis 2008-09 35-47
1993-94 41-41 2009-10 44-38  E. Conf. 1st Rnd
1994-95 50-32  E. Conf. 1st Rnd 2010-11 34-48
1995-96 41-41 2011-12 7-59
1996-97 54-28  E. Conf. 1st Rnd. 2012-13 21-61
1997-98 51-31  E. Conf. Semis 2013-14 43-39  E. Conf. 1st Rnd.
1998-99 26-24 2014-15 33-49
1999-00 49-33  E. Conf. 1st Rnd. 2015-16 48-34  E. Conf. 1st Rnd.
2000-01 46-36  E. Conf. Semis 2016-17 36-46
2001-02 44-38  E. Conf. Semis 2017-18 36-46

Around the 6th season the Original Hornets had established themselves, besides the 1998-99 lockout season, as a consistent mid-40 win team that you could occasionally expect to break 50 on a good year. Consistent isn’t even a word I like using in the same sentence as the “Take 2”.

Now I know it’s not exactly fair to compare the 2 of them but it is more or less showing what can be done in 14 seasons and what we have done in 14 seasons.

This is the result, in our humble opinion, of complacency. As a fan base we’ve knocked the hornets nest before and forced, what felt like kicking and screaming, this organization into giving back our name. We deserve better. We should demand better. We have done our part to support this organization even when they didn’t exactly earn it and we have very little to show for it in return.

The question is what do we believe as fans we should do to make this change happen?

HAVE YOU NOTICED YET THAT I JUST COPIED AND PASTED AN ARTICLE WE WROTE FROM TWO YEARS AGO AND IT STILL APPLIES?

All I did was add some numbers and we are in the exact same position.

A couple days ago a local radio personality commented on how he was disappointed that the Hornets attendance was 23rd. I replied that with another season quickly fading away and having statistically one of the hardest remaining schedules in the league this fanbase has been outperforming this team for the ENTIRE SECOND STINT. Is this team a top 23 product in the NBA? Has it done anything to give the fans hope for in the past 15 years? We have won 3 playoff games since 2002. We are on the edge of losing the best Hornet of all-time with nothing to show for it. We are on the edge of being on a 3 to 5-year rebuild process while technically we haven’t even finished the last “rebuild”.

What exactly do you want from a fanbase? I am as diehard as they come BUT even I realize that in any market with any team there is no fanbase that is going to just keep caring. This fanbase isn’t even asking for much. They would be happy with a playoff appearance and little bit of drama every couple of years but we can’t even provide that.

Eventually, the price of season tickets, which have inexplicably risen, won’t be rational to a seasoned fan who has seen the same outcome year in and year out. And can you really blame them?

Charlotteans Aren’t Taking the All-Star Game Seriously and It’s Gonna Bite Them in The Ass

A record crowd watches the NBA All-Star basketball game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

As I’m scrolling through Facebook I see an article on the Charlotte Observer, admittedly I didn’t open it because I loathe the bombardment of ads that ensues when you visit their page. The article title was “NBA All-Star Weekend once shut down Las Vegas. Charlotte, you’ve been warned”… I’m like okay this is exactly what we talked about on our podcast. I (Evan) asked Scotty if he had heard anybody outside of the sports or entertainment circles we roam in discussing the All-Star game with it being only 2 weeks away? We both answered “No”. And we discussed why that made us nervous.

I opened the article comments to take a look at what my fellow Charlotteans are saying on the topic and all I see are a bunch of Brads and Karens scoffing at the notion that we may be “shut down”. I see one Brad say “Charlotte isn’t a destination like Vegas, we won’t get 10’s of thousands of people.” with a host of other people echoing this sentiment.

I just have one question to ask you…. ARE Y’ALL STUPID?!?! Just because you are not an NBA fan does not mean there aren’t millions of them across the globe and this is the event where they all come to celebrate their favorite sport. This isn’t a little event where Charlotteans are the ones who attend. This party isn’t being thrown for us. 

Almost every venue in uptown and south end has been booked for months for this one week… and not by people from Charlotte. Y’all hoping to just wander inside uptown and just enjoy the atmosphere are in for a rude awakening.

Ya’ll bitch and moan about CIAA and how it’s soooooooo inconvenient but that’s a $50 million event…The All-Star week is projected to bring in over $100 Million in local impact.

The city infrastructure just isn’t ready. We as a city haven’t even finished the 1-77 South ramp from 277. This is the same city who didn’t have a plan for a parade or on how to handle the crowds if the Panthers won the Super Bowl in 2015. Just to give you an idea, over 100,000 people attended the All-Star game in 2010… And that was only one event.

I’m just saying if you aren’t taking this seriously and aren’t preparing for what is to come then I don’t want to see you complaining about it in 2 weeks. This is the time for Charlotte to step up and show off our lovely city and I don’t think enough of you are talking about what is coming to our small southern town. You think your 30 minute commute to work is rough?

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Hornets Ticket Prices On Secondary Market Up 16% For 2018-19 Season

Charlotte made wholesale changes — both in coaching and on the court — during the offseason, and fans were clearly ready. The Hornets replaced Steve Clifford with James Borrego at the top and Kemba Walker now has Tony Parker and No. 34 overall draft pick Devonte’ Graham, among others, to help out.
All those changes have resulted in an increase in demand for Hornets tickets. The $89 average asking price on the secondary market is ranked No. 29 across the NBA, but marks a nearly 16% increase in prices over last season. It is the second cheapest average asking price since secondary ticket marketplace TicketIQ.com began tracking data in 2011, presenting fans with the opportunity to see great basketball at a reasonable price.
The Hornets are celebrating 30 years in Charlotte and will wear throwback white pinstriped uniforms to commemorate the anniversary.
Season tickets, referred to as Swarm365, are available through the team website. Season ticket holders have access to myriad benefits, including a special entry gate at games, invitations to exclusive events with players and coaches, and season-ticket holders’ only concession lines.
Single-game tickets are available on the primary market through Ticketmaster, and are available for all games, including the the December 15 Los Angeles Lakers game. The priciest game of the season, fans are driving up demand for a chance to see LeBron James in a Lakers uniform, but the $79 get-in price on the primary market is among the cheapest to see the Lakers across the NBA.
At $273.60, the average asking price for the Lakers game on the secondary market is more than $40 more expensive than the next highest average asking price. The No. 2-priced game is the February 25 Golden State Warriors game, which checks in at $232.83. The Warriors are the defending NBA champions and are commanding high prices across the league, as well as the No. 1 price for home games.
The next three most expensive games are $205.20 for the March 23 Boston Celtics games, $137.39 for the February 27 Houston Rockets game, and $136.84 for the November 19 Celtics game.
TicketIQ.com has tickets available for all of the top games, including great seats at both Celtics games. Seats behind the basket in 100 Level, Section 110, Row A are available for $299 for for the March 23 Celtics game. For the November 19 Celtics game, fans can treat themselves to seats close to the action  at mid-court between the team benches for $240 in 100 Level, Section 105, Row Q. Both sets of tickets come with TicketIQ.com‘s Low Price Guarantee. 
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Purple Shirt Guy: Time for ME to Tell The Story!

CHARLOTTE, NC – APRIL 29: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts after making a shot late in the fourth quarter against the Charlotte Hornets during game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 29, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


I admit that initially I was pretty peeved with Michael Deason who has now become a part of Charlotte Hornets folklore as “Purple Shirt Guy”. I was frustrated with the series against Miami ending the way it did. I felt like the victory just slip away. I wanted that first playoff series win in 14 years (at the time) more than I could put into words and when we lost, I along with most of the Hornets fan base gravitated my gaze towards Michael. We used him as a scapegoat and luckily Michael was strong enough to carry that load without it really phasing him.
As time passed I was able to recognize the legitimate reasons for the loss BUT I watched as fellow members of Buzz City just couldn’t let it go. I became fascinated as his character became more influential to the game and the proverbial fish just kept getting bigger. He got more blame than actual starting players who scored 0 points in that game 6.
It’s been several years and yet he is still a reoccurring reference on social media with mostly a threatening tone. This made me want to find the “Purple Shirt Guy”, ask some questions, hear the story from his angle and hear what he thought about the blame still being placed on him.

1) In your own words describe the events of game six and what words exactly were exchanged between you and Dwyane Wade.
1.Answer: In order to understand my demeanor in Game 6, you have to realize my enthusiasm in games 3 and 4. Apparently, in those games (in which I believe we won games 3 and 4), the NBA thought I had been cheering too enthusiastically. I received a call from the Hornets organization after game 3, in which it was explained that remain in front of my seats (i ran down the sidelines during timeouts giving high fives and trying to get people on their feet). So, in game 4, I remained just as enthusiastic but remained in front of our seats. Again, a phone call….
I was a little upset with being singled out. So, I decided to not stand and cheer during the first half of Game 6. I sat in my seat and pumped my fists a few times, but I did not stand. I tried to give very little support. Maybe I was trying to prove a point….. Ha! Don’t think I was successful at that. In any case, I simply yelled to Dwayne Wade that he should retire during the first half. In the second half, I went back to cheering enthusiastically. When Wade hit the 2 pointer (over Courtney Lee, I wasn’t playing) with his signature penetrate and fade away, I was cheering for the Defense not against the Heat. And this was a 2 pointer that put the heat up by 5. We had a chance to tie but gave the ball up which gave Wade the chance to score.
After getting up, Wade got in my face and made a comment (it was later explained to me that he said, I’m a bad mother f***er). I didn’t hear what he said. I was more shocked at the fact that he said anything to me. I was simply reminding him that he only tied the series and that he still had one more game to go. Wade usually got on to any of the players that responded to us. It was humorous to watch. So, after 7 years of not saying anything, I suppose I got in his head.

2) Are you aware that a select group of Hornets fans use you as a scapegoat for the series loss? Have any of those fans attempted to contact you? If so what did they say?
2. Answer: Yes, which is fine. It must be hard for this select group of fans to point to the players, coaches or anyone actually paid by the Hornets and accuse them of being the cause.
Maybe I provide a stress relief for these fans. So your welcome? As for contacting me, I had my time on twitter. It was interesting to say the least. One guy posted an old address and suggested fans come heckle me……. He was easy to contact and explain the dangers of putting an address on line. Other than that, not really.

3) It was rumored that you were no longer allowed to have courtside seats. Is this true and what is your relationship with the organization (what did they say to you)? Have you gone to Hornets games since that night?
3. Answer: HaHa!!! No. I gave up my tickets. I was recently contacted about getting tickets again, but I think the guy was just calling off an old list. hahaha. I have been back to 2 games since. I had fun, but it was time to move on. Besides, the “greatest 2 guard” in the NBA, found it necessary to let some fan know just how awesome he was. I mean, if you have to state the “obvious”, you might have doubts yourself.

4) Are you still a Hornets fan? How long were you a fan? What is your opinion on the currents state of the team?
4. Answer: I am a Hornets fan. I don’t keep up with NBA as much as some think I do, but I became more of a fan when we first became season ticket holders. It was nice to be involved with the transition of the names. It brought more excitement to the games. There was a difference from when they were the Bobcats.
As for my opinion of the current state of the team…… maybe I should keep that opinion to myself.

5) Do you feel any responsibility for the loss?
5. Answer: If I am to take responsibility for the loss, will the same people give me responsibility for the wins? In games 3 and 4, I cheered like a mad man. We won. In game 6, I sat the 1st half and cheered the 2nd half. We got outscored in the 1st half and we outscored them in the 2nd. This is just a fact. I am by no means claiming that I, the Purple Shirt Guy, have some miraculous power to cause greatness to happen. Dwayne Wade is great player. He should have not had a 3 month shooting drought. So, I guess he finally realized that maybe he should start earning the $18.5 million.

 

6) Had you ever had an altercation with a player on the court before that incident? Who? What happened?
6. Answer: I told Kevin Durant that he was number 3 in the league and asked if he would stop crying to the refs every time he missed a shot? He replied, “I’m number one bitch. You don’t know who you are talking to….” I simply laughed and asked if Lebron and Curry would agree. It ended up with me being Red Carded. Hahahaha! I guess there is a first for everything. The ref that was close to me when this happened called the Hornets next time he was scheduled to see if I would be at the game……. He later gave me his whistle.
Most players we simply would remind them of the awesome warm-up percentage they had and not be discouraged by the in-game percentage and give a suggestion to practice with defense next time. We tried to get the opposing team thinking about anything other than the game. We kept it clean and made some friends along the way. We got along great with Steven Jackson when he was in Charlotte. When we were the Bobcats, I had the opportunity to fly with the team to a Timberwolves game.
I got upset with one official, Kane Fitzgerald, and began asking him the spread of the game. He didn’t like it, so I was asked to leave with 34 seconds left. The next time I was in Charlotte when he was scheduled, I got his whistle.
I had a conversation with Chris Bosh where I told him how much I respected him (based off an interview I saw with him). He came over and thanked me for being a fan. I had a great 7 years supporting the team.

7) We believe you live in Greensboro now. That season were you making the commute for regular season games? Have you been to a Greensboro Swarm game?
7. Answer: That is correct and yes. I purchased tickets to the Swarm for the 1st season. I gave them up.

 

8) If there is anything you would want to say to Hornets fans and the organization what would you say?
8 Answer: Maybe put your energy around what really cost the game. Also, maybe try showing up during the regular season with Hornets gear on and not the opposing super star jersey. Try giving the same enthusiasm during the year against suck teams. Your support might actually help the Hornets win more.

 

9) Did you think people would care this long about the incident? Final Words?
 
9. Answer: That is funny. Absolutely not. What’s crazy is that a 30-second ad spot during game 6 cost around $430,000. I paid much, much less, and you are still talking about me.
Check out Ozone Waste Solutions. We are striving to change the way we handle medical waste and hopefully onto other waste streams. Pretty interesting and might surprise some people. No big final words, besides, who would really listen?