The Charlotte Hornets 2017-18 Awards

Written by Andrew Waters

As the NBA regular season is coming to an end, it is now time to look back on the 2017-2018 season. Through all the ups and downs, the Charlotte Hornets have had their fair share of nominees for regular season awards.

Defensive Player of the YearDwight Howard

It seems like ex-GM Rich Cho made one great transaction other than drafting Kemba Walker during his tenure. After being acquired in the 2017 offseason, there was speculation at the beginning of the season into whether or not Dwight Howard could bounce back from his down year in Atlanta. But, he has shown this year that he still deserves to be one of the best defenders in the league. This season, Howard has averaged 16.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.He is sixth in blocks per game, and second in total blocks, behind superstar Anthony Davis..His numbers aren’t the only thing that makes him an elite defender. His mere presence in the paint forces opponents to question driving inside. This mental aspect of opponents has helped improved the Hornets’ defense from mediocre, to exceptional.

Honorable mentions- Michael-Kidd Gilchrist, Treveon Graham

Coach of the YearStephen Silas

When Hornets head coach Steve Clifford went down with a health scare in December of 2017, fans of the team had called the season quits. But, the work of one Stephen Silas rejuvenated the team as well as the fanbase. Throughout his stint as interim head coach, Silas recorded a 9-13 record in the twenty-four games coached. The reason why Silas should be the teams’ coach of the year is because he did not let the Hornets fall off a cliff. Throughout NBA history, there are cases of which interim head coach completely turned a team from modest to the bottom of the league. This is most recently seen in J.B Bickerstaff and the Memphis Grizzlies. Essentially, Silas could have brought the Hornets down to that level of unsuccessful play. Despite this,he helped the Hornets remain float and had a modest thirty-eight percent as an interim coach. The reason why this award isn’t attributed the Steve Clifford is that he yet again placed the Hornets in a situation where they’re outside of the playoffs looking in, through the dire stretch of the regular season.

Most Improved/ 6th Man of the YearJeremy Lamb

With more playing time,and improvement over the offseason, Jeremy Lamb looked ready to go as a quality bench player. However, during the preseason, Hornet’s guard Nic Batum suffered a torn ligament in his left elbow that sidelined him for six weeks.Clifford quickly called on Lamb to fill in at the starting two.As hoped for, Jeremy Lamb busted onto the scene for the start of the 2017-2018 season.He scored fifteen points in the first game against Detroit. He would follow that up with eight straight games of seventeen or more points per game. He also scored a career-high twenty-seven points against the San Antonio Spurs. When Batum came back six weeks later and Lamb was forced to go on the bench, he still balled out. This year Lamb was third on the team with 13.2 points, and fourth on the team in steals per game, 0.85. He is also third on the team in assists per game with 2.3 His steals per game and three-point percentage is all career highs for Lamb.

Lamb has come from a laughable bust draft pick to a skilled versatile scorer. From sitting on the bench the majority of the game to averaging more than 12 points per game. There is no doubt that he is the team’s’ most improved player.

Honorable mentions- Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller

Least Improved Player of the Year Nic Batum

If Nic Batum has proved one thing this season, it is that he isn’t the player he used to be. After having a solid two years in the Queen City, Batum took a major step back this season.This year Batum averaged lows in points, assists, and rebounds. Throughout the season it felt as if he was afraid to be aggressive, especially towards the clutch situations of the ball game. Sure, he has not had the healthiest of seasons with the UCL tear in the preseason. Even with his injury, Batum has shown the lack of efficiency in the major three areas of basketball. This is very concerning for the Hornets organization as Batum is the second highest paid player on the team with the salary of $23.4 million. Here’s to a new and improved 2018-2019 Batum.

Honorable mentions- Michael Carter-Williams, Marvin Williams

Most Valuable PlayerKemba Walker

There is no doubt that the Hornets’ MVP is Kemba Walker. He put up another all-star season by averaging 22.7 and 5.8 assists per game. He has single-handedly carried this Hornets team time and time again this year. Night in and night out Kemba seems to consistently play on an efficient and elite level. It sometimes feels like he is the only one that can provide scoring on the court in certain situations.On top of this, Walker has accomplished scoring forty points in multiple games. This season, Kemba scored his ninth three-pointer in a game, which is a franchise record. Walker also achieved the most threes in a Hornets career, passing the great Dell Curry. Kemba Walker is the only reason why the Hornets aren’t in contention for the top five pick in this years’ draft; and for that, he is the undisputed MVP of the team.

Honorable mention- Dwight Howard

Did You Know?: Why Magic Johnson Is Wearing a Hornets Shirt.

Magic Johnson (Left), Steve Martin (Right)

You look at this picture and the first question you ask yourself after “Where did Steve Martin get that kick-ass tie?” is “Why is Magic Johnson wearing a Charlotte Hornets shirt?”

Let’s take a time machine back to March 10, 1989. It’s a Friday night in a very young Charlotte when nothing in town is more exciting than going to the Hive. The home team may only have 15 wins and a whopping 45 losses but it’s our team and the red hot Los Angeles Lakers are coming to town for the first time. This is our first chance to see super stars like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and of course the incredible Magic Johnson. 

We proceed to get our butt’s kicked 123-90 (Box Score)

BUT this is exciting stuff. We are being introduced to the NBA and the Hornets organization still knew how to entertain their guests. One of the tricks they had up there sleeves was even when the Hornets lost they would sit down with the “star of the game” or the superstar of the opposing team on the court and do a post game interview. Who better to corral than Magic Johnson?!

An almost 10,000 estimated people stuck around to hear the interview between Steve Martin and Magic Johnson. Magic knew we were fresh on the NBA scene and decided to humor the crowd by throwing on the Charlotte Hornets shirt which was greeted by roaring applause and cheers… You couldn’t do that today.     

Losing Kemba Would be Catastrophic to the Hornets Fanbase

26232661_1620100248076425_3038207116099389908_oIt’s always good to remind yourself of where you’ve come from and why you started. In the case of Bring Back the Buzz it was started 7 years ago out of a place of necessity. Returning the Hornets name was never pitched from us as a way to save the franchise but more as a form of life support to buy this franchise some time to figure things out on the court. 7 years ago the branding was horrible, the team was horrible and the city was apathetic. Fast forward 7 years, the branding is really good,  the team is sinking below mediocrity and the city’s interest is waning.

Since 2002 (16 years) this city has seen their beloved franchise leave, a new one come in 2 years later and in 14 years have 3 playoff appearances, no series wins, and never finish above 6th place in the East. This same franchise has also managed to have 6 coaches in 14 years, 3 branding changes and one complete rebrand. This city has also seen this same team try to tank (like really tank, like the worst team in NBA history level tank) only to be robbed of the number one pick, and has seen them attempt to build in free agency only to go from terrible to mediocre. Oh, and in that time frame, Charlotte also managed to have an All-Star game taken away from us and given to the very city that took our number 1 pick. All this translates to no identity, no consistency and nothing for this fanbase to attach to. This city desperately wants an NBA team to support and has in all honesty been extremely supportive given how crappy the team has been for over a decade and a half.

With all this being said, the only bright spot has been Kemba Walker. Kemba Walker is on pace to go down as the greatest Hornet of all-time and now rumors have been circulating for weeks that the only way to fix this current situation is to trade Kemba. The idea of trading Kemba genuinely scares me, not because I’m that attached to the idea of him as a Hornet, but removing him from this team literally gives this fanbase absolutely NOTHING to hold on to and no reason to come watch them play. The “be happy you have an NBA team” has been used as a reason to support them for far too long and no longer works in a city that has increasingly more and more to do in it every day (not to mention since the Panthers showed up in 95, the Hornets have been playing second fiddle).

Kemba is not just the most talented person on the Hornets but he has also been the heart and soul of this team for a long time. That would be like if Cam Newton(talent) would’ve left the same year Steve Smith (heart and soul) did. Also, let’s say we trade Kemba, and receive draft picks and young players to develop… what evidence has this current front office given that they have any idea on how to pick talent or develop it?

I don’t envy the Charlotte Hornets, something needs to change but they’ve tried free agency and tanking and showed they are capable of neither. So now they find themselves in a situation where they are on the brink of missing the playoffs again in a city that can’t withstand much more bad basketball let alone the removal of the greatest player the city has ever had.

Oh, sidenote…stop complaining about marketing changes (new uniforms, 30th Anniversary patches, new courts…whatever) and using the excuse, “this team needs to focus on basketball”. Do you realize how dumb that sounds? Those 2 things are not mutually exclusive! The marketing department has absolutely NO input on the day to day basketball operations and visa versa. The marketing department is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining interest surrounding the team regardless of what is happening on the court and with the exceptions of a few things they are doing a great job.

Hornets Turn 30 with Big Plans for Next Year

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that the organization will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the inaugural 1988-89 season during the 2018-2019 NBA campaign.

The Hornets will be unveiling new Classic Edition uniforms during “Classic Nights”. The team will also be providing fans with the opportunity to vote on the “30th Anniversary” team (basically the All-Hornets team). So start thinking about who you think are the greatest Hornets of all-time.

The Hornets also unveiled a beautiful 30th Anniversary logo. The logo looks exactly like something the first stint of Hornets would’ve used.

There will be plenty of merchandise in the team store with the new 30th Anniversary logo on it available for purchase as early as today.

Bring Back The Buzz’s “City Edition” FAN CONCEPT Jersey

What do you think of our “City Edition” #BuzzCity  Uniform Concept for the Hornets?

By Big Dub! The same man who helped put Bring Back The Buzz on the map and helped validate our movement by visually expressing our hopes. His designs helped a lot of people see what was possible.

You can see his other works like a Seattle Supersonics concept here: https://bringbackthebuzz.net/category/big-dub/

Since the new “City Edition” Uniforms will reportedly be Black and day “Buzz City” he did twist on the theme while mixing it with the Classic Uniforms into this bee-autiful blend!

What do you think?….

Did You Know: Why The Original Hornets Logo Is Never Used

Some of you may remember this logo and some of you may not BUT bee-lieve it or not this was the original primary logo for the Charlotte Hornets NOT the lovable, iconic logo we grew up with and are so fond of.

The Hugo logo everyone knows was actually the Hornets secondary logo.

you can see the logo being worn here…

Story has it that a little team in the NHL looked at our logo and had a big issue. The Montreal Canadiens felt that there was too much similarity between the their logo and the Hornets and legend has it they threatened legal action if this was not remedied.

So the Hornets went with the quickest fix possible and the rest is History. Funny how you can stumble upon greatness.

The change happened so quickly though that the logo was left on the trousers of the Hornets and remained until the 1991 season…

 

Charlotte: We Have a Problem.

Via USA Today

I woke up this morning pretty angry.

Last night was a very rare occasion where neither one of us could either attend or watch the game. I can count on one hand how many times that has happened over our 7-8 years of existence but when we got the notification that we were heading into overtime with the Bulls our reaction was similar to this…

Image result for big sean phone gif

We have maintained for a long time that this team was just at times painfully mediocre with the potential to be above average. BUT when you can’t muster up the effort to beat a team that is on a 10 game losing streak at home…. WE ARE BAD RIGHT NOW!!!

Fun Fact: We were the last team the Bulls beat before they started their 10 game losing streak AND since the beginning of the season the Bulls have won 4 games… the Hornets account for 2 of them. 

Many would say “But we were missing Cody, Frank, Lamb and Clifford”… NO. I refuse to let that be an excuse when we had our top 4 highest paid players on the court with our All-Star point guard. you win that game against the worst team in the league. You not only win it but by the time the 4th quarter rolls around we should have a comfortable enough lead that we get to showcase our rookie Monk to the home crowd and get him some needed playing time.

Rightfully so, Hornets fans showcased their anger and frustration with the franchise last night on social media. We mostly watched and listened and asked them a few questions. Here are some of the polls we asked on Twitter.

 

That’s a telling stat right there. It’s pretty Incredible that Kemba Walker is an All-Star BUT because of this team… he’s not. Because of this team we have many that believe Kemba, The player who has done more for this franchise than any player in Hornets history, may have to be coughed up to start over.

The $72,000,000 man. I mean… Who in the league would even touch that contract with him? Even if we wanted to, who would we have to package with him to make it  even remotely digestible for another team? Dwight? the one sliver of hope we’ve had this season. Marvin? He hasn’t done anything since the Miami Heat playoff series. MKG? Monk? Now that would hurt. Let’s not even talk about it.

AHH the great debate. The process. Do we/you trust it? I mean haven’t we waited long enough in “NBA Purgutaory” (copyrighted BBTB 2015)? Haven’t we as a fan base done our time? 16 years and counting since we’ve won a playoff series. It took 14 to get a single playoff win. And would you even trust a franchise that has drafted MKG, Cody and Frank? But what is another 3, 4, 5 years of waiting to a Hornets fan?

Who’s fault is this?

And the peasants look past the soldiers and slowly lift their heads up to look at the nobles and king in the castle.

Let’s be honest. This franchise has done nothing for what looks like its going to be 14 seasons now. We’ve had 6 coaches in the past 10 years. The fan base threw them a raft with the rebrand begging the 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 ?

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 season 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?

Buzz Breaking News: Black Unis and… White Throwbacks?

So “Royal Key” was somehow given access to the Hornets’ locker room and practice facility from the team’s equipment manager Jason Rivera and got to interview him in a cool video about the player’s day-to-day equipment needs and habits. Then….

At the 11:30 mark of the video you will hear something quite interesting.

We had already known that there would be a 5th Hornets uniform this season and we speculated that it would be the return of the fan favorite “Buzz City” uniform this time with a Jordan flare, presumably SLEEVELESS and you will see it come at the end of December!!! BUT what Jason said next caught us by surprise.

He said that they will be bringing back the White throwbacks next year and that is definitely some shocking and kick-ass news!!!

Poll: Does the Absence of Curry Change Your Plans for Attending Wednesday’s Game?

It is no secret that Charlotte’s fans are a little more enamored by the super star than most cities.

Rightfully so considering Charlotte is his hometown and we all grew up watching his pops in the teal and purple. But the atmosphere of Spectrum Center seems to do a complete 180 when he comes to town. The sea of teal and purple Curry jerseys shifts to a tidal wave of blue and gold ones.

This is obviously a big money maker for the home team. The prodigal son returns and with him comes the sale of thousands of tickets to seats that are usually left empty. They even completely shift their marketing campaigns for a short time. Usual montages of Kemba and company juking and dunking are replaced by clips that are filled with our own team being dominated. Odd.

Many people purchase their tickets far in advance in anticipation of the night but like lots of sports fans in Charlotte many gamble and wait until the day of to see if prices drop. THIS may have paid off for many Curry fans.

Curry rolled his ankle pretty viciously in the 4th Quarter of Monday night’s game against the Pelicans and ended up walking off in crutches. Then came the news Tuesday that Curry would be sitting out his homecoming game that he always looks forward to. He even joked that “I’m gonna have to call my dad and cancel our game of golf tomorrow”. No news on how severe the injury is yet but he seemed optimistic.

The major question this must leave to the Hornets organization is… does this impact the ticket sales we projected OR the actual number of people who will still come and buy food, beer, apparel etc.

So we ask you… HAS THIS CHANGED YOUR PLANS TO ATTEND WEDNESDAY’S GAME AGAINST THE WARRIORS?