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.

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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.

Player Only Fans are Back in Buzz City

This has been a rough start to the Hornets season, and the fans are struggling to deal with it as expected. All over Hornets Twitter and in Facebook groups there is discussions of trades, arguments on who should shoulder the blame, and questions of what to do next. Yet there is a new type of fan involved in many of these discussions, and to be honest I have no clue of how to understand them. Before we dive into them though, I want to take you back to my childhood so you get a better picture of me as a fan.

I grew up in a small town 40 miles south of Seattle, and I bled Sonics Green and Yellow. Many of my favorite sports memories involve the now extinct NBA franchise that ruled Seattle sports in the late 1990’s. My Dad and I went to a few games a year, but i never missed them on TV. I had NBA fever and I had it bad, I grew up listening to Kevin Calabro on the call, and still get chills when I hear his voice doing the occasional national broadcast. I wrote my 7th grade paper on the history of the team ( I got an A by the way) and could recite every player on the roster, where they went to college and their height and weight. My favorite player was Shawn Kemp, the Reignman posters covered my walls and I pretended I was him on the playground. I used to tape the games on the VCR (Go ask your parents what that is) and breakdown the plays. I had his jersey and wore it all the time to the point the numbers began to unstitch. I can still feel the disappointment when we lost to the Bulls in the Finals in 96, I was 18 years old and a young man, and I cried.  Nothing prepared me for what happened the following year though, on September 25th 1997 my favorite player since I was 11, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers……for some bum named Vin Baker. (Vin was actually a decent player looking back now, but I did not care at the time)  I was crushed, but a month later when the 97 season tipped off, I was still a Seattle Sonics fan. I remained one until the 18th of April in 2008, 12 days after i took my wife to see Kevin Durant drop 37 points on Carmelo Anthony, when the NBA approved the team that i loved to move to Oklahoma City.

Fast forward to the 15/16 NBA season, I have now adopted the Charlotte Hornets as my team and have been following and writing about them for 3 years. I swore off the NBA for awhile because I was angry, but watching the best athletes play the best damn sport in the world drew me back in. I adopted the then Bobcats because well, they were terrible. They also were a new franchise that i didn’t have any grudges against from my Sonics days. (Like i could cheer for the Lakers or Trailblazers, ewwww GROSS) This season would be my first interaction with a new type of NBA fan. I call them Player Only Fans.

Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin, Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum

Charlotte Hornets’ Al Jefferson (25) gets a point across to teammates, Jeremy Lin (7), Kemba Walker (15) and Nicolas Batum (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. The Hornets won 113-88. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

We all remember when the Hornets signed Jeremy Lin to a cheap contract, I thought “Cool, a good veteran to back up Kemba on a cheap deal.” Within days of the signing I started seeing strange things show up on my twitter feed. Comments from a bunch of new followers telling me Lin should start over Kemba, and that Lin just had not ever gotten a fair chance to prove himself, but he was gonna be way better than Kemba that year. I wasn’t the only writer experiencing this, and as the season wore on it became clear that these fans were not like anything I had dealt with before. They were happy if the Hornets lost, but Lin had a good game. Lin only stayed one season, and when he signed in Brooklyn i was glad to say goodbye to the Linatics (I coined that phrase on twitter and it stuck) thinking that would be the last time I dealt with fans of a player who do not care about the team.

I hate to say it, but these type of fans are back in Charlotte and all over the NBA. The Malik Only Fans are growing in numbers by the day. These fans do not care that Monk is not ready for big NBA minutes physically or mentally. We see them on Facebook and Twitter, complaining that Monk needs to get 25 minutes a night, or should be starting. You can argue till you are Teal in the face with stats and logic, but they don’t care. They want to see “Their Guy” play, no matter how it affects the team. If the Hornets win and Monk get a few minutes and misses his shots, they are no where to be heard. Yet if the Hornets lose a game and Monk hits two shots in garbage time, they post until the next morning how this team sucks all except for Monk. The Fan Boi culture is here to stay, and its something fans of this team and others around the NBA are going to have to learn to co-exist with. Fans changing teams with players in free-agency is becoming the new normal. Stars that have fans that follow them instead of the home team, never understanding the joy or disappointment of your team that you love winning or losing in the Finals. Just a closet full of different jersey’s with the same name on the back, all while not caring in the least about the name on the front.

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?