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?

Evolution of the Court for 30 Years of Charlotte NBA

Considering the Hornets are releasing a 30 year anniversary court for the upcoming season let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at the courts over the years that we have watched the Men of Teal march into battle on. (Including the Bobcats)

1988-92

1992-4

1994-5

1995-6

1996-7

1997-98

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2004 (Charlotte Coliseum)

2004-05 (Charlotte Coliseum)

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-10

20010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-18 (only major change is change from Time Warner Cable Arena to Spectrum Center in 2017/18)

Huge thank you to Kodrinsky! Really brought these courts back to life for us Charlotte fans!

Hornets Unveil White Throwback for 2018-19 Season

Via hornets.com

The Hornets revealed in a YouTube video on their app today that the rumors were true. The Hornets will wear the white throwback jerseys for the upcoming season.

ALSO, revealing that they have a new jersey patch for their partner Lending Tree. It seems they listened to the fans and lost the bar that covered up the pinstripe. This version is a lot cleaner.

One can also assume from the verbiage on the caption of the video that the teal will not be worn for the 30 year anniversary season. The white uniforms are expected to be for sale by November.

will be a minimum of six “Classic Night” games during the 2018-19 season.- Hornets.com

Dwight Howard Comments on BBTB Instagram Post About if He is Enough to Get Hornets back to Playoffs

A lot of times as fans we assume that the players don’t really pay attention to the debates we have on social media or the things we say. Well, that is not the case for Charlotte Hornets player Dwight Howard. Last night in a post we put on Instagram asking the fabsase if Kemba and Dwight were enough to get the Hornets to the playoffs, some guy commented, ripping apart Dwight’s game.

Whelp, Dwight found it very entertaining…..

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A Struggling Hornets Fan

Buzz

Pic by wfae

by Scotty Kent

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on where my relationship stands with the Hornets. Last season was the first season in years that I wasn’t at the arena for the majority of the games. My daughter was born at the start of the season and as a result, I was forced to watch most of the games from my couch. Once it became evident (soon after the all-star break) that this team was unraveling and not making the playoffs, I found my interest in the team beginning to fade. Towards the end of the season, I even caught myself turning off the TV out of frustration from the product on the court. This is something we (my brother and I) were more or less raised not to do, you stick with your team through the good and the bad and you damn sure don’t leave the game early or quit watching.

With that being said, I am just fed up as a fan and like everyone else, the older I get, the harder it is to fit 82 games into my schedule…especially when the product isn’t worth watching. As a Charlotte NBA fan, I’ve also become numb to the endless draft picks, coaching changes, player trades, and empty promises from the organization that things are going to change. So naturally, my interest is slipping back to where it was during the Bobcats era when we decided to start Bring Back the Buzz. I don’t like that I am currently apathetic as a fan about our new coach, new GM, and overall future but I’ve got little to no evidence that I should be optimistic.

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This upcoming season is our 30th anniversary of basketball in Charlotte (well, kinda but we won’t get into that) and the marketing team has done an incredible job. The promos look amazing, the logo is perfect, the digital content is great but the current state of the team almost sucks all the excitement out of it. I genuinely don’t envy their jobs. There can only be so much smoke and mirrors before people start to pick up on the fact the product isn’t any good. Unfortunately, the Hornets are constantly fighting for a spotlight in a city where the Panthers hold most of the attention and are a much better team. But who knows, we have the All Star Game here for the first time in forever, maybe the team can capitalize on the fact that all eyes will be on the NBA in Charlotte.

Nevertheless, Bring Back the Buzz will always be here. Over 7 years of BBTB and we are still growing. It is needed and the followers continue to show us that. There has to be a platform to show the organization people are watching, care, and will call them out if they phone it in (like the 212 degrees Bobcat promo days) or will let them know when they are doing a great job (Big Al’s Paint can). With the 2 of us both being in marketing rolls now because of BBTB, we are both pretty busy with our jobs and are currently debating what the next phase is for us (we are kicking around the idea of a podcast where we discuss everything Hornets…with more of a culture, marketing, state of the fanbase feel). Whatever that phase is we will find it, we just really felt obligated to let any fan out there that currently feels like us…know they aren’t alone and that one day when this thing turns around and there are Hornets bandwagon fans…we will know we were there through it all.

🙏

Dear Kemba Walker

Picture via Hornets.com

Dear Kemba Walker,

As a life long Hornets fan and someone who will be with this team until the day I die or (God forbid) they leave Charlotte again, I just wanted you to know that we appreciate you more than you could possibly Imagine.

The last 16 years have been rough for NBA fans in the Queen City. We lost our team, got one back and frankly haven’t done anything right besides bring the Hornets name back and draft you. You came to us at the lowest point in our franchise, witnessed a 7 win season and honestly we didn’t know that you would one day become the unquestionable “Greatest Hornet of All-Time”.

Now I would like to unpack the phrase “Greatest Hornet of All-Time” because I think people get lost in the talent/skill debate and ignore the elephant in the room when it comes to you and Charlotte.

I love this team and you on it BUT I find it hard to imagine that when you were in college and daydreaming about your NBA career that you were fantasizing about a small market southern town and being a Bobcat. I see the glimmer of excitement in your eyes when the Bronx Boy plays in Madison Square Garden… and seeing that gives me one of the most complicated emotions I have ever experienced as a sports fan.

I must admit to myself that there is a small part of me that says “Go on. Leave here and be great Kemba.” As much as it would hurt to lose you from my team I would feel like a proud father to see you in an organization that had a chance, fought hard and that helped, not hindered you from winning.

We saw you take contracts that were not in your favor and stay in Charlotte with the promise that we would put the pieces around you to succeed. I want you to know that we saw that. I want you to know that we saw you fight to bring players here in free agency. I want you to know that we saw you come in for D.J. Augustin and work your ass off to go from 12 to 23 points a game. We saw that. We saw you hit buzzer beater after buzzer beater and we screamed as if it were a championship. We saw you win us our first playoff game in 14 years. We saw you become an All-Star and we swelled with pride as you took the court. We saw you break franchise record after franchise record knowing you had earned every single one and when you cried… we cried too.

Kemba, we haven’t really deserved you. We didn’t know what you would become when we drafted you, but there is no question that you have sacrificed and fought harder than anyone before you for the Teal & Purple, Charlotte and the Hornets name. These sacrifices, your ability to give us fans hope and your skills are why YOU ARE THE GREATEST CHARLOTTE HORNET OF ALL-TIME.

We don’t know what our future holds but do know that this your team. This is your city and one day we will all stand with our families and look up as the number 15 is raised into the rafters, in it’s rightful place next to 13.

Thank You Kemba Walker.

Love,

A Charlotte Hornets Fan, A Kemba Walker Fan


Letter was inspired by the “Letter to Kemba Walker” that you can read here. via Hornets.com