Hornets must Focus on Future

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you are well aware of the twists and turns the Hornets fan base has dealt with during the Free Agency Frenzy in the NBA. The team lost it’s leader on and off the court to that team and fan base that wears green and says thinks like “Wicked Awesome” and “Chowdah” much to the dismay of this writer and a large portion of Hornets fans, but Dammit I’m all cried out (wonder what the dudes in 112 are up to?) and like we have become used to around these parts since the team returned its time to open the curtains, draw in a deep breath and get ready for what fresh hell this team is going to put us through next.

OH GOODY, ANOTHER REBUILD

  The Hornets found their replacement for Kemba in the form of Terry Rozier as part of the Sign-and-trade and agreed to a robust 3 year 58 million dollar contract. This is an absolute overpay for the youngish point guard who had a solid run in the playoffs 2 years ago in Kyrie Irving’s absence. A scoring points guard who has shown some flashes as a player in his 4 years in Boston, his game has some holes that hopefully he can improve on as the every night starter in Buzz City. The Hornets front office likely felt like they had to strike on Rozier due to lack of cap space even with Kemba leaving. This gives the Hornets someone to team-up with the current crop of young player to begin the process of rebuilding around a young core while the overpaid veterans slowly leave this team by trade or contracts expiring. Its a Re-birth if you will, the beginning of a new era in Hornets basketball history. The problem is there are some guidelines the Hornets front office needs to follow as we move forward, and that scares the crap out of many of us.

 

PLAY THE DAMN KIDS 

  This should be the easy part, but we will see. We all know what the veterans on this team brings, that is why we are in this mess to begin with. So they need to find out what Bacon, Bridges, Monk, Graham, Willy and Washington can do now and what they can become over an 82 game season. There is no reason for these guys not to be playing lots of minutes this season, and as a fan no one wants to watch Batum play 28 minutes and take 2 shots or watch Biz fumble the ball out of bounds twice a game. Give us something to look forward to. It cannot be about wins this season, (That hurts my heart to say that) it has to be about development and knowing exactly what we have going forward. Can Monk be a consistent scorer in the NBA? Can Bacon be an effective starting shooting guard on a nightly basis? Is Bridges a small forward or a power forward and is his 3-point shot going to be reliable. These are the kinds of things we need to know as the 19-20 season comes to a close.

ASSETS, ASSETS, ASSETS 

  This is where my heart starts pounding and my hands get sweaty. The Hornets front office must use the Expiring contracts of Marvin, MKG and Biz to their advantage to accumulate as many picks or young players as they can to help rebuild the roster. Guys like Marvin and MKG will likely have value to teams who are contending or hope to contend. Turning them into late first rounders or multiple seconds while also being able to take on longer contracts is key for the team. General Managers feel pressure leading up to and at the deadline to make moves to help push their team over the top. The Hornets need to take full advantage of those opportunities. I don’t think any playoff teams will feverishly chasing Biz and his 17 million dollar contract for help on the court, however, teams that are either over the tax line next year or who need to free up space to sign their own free agents or bolster their roster will be looking for guys on expiring deals. The Hornets are in a great position there as well because they can take on someone on a 2 year deal or longer due to having cap space open in the future as well. How the front office handles these deals will go along way to jump starting this rebuild and giving the team the ability to return to respectability in a Brooklyn Nets time frame, not a Phoenix Suns time frame.

 

Fan Writes Letter to Hornets on Why He’s Cancelling His Season Tickets

We were just CC’d in an email a LONG TIME Hornets season ticket holder just sent the team.

We believe it’s imperative that local and national media take a good long hard look at this email when forming their narrative of the Hornets fanbase.


Dear #%^*{

I hope things are going well for you guys and you’ve had some time to enjoy your summer.

 

I know you read my previous email but I wanted to just get a few things off my chest, knowing that a couple of these emails may circulate themselves through the ranks of Managers and potentially beyond. I hope it is seen, I certainly don’t need a reply about how “Kemba Walker…blah blah blah” it’s not about that.

 

Basketball is business, player moves are business, and it’s not all about who fans like or gravitate towards when player personnel moves are made. The Kemba Walker decision is the same, and I don’t agree with our approach, I’ve disagreed before knowing the previously stated but I get it. Just like my job, we like players that we pass on, we don’t spend money on certain guys that we probably should and they walk away and you must be confident in doing better with the next guy. That’s exactly where I’m at with this team, I’m ready to walk.  Ready to walk away from season tickets, for the first time in my life. I’m paying $4,000 a year for what has been losing basketball since my seats increased by 20% in 2016. They went up $800 in a single off season.Since then, they’ve not made the playoffs and not been above .500 and won on average 20 games per year at the Hive.

 

Since 1988, my father and I have had season tickets, the older I got the more of paying stake I’ve had in it. I currently live in the Triad, and my father in the mountains. We both drove from mountains to Charlotte from 1988-2001. Since the Hornets returned in 2014 we both drove from our homes in the Triad/Mountains, 150 round trip for us both. The truth is, when I look at the numbers below, it’s not worth it.  I don’t feel appreciated at all by the team after my tickets were raised 20% in 2016. Why should I continue this? What hope should I have with this team? Because you gave me a starter jacket, $20 worth of buzz bucks (that didn’t cover a large popcorn & drink), and named a 30th Anniversary Team of Players that are more synonymous with other teams and have their jerseys hanging in their arenas already… Why should I do this:

 

·         My father and/or I have driven 86,250 miles to Hornets games, which would be nearly $50,000 of vehicle depreciation at $.55 a mile.

·         We’ve paid $5,750 in parking alone over the years.

·         I’ll lose by $2,000 already paid for next season. I know you’ll love keeping that and then charging the next poor bastard $6,000 for my $4,000 seats that are probably only worth $3,000.

·         I spend twice as much in the fan shop than my wife thinks I already do. Every time a friend has a baby, the baby gets a Hornets onesie… they still will.

·         I spent $1000 to watch the All-Star game. NOTHING to say thank you. Because you didn’t feel like you needed to, that’s because you knew someone would buy it.

·         We’ve not even spoke about the ticket costs… that’s another $50,000.

 

We could go on and on and on about these numbers. The love I have for the team trumps it all, it was all worth it. I have pictures as a 3-year-old in a Rex Chapman Jersey, employees at the old coliseum would give me Christmas cards and I would return. Own George Shinn once handed me a Christmas Card with a $100 bill in it when I was 10 years old. I’ll never forget the playoff game vs Boston; I’ll never forget sweeping Miami. But this has become a business decision for me. I spend nearly $100 every time I come to a game in Charlotte on top of $90 worth of tickets that I cannot sell on the secondary market for what is the required ticket price on Ticketmaster’s site. It happened most of this year. I’m taking the gamble and I’m going to assume I can sit CLOSER for LESS over the next 2-3 seasons using the secondary market, like others have done to me for the past 2-3 years.

 

I already know Charlotte is “One of the Best 5 Bargains in the NBA”. Well it should be, we have a bottom 5 team and no longer have an all-star that makes the product worth it paying for on a nightly basis. Charlotte is growing and I’m sure business for you guys will still boom. Plenty of socialites will want somewhere to bring their tinder dates. The growth of the city is hiding the truth from the team and driving a stake between the true fans. The ones that wear their jerseys and hats, not the ones that come in mid-way through the second quarter and leave when they feel they can beat traffic.

 

I’ll always be a Hornets fan. The players are completely separate from this. I’m as loyal as I was when they broke my heart and moved to New Orleans. Standing by the tunnel as Jason Kidd & the next beat us. Waiting in the parking lot watching the last of the players leave, seeing David Wesley’s escalade pulling out onto Tyvola. You see when the team moved, and returned as the Hornets in 2014 it was just a band aid to save the NBA’s worst franchise. That’s not your fault now but it’s still your problem to figure out. The name change was incredible; but no longer enough. I’m nostalgic, not stupid. I’m doing this while a family friend was drafted by you guys! 

 

I’ll buy tickets to 8-12 games, probably only 8 for the next few years but I’ll be there for the Celtics game because Kemba Walker deserves my money. He deserves my time and deserves to know how much he should feel appreciated. I know how he feels because you’ve made me feel the same way.

 

You see, the Hornets don’t appreciate me and they haven’t for a while. They know they can get some other guy, and he’ll pay more than I did. You’ll come out “on top” and have another plastic fan with a tinder date in my spot. To come to think of it… I feel like Kemba.

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

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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