Hello Hornets fans. It’s been way too long since I last wrote anything about our beloved Charlotte Hornets, so I think now is as good of time as any to return to the fold of writing about the team that I love and cheer for, no matter what happens. A special thank you to Bring Back the Buzz/The Crown Club, for giving me an outlet to start back writing again.
Since last we talked a lot has happened. Coach JB increased our wins by 10 each season, getting us to 43 this year and being fired…
I really liked the guy and his track record with our youth was astounding. Combined with Mitch Kupchak, our team has amassed a lot of young talent and developed them beyond what many could have imagined. Best examples of this include the Martin twins and Devonte Graham. Granted Graham and Caleb are no longer with the team, we saw them improve their game and become attractive players that other teams wanted. Caleb has done a great job for the Heat and Devonte did a good job with the Pelicans. Cody has done a great job with our Hornets as well, becoming a go to defenseman that we could count on to do the dirty work on the floor with great results. In addition to those guys, our primary guys like Miles Bridges, Lamelo Ball, PJ Washington, and even Jalen McDaniels took good steps in improving their game as well, resulting in Ball being an All-Star and Miles being right there in the mix as an all star and certainly a team leader. As for the firing itself, I am somewhat nervous. We have Kai Jones and James Bouknight that I really wanted to see what development would happen with them this summer, but with JB gone, I guess it’s on to the next man, whomever that may be. Basically Borrego’s team got blown out on the national stage, again, in the play-in, and that’s something that Michael Jordan, in my opinion, could not handle a second time. On paper, I fully believed that the play-in was going to be a hard fought game that the end result would have seen us in the playoffs. Instead, we got embarrassed again, looking like a team that had never played together before. The scapegoat could only be Borrego. As for who replaces him, that’s the next issue to cover.
With rumors of Mitch pondering retirement, one has to be rather concerned about who could replace him as well as what coach comes in and takes the reins. Do we believe he has pulled in enough talent and we can now just focus on what we have? I don’t think so. Mitch, please stay with us. We need you to find us a few more diamonds in the rough, and solid coach, and a few really good and positive trades. If you need help, give me a call and I’ll help out, though I don’t know how exactly I could help and keep you from retiring…but please don’t retire just yet.
I believe that we are past the point of grabbing an “assistant coach” who is really good at one thing and deserves a shot. I believe we are at a point that we need an experienced head coach that can take the reigns, get the attention of the locker room and get them to buy into what needs to happen next. Who will that be? The team is built to run, and with our youth, we can do just that. In running, however, there has to be defense to get stops, otherwise it’s a game of trading baskets and the highest score wins. We need stops and defense in the worst way. We need a balanced coach with forward thinking ideas, who knows how to steer a team like this and motivate them, and get better results than “10 more wins”. Who would that coach be? I’ve seen rumors of Quinn Snyder and Frank Vogel. Do I think they are the guy? I really don’t know. I know that we are an attractive young team to come and coach, but the results this coach will need to produce will be very high. While it was said that the team had progressed ahead of schedule, they still aren’t in the playoffs, so, in my opinion, whoever the next coach is, they better have us in the playoffs, not the play-in, and we better be winning games in those playoffs. If we aren’t, well, they won’t be here a 2nd year.
Yes, I believe MJ has expectations that are very high. Do I think JB needed to go? Honestly, I really don’t know. He did what he was best at and these guys have figured out what their talents are. Now we need a guy at the helm that is seasoned. We need one that can get us into the playoffs and win. Do I think they know who that is? Not really. We aren’t the only team that will be shopping for a coach, but I do hope that we have someone in mind that is of quality and can continue to push us up out of the NBA gutter and gain us some respect. We are not a bad team, but we do not get ANY respect from the league, and by extension, neither do our players. It’s truly a shame.
Do we need a 1-2 punch type coaching staff where experience and youth meet? Perhaps Alvin Gentry and Sam Cassell? What about Terry Stotts and Steve Clifford? Stan Van Gundy? Mike D’Antoni and an assistant coach that is a defensive specialist? Maybe our best bet is Darvin Ham who hasn’t been a head coach, but is one of the top assistants in the league. That carries a good bit of weight towards giving him the reigns as well.
I truly do not know where we will go with this. I’d love to hear feedback from everyone though. The one thing we can all agree on is that this coach has to be “The One”. If he’s not, ho-hum Hornets will remain…ho-hum.