Thursday, June 19, 2008

NBA Final(ly)... PJ Gets a Ring

All right, first off. I'm sorry. We're sorry. For leaving you high and dry here without a post for two weeks. It won't happen again. I blame Lee. He probably blames me. You should blame him. With that dirty work out of the way, I'd like to get back in the swing of things with a very special shout out to the original Hometown Hornet: PJ Brown.

As many of you may already know, PJ Brown is a Winnfield native, a graduate of Louisiana Tech, and a Slidell resident. So he's pretty much from everywhere in the Bayou State. He transcends space and time. PJ -- whose initials stand for "Collier Brown, Jr" -- can now add a new section to his biography. As of Tuesday, he is an NBA Champion. He is also about 33% of the reason I was rooting for the Celtics (the other 67% can be attributed to two things: I once played for a biddy basketball team called the Celtics that won the league championship, and I have a general disdain for the Lakers/Kobe... and the average Laker fan, plus screw Hollywood).

We at HH extend our congratulations to PJ Brown on an NBA Championship 15 seasons in the making. Six of those years were spent with the Hornets. And one of those included the horrific 2004-05 campaign (aka The 18-Win Season, aka The Season That Begot Chris Paul). I gave PJ the nickname of "Old Faithful" that year, though it never caught on. However, he certainly deserved it. To back me up, I'm pulling out a rant I wrote exactly three years ago (right before the 2005 NBA Draft). Enjoy.

PJ's nickname should be Old Faithful. He was the only shred of consistency on our team this (04-05) season. From a professional standpoint, he's one of the league's finest players. I personally respect any player who is willing to put his personal agenda on hold for the better of the team. I'm sure he'd secretly rather be on a contender. But he's not. And, last I checked, he isn't complaining. Basketball is a team sport. Unlike many of today's stars who are more about appearance and personal statistics rather than substance and teamwork, PJ represents the true definition of a team player and a leader. He's averaged over 10.5 ppg in each season since the team moved to New Orleans (that would end the next season). He's also averaged 9+ rpg in two of those seasons. Statistics like that have helped him to earn status as a top-20 player in double-doubles, free-throw percentage, and total rebounds (during the 04-05 season). Keep in mind that was all while playing out of position (Magloire was out for the season). And he relinquished his starting role for younger guys like David West and Chris Andersen on several occasions. Add to this that he was the only player to appear in all 82 games, and I don't see how anyone can argue that PJ isn't the heart of this team.

So... Old Faithful, thanks for what you did here. Congrats for what you did in Boston. Now, please retire and return home as an assistant coach.


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