Friday, February 27, 2009

New Dirty Coast Hornets Shirt

Ticktock6 beat me to the punch on this, but I'm posting it anyway.

Despite having three shirts devoted to Saints fandom, Dirty Coast -- a nifty little shirt shop down on Magazine Street -- had yet to produce any shirts for those of us that bleed teal creole blue and purple.

But now that's all changed. Check out the new tee, which is cleverly titled Horn.Net.Fan.

Here's what their site has to say about it:

It used to be when Saints season had ended folks would wonder what to do with all that fan energy? Well now we have a real reason to make some noise.

Word. Now if they'd only return my emails about the "Chef Paul" shirt Curry and I had in mind.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Tyson Chandler Non-Trade

Disclaimer: a lot of friends have asked for my take on the Tyson-to-OKC-and-back-again non-trade that has been the NBA's big drama of the week. Not wanting to repeat myself, I cancelled a lunch date (who am I kidding? I got stood up) and wrote this earlier today. I hope my thoughts can help put the whole ordeal in perspective.

Tuesday morning, I heard strong rumors -- and eventually learned -- that the Hornets were planning on shipping Tyson Chandler to the Oklahoma City Thunder (please get a better name) in exchange for Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox, and the draft rights to a kid whose chances of making the NBA seem about as good as my own. My intial thoughts? Let me transcribe a text message I sent to HH founder and my good friend Lee:

No no no. F**k no.

I, like many in the Hornets Blog-o-sphere, believed this team's core to be made up of three individuals: Chris "The Chef" Paul, David West, and the aforementioned Chandler. Seeing the team part with one of those three -- only to return with spare parts in his place -- hurt.

I've admitted that the Hornets' chances of making the NBA Finals (much less winning the championship) are pretty slim this year. But I always thought they'd be able to tweak the roster and make a strong run at a title next season. Or the next. When I got the news of the Tyson trade, all those hopes were gone. The trade with OKC didn't do enough to improve the Hornets this year, and it didn't necessarily put the team in a better position over the next two or three years. All I could do was hope that the move was setting up the team for another trade further down the road. Meanwhile, all sports analysts and their mothers were painting the trade as nothing more than a salary dump that was a great basketball move by the Thunder and an unfortunate one by the Hornets.

As the day went on, I heard whispers that Tyson's injury might be more serious than we thought. That got me thinking. Over the course of his career, he has had a few toe/ankle/foot injuries that have kept him out of the lineup. The only time his toe was a major issue was when it prevented him from playing with Team USA. What if the injury was keeping him off the floor for the rest of the season? What if this most recent diagnosis had discovered that he would never be the same? What if all the waiting and hoping for Tyson to regain his status as a dominant center were in vain? Yes, he put up nearly 12 points and 12 rebounds a game last season. But he's managed just under 9 points and just over 8 rebounds a game this season. A contract paying a player $24.6 million over the next two years? It's worth it for those first stats. Not so much for the latter. Especially if a recurring injury is keeping said player out of the lineup on a regular basis. What if his career is shortened?

Taking these concerns and playing the eternal optimist, I figured the team was making the best out of a bad situation. Sure the Hornets brass would want to keep their young core intact. But they definitely wouldn't want to be saddled with a big contract for a player who might not be able to perform on the court. They did what (they thought) they had to do: get the best value for damaged goods. When the trade went through, I wished Tyson the best, lamented the fact that we'd have no more Crescent | City | Connection, and did my best to look forward to the depth that Wilcox and Smith would provide.

I went to last night's game against the Magic, finally starting to accept that the Hornets were living post-Tyson. I was treated to a big surprise when the Hornets, playing without Tyson or the newly acquired Wilcox and Smith, absolutely dominated the Magic. And dominated them in the post: a stunning 44-18 Hornets edge on points in the paint and a 46-35 margin on rebounds. As soon as I got home from that game, I logged into my email and saw the following subject line: Chandler Re-joins Hornets.

As we now know, Ty failed his physical for the trade, putting some stock in those whispers about his injury being fairly serious. And the result of the failed physical is that the Hornets will keep their core three guys for at least the remainder of this season. Beyond that, who knows? But we know who we've got for the stretch run and the playoffs. And I'm happy with it. That said, I am, without a doubt, concerned about Tyson's longterm health (see: all the above "What ifs").

However, I can't post those hypotheticals without thinking about the flip side. What if Tyson re-joins a team that shows the sort of hustle from last night on a regular basis? What if his numbers improve to last season's levels? This Hornets team defeated Orlando (home of the best center in the league) 117-85... add a 7'1" defensive post presence to the mix, and you have to like it. Maybe Tyson's career doesn't succumb to the injury. After all, he has been playing with it since the Spring of 2007. Those 12 points and 12 rebounds a game? He put those numbers up during the 2007-08 season -- after the original diagnosis of the injury. Who's to say he can't do it again? And if he does do it again, I'd love to have him on my home team. For the forseeable future, he will be. And I can't complain about that.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Sooo... 24 hours ago, we were all wondering what life post-Tyson would be like. About one hour ago, news broke that Tyson did not pass the physical for the Thunder and that -- due to that -- the trade was rescinded, keeping Ty with the Hornets and leaving Wilcox/Smith in OKC.

I'm a little worried about Tyson's injury (turf toe), which has to have been a major reason the Hornets made this trade in the first place. Seeing a team ship away a big man (capable of putting up a double-double on a nightly basis) for two expiring contracts leaves observers wondering what they don't know. Of course, the move was chalked up as being financially driven (a "salary dump"). But there were other ways for the Hornets to reduce their payroll.

With the trade of Tyson, there seemed to be more. Turns out, there was. The Hornets were trying to protect themselves from being stuck with a $12 million contract for a player who might not return to that nightly double-double form. I welcome Tyson back to the team, and I'm excited to have the Crescent City Connection live on. But I'm anxious that his history of foot injuries might hamper his future. If that's the case, it puts this team at a serious disadvantage.

Obviously, only time will tell if Tyson will be able to get back to the dominant inside force and solid finisher of the past two years. But I don't want to hold my breath for too long. He's been on the sideline for a full month. I can only hope that time has done something to help his injuries.

Either way, once again, welcome back, Tyson. On a personal note, it's great to have the core of CP-DWest-Ty together again. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that Tyson can still show us the type of play that made us believe in that core to begin with.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Done Deal?

According to Darnell Mayberry at The Oklahoman, the Hornets have officially traded Tyson to the Thunder. Looks like he'll be riding the bench tonight at the other end of the court.

I'll wait to give my thoughts until the move is confirmed.

Peace, Tyson.

It appears the Hornets are closing in on a deal to ship Tyson to the OKC Thunder in exchange for Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox, and (possibly) a draft pick. I hope the talks are just rumors, but ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that a deal is expected to be complete by the end of the day.

In related news, David West said that he would not favor any trade that sent Tyson away. I guess we'll know by tip off tonight, as the Hornets visit the Thunder for the third meeting of these teams.

Getting past the initial shock of breaking up our core three players, this move would make no sense basketball-wise and would only even come close to being justifiable with regards to finances. And that sucks. I'll have more as I find it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sean Marks: All Sexy Like

So, by now, everyone should be familiar with the Peja topless and hairy-like-animal photo that has found its way around the internet and back again. In the extremely rare case that you haven't seen it, well, you're in luck my friend.

TA-DA! I don't know if the world will ever get a proper explanation for why that picture exists. But don't act like you're not happy it exists. I mean, that's six feet, ten inches, and 229 pounds of pure Serbian sex appeal. And you're all quite welcome. But the reason we're here today is not Peja. No, my friends, we gather together to honor that other tall white foreign dude who puts on the Creole Blue pinstripes night after night.

That's right. Sean Marks (with his late-game heroics against the Timberwolves on Sunday) has his own glamour shot lurking this series of tubes known as the "world wide web." And some savvy member of the New Zealand press recently brought that gem to the forefront of the national news. Well, NZ's national news, anyway. Without further ado, I give you the Kiwi in all his masculine glory...

Mr. Marks, thank you for stepping it up on Sunday to give the team 18 pts, 5 rebs, 1 blk, and 1 ast in a winning effort that remained in doubt until the closing seconds. Thanks to some outstanding play from Sean, Rasual Butler, and Devin Brown, the Hornets were able to take the lead at the end of the game... after trailing for three quarters. Unfortunately, that formula probably won't work tonight against Boston. So let's hope for some help from our big three, all of which could possibly return to the lineup to take on the defending champs in their only visit to the New Orleans Arena.