I remember thinking during last year’s NBA playoffs that the Hornets were a team I could root for. Whether it was Monty Williams’ use of resilient water buffalo as the team’s inspiration, or Chris Paul’s 33 point Game 1 against the heavily favored Lakers, they showed heart. They were the quintessential vision of a young, talented team that may have lost in the first round, but promised a bright future. But as is with the modern NBA, we didn’t have an opportunity to see that future. Instead, Chris Paul is ironically taking over the Staples Center with the revived Clippers, and Monty Williams is conveniently drinking bourbon to the blues in any of a million bars in New Orleans. The unfortunate Hornets are a half game better than the league worst Bobcats. They also rank 2nd to worst in offense, averaging an anemic 87 points a game. Eric Gordon is responsible for some of their scoring woes.
Gordon was the major piece the Hornets were forced to receive after being the victim of David Stern’s all-powerful veto. Rather than receiving Andrew Bynum, the Hornets got Minnesota’s first round draft pick, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman, and Gordon. As with any trade, there was speculation that the Hornets received the better deal. This was Skip Bayless, devil’s advocate-talk. Nearly everybody realized the deal wasn’t a success for New Orleans unless the draft-pick ends up being Gary Payton. Gordon is sidelined with injuries after playing just two games this season. He owes a sincere and heartfelt apology to fantasy owners worldwide. And if that wasn’t enough, Gordon and the Hornets weren’t able to agree on a deal, and he will become a restricted free agent this summer. The Hornets are struggling for wins, but even worse, struggling for hope. The future looks bleak when Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry are your main weapons. Still, the Hornets play hard, ranking 7th in points allowed. I hope the Hornets sign Gordon, or draft Jesus, because it’s a city and franchise that deserves better than the miserable and futile display they’ve given so far.