The Real Deal: Your NEW Charlotte Hornets!

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The Real Deal: Your NEW Charlotte Hornets!

Postby rise on Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:42 pm

coming soon to NBA 2k15!

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CHAPTER 1: Road to Respectability

Professional sports in Charlotte, North Carolina have always been a roller coaster ride. The Carolina Panthers spazz between playoff-caliber and utter futility, almost like clockwork, predictably unpredictable. But North Carolina is a college basketball state first and foremost. The recent futility of the Charlotte Bobcats was so bad that the more hardcore Tar Heels fans truly believed that their college team could beat their local professional team. Winning a combined 28 games in two seasons is going to make any fanbase drift away. Spending two years at rock bottom, most Bobcats fans would rather see Duke, UNC, or NC State play in a college atmosphere than see anything that Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas touched die instantly. A revolving door of coaches, no decent veterans, not even a slam-dunk draft pick in those futile years. The Bobcats seemed out of luck and doomed to suffer in the doldrums of the Eastern Conference, with little attendance, and a general stench was associated with the Bobcat name. This culminated in an announcement that the Charlotte franchise fronted by Michael Jordan would change its name to the Hornets, the name held by the wildly popular Charlotte franchise of the 90s.

And the real fans were treated to a more couple surprises that offseason: the hiring of well-regarded assistant Steve Clifford as Head Coach, followed by a surprise signing: Big Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz. Jefferson was without a doubt the biggest free agency splash that the Bobcats ever made. Recruited by point guard Kemba Walker, Big Al said to Kemba before committing to the flailing organization, "I didn't come here to lose."

And lose he didn't. It took the combined efforts of the entire organization: Clifford's defensive schemes turned a bottom five defense into a top five defense, Kemba Walker's improved playmaking helped the Hornets down the stretch, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist showed massive defensive upside, but most of all, Big Al Jefferson shook off an early season injury to post mind-boggling numbers throughout the second half of the season, often willing the Bobcats to wins with his ultra consistent play. He would make the All-NBA third team for his efforts, and Charlotte, having missed the playoffs every year since 2011, finally found themselves 7th in the East with a 43-win season.

A first-round series against Miami went as most expected- a sweep, but this was an iconic moment. The Bobcats got to play the last game with that tainted name in the playoffs, something very few would ever have expected. Very few sweeps ever leave fans excited for next season, but Buzz Fever was in the air. Even more casual fans started to take notice in professional basketball again. Gradually, the city was painted a sea of teal and purple. The city has embraced the purple and teal more than it ever did for the orange and blue.

Charlotte went out and made another splash in 2014, signing famed ear-blower Lance Stephenson to a three-year contract. A streetball-style backcourt, and a gritty defensive mentality everywhere on the roster, there is no question this team is ready to compete, but the casual fans in Charlotte aren't easily swayed. The Hornets are going to have to prove themselves to the city, and to the rest of the league that they are THE REAL DEAL, and that they are ready to rise to the occasion to take this league by storm.


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Re: The Real Deal: Your NEW Charlotte Hornets!

Postby rise on Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:01 pm

note: I redid the trade with the updated roster so that all the picks went to the right teams, etc
HORNETS, BULLS, KINGS REACH AGREEMENT ON THREE-TEAM TRADE
Oct. 27, 2014

On the eve of the NBA season, the Hornets struck a big deal for a starting PF, landing Taj Gibson in a three-team trade with Chicago and Sacramento. The trade also sent Hornet veterans Gary Neal and Marvin Williams along with a 2015 1st round pick to the Bulls and Hornets bench warmers Jeff Taylor and Jason Maxiell were sent to the Kings. Bulls forward Cameron Bairstow went to Sacramento, and the Kings sent big men Reggie Evans and Ryan Hollins, along with a 2018 2nd round pick to Charlotte.

The deal provides the Bulls with a lot of wing depth and a future pick, while Sacramento gets a couple of athletic pieces for their bench, while the Hornets get the perfect fit alongside Al Jefferson. Gibson's rim protection and adequate scoring should take a lot of pressure off Big Al, and while neither of Hollins or Evans figures to be in the immediate rotation, they do provide depth in case of an injury.


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Re: The Real Deal: Your NEW Charlotte Hornets!

Postby mp3 on Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:58 pm

Nice pick up in Taj definitely an upgrade at PF
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