With news jumping out of the bag about the Charlotte Bobcats officially deciding to lose their original team name and glom onto the suddenly available “Hornets” nickname for their franchise in 2014-15, Ben Eagle at Sports Illustrated’s The Point Forward took the next natural step and mused aloud as to whether or not Michael Jordan-owned franchise will go for the full teal reveal.
Then Ben found a video along those revealing lines. It features former Hornets forward Kelly Tripucka modeling the old Charlotte Hornets’ (and now New Orleans Pelicans, because this is all very confusing) team colors and uniform at a 1988 press conference that is, well, somewhat horrifying. Watch:
I don’t know where to start. The unfurling of the uniform at the 14-second mark should not have been applauded. The odd touch that uniform designer Alexander Julian gave the Hornet forward at the 34-second mark was somewhat off-putting, and as Trey Kerby noted, Tripucka’s gushing over his being “into light blues, like this team, and purples and the mauves” should get you laughing in your cubicles. Even if this video is mostly NSFW. Especially when Kelly spins the mini-basketball.
(On a more personal note, my parents are big fans of Notre Dame basketball. Kelly Tripucka was a member of Notre Dame’s basketball team in 1980, the year I was born. I’m sure he’s probably a super sweet guy, but I really hope I wasn’t named after Kelly Tripucka.)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
Also, that's not a typo — we're going two deeper today.
C: Hawks.com. "Twenty-five years ago on May 22, 1988, two Hall of Famers staged what is widely considered to be the greatest one-on-one battle in NBA Playoff history." In celebration of that momentous mano-y-mano showdown, Micah Hart goes in-depth and all-out with an oral history that features recollections of the battle as remembered by combatants Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins, their teammates, the people who covered it and more. Very good, very fun, very well done.
PF: Sports Illustrated. Lee Jenkins spent a week with the Memphis Grizzlies during the second round of this year's playoffs for a story that, among other things, introduced us to Buckets, Quincy Pondexter's Husky puppy. It offers a pretty interesting perspective at what the day-to-day operation of a playoff team looks like, and is well worth your time.
SF: Pro Hoops History. Before he was the definition of a ref-hating homer who makes Boston Celtics broadcasts either must-see TV or borderline-unwatchable, depending on your rooting interest, Tommy Heinsohn was a dynamic scorer and inveterate gunner who attempted nearly as many shots per minute as Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. Curtis Harris takes a closer look at the playing career of the Celtics legend, one of the newest enshrinees in Harris' self-styled Hall of Fame.
SG: TrueHoop. Kevin Arnovitz bids farewell to ousted Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, "the happy warrior" who was likable enough to get along but too much of a "schematic lightweight" to get the Clippers where they need to go.
PG: 20 Second Timeout. As David Friedman sees it, Lionel Hollins' decision to roll with a lineup that didn't include Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis or Austin Daye to spark a Memphis comeback in Game 2 "reveals what he thinks of the Rudy Gay trade." Is the Grizzlies coach still sore about his "beer budget?"
6th: Brian Spaeth. Upon learning that his Cleveland Cavaliers had won the top pick in the 2013 NBA draft, author/filmmaker/podcaster/NBA-blogging trailblazer Spaeth decided to "watch as much footage as possible" to figure out who they should take No. 1 overall. He made it through 11 seconds of three separate videos.
7th: SB Nation. Paul Flannery takes a look at this year's NBA final four — one superteam, three small-market squads built according to different blueprints — and tries to figure out what lessons we can learn about roster management, player development and salary shuffling from the areas where they've succeeded and others have failed.
8th: SLAM. An awesome read from Tzvi Twersky on New Orleans Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez, whose upbringing in Venezuela made him uniquely suited to dealing with playing in hostile environments: “Why wasn’t I afraid in college? I’ve seen m*******s getting killed, people stealing stuff back home. That’s tough. Seeing that, it ain’t nothing playing at Duke.”
9th: Joe Posnanski. With the process of moving from Bobcats to Hornets now officially underway, Posnanski recalls why the Charlotte Hornets were A Big Deal, at least for a while, in their first go-round: "The Hornets made some of us feel like we lived someplace that mattered."
10th: HoopSpeak. Want to watch 15 minutes of the San Antonio Spurs' offensive sets to show the myriad options, counters and actions in their playbook? Iona College assistant coach Zak Boisvert has just the video for you.
11th: Extra Mustard. An interesting read on the background of Vivek Ranadivé, the leader of the Sacramento Kings' new ownership group, whose career has largely been built on getting and processing data quickly and effectively: "A little bit of the right information, just a little bit beforehand — whether it is a couple of seconds, minutes, or hours — is more valuable than all of the information in the world six months later."
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The Charlotte Bobcats have been awarded the fourth overall pick in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft.
Although a couple NBA players have stepped forward to tweet their excitement for the name change, Hornets legend Larry Johnson is quite peeved.
The name change people have been clamoring for has finally arrived with Michael Jordan announcing the Bobcats will change the name to the Hornets for the 2014-15 season.
In a big day for the Bobcats, the team is expected to announce a name change and their upcoming draft position will be determined.
According to reports the Bobcats want to change their name back to the Hornets.
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