The Charlotte Hornets open their NBA season at home on Wednesday, October 29th against the Milwaukee Bucks. Whether you’re an old school Hornets fan who decided to spare yourself the pain of the Bobcats or simply a new NBA fan, the glossary below will help you catch up on where the Hornets currently stand.
Adam Morrison: Remember Adam Morrison at Gonzaga? Okay, now do you remember him in the NBA? Exactly. The Bobcats selected Morrison 3rd overall in the 2006 draft and, needless to say, it did not turn out well. This set a bad tone for the Bobcats that the team never quite recovered from. Nowadays, if another Hornets fan mentions Adam Morrison just nod knowingly and look towards the sunset (one will appear anytime his name is mentioned).
Al Jefferson: Big Al was signed as a free agent prior to the 2013 season. At the time, there was some uncertainty about whether he was worth the money (3 years, 40.5 million) but all of those doubts were put to rest during the season. Jefferson absolutely dominated the post with an array of inside moves that harkens back to old school big men. He’s an absolute pleasure to watch in the paint and will hopefully have even more room to operate with some of the perimeter threats the Hornets signed in the offseason.
Bobby Shmurda: Bobby Shmurda is a rapper who had a hit song this year titled “Hot N****”. Lance Shtephenson is a Charlotte Hornet who rapped over the beat to Shmurda’s hit shong. Then Lance made a video for his song. Here is that video:
Bobcats: This was the name used by the team from 2004 -2014 after the original Hornets moved to New Orleans. In a move that will live in the annals of creativity for centuries, the team was named after then owner Bob Johnson. It is also a blight on the NBA, the city of Charlotte and modern society. Never speak of this with anyone.
Born Ready: Born Ready is Lance Stephenson’s nickname. It is self-explanatory.
Defense: When Steve Clifford took over for the Bobcats in 2013 he already had a reputation for having a great defensive mind, but no one could have predicted how drastic the teams defensive turnaround would be. In the 2012-2013 season, the Bobcats Defensive Rating was 30th out of 30 teams and their Opponents Points Allowed Per Game was 29th out of 30. In Clifford’s first season they were 5th and 4th in those respective categories. That’s an enormous jump and if the Hornets keep it up they should be very competitive in the Eastern Conference.
Dell Curry & Steve Martin: Dell and Steve are the broadcasting team for the Hornets. For a team that hasn’t been good in a long time, the Hornets are actually lucky to have one of the better duos in the league calling their games. You might remember Dell from his years in the 1990s as a deadly three point shooter on the Hornets or from when you oggled his wife in the crowd at their son’s games or from when you oggled his son Steph’s jumpshot. Meanwhile, Steve Martin is a
well known comedian who came to prominence in the 1970s great play by play announcer.
Honeycomb: Pretty good cereal, but an even better court pattern. The Hornets new court has a honeycomb pattern and dammit if it doesn’t look great. This was a major part of the rebranding and the team absolutely nailed it. Patterned courts can feel overwhelming but this one works, especially with the classic purple and teal color scheme surrounding it. Zach Lowe ranked it #3 in the NBA on Grantland.
Hugo T. Hornet: Hugo is the Hornets mascot. He has spent the last decade or so in New Orleans sowing his oats and engaging in general New Orleans debauchery. However, starting this season he is back in Charlotte and has reconciled with his basketball family.
Kemba (see also Step Back Jumper): Kemba was picked 9th overall by the Bobcats in the 2011 draft. Since that time, he has been the team’s most consistent player and the heart of the squad. He’s been through some rough times in his short time with the Bobcats and helped see the team through to the other side. Now that he finally has help from Al Jefferson and Lance Stephenson, Kemba is finally getting a taste of some much deserved NBA success.
Lance Stephenson: Stephenson was signed by the Hornets this offseason and is one of the biggest free agent signings the team has had since becoming the Bobcats. He’s an excellent defender, and should create nightmares for other teams when he is on the court along with MKG. However, Lance also has a strong offensive game which has improved every year since he entered the league, culminating so far with him averaging about 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists last season. He’s exactly the type of player the Hornets needed to compliment Al Jefferson’s game.
Fun fact that I am not making up: Lance’s dad is Lance Sr. (okay) and his younger brother is named Lantz (what!?)
Michael Jordan: Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets. Prior to this he had a moderately successful basketball career with the Chicago Bulls.
MKG: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was selected 2nd overall by the Bobcats in the 2012 draft. He made an immediate impact defensively and has only improved on that side of the ball. Unfortunately, he has not been much of a factor on offense and other team’s defenders more or less leave him wide open if he’s more than three feet from the basket. MKG’s unorthodox shot has a Will Smith sized Hitch in it, however, he has been working closely with Mark Price to fix his form and it looks like MKG is now headed in the right direction on offense.
Noah Vonleh: Vonleh was selected 9th overall by the Hornets in the 2014 draft. Along with Cody Zeller, the team hopes he can provide some low post scoring and rebounding to help Al Jefferson. There’s not much to say about Vonleh yet but we wish him all the best. Anyway, here he is rapping Migos.
PJ Hairston: If you’re in the Triangle area you probably already know all about PJ Hairston so we’ll skip the UNC days. What the Hornets need from PJ is a consistent outside shot, preferably from beyond the three point line. What they don’t need is JR Smith 2.0. There’s no reason PJ couldn’t be successful in that role as he, hopefully, gives Charlotte that little bit of extra offensive firepower that puts the team over the edge.
Southeast: Charlotte is in the Southeast. The Charlotte Hornets are in the Southeast Division of the NBA. The other teams in the Southeast are the Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. The good news here is that we no longer have to play Lebron James as frequently now that he has moved on. That said, all of the other teams are currently on the way up so division should be more competitive than ever.
Step Back Jumper: This is a move Kemba Walker has been using since (at least) college to send souls to their final resting place. It’s usually accompanied by a crossover and followed by a buzzer going off. See below:
Steve Clifford: Clifford was hired as head coach of the Hornets in 2013 and has made an immediate impact on the team. He was an assistant coach for both Jeff and Stan Van Gundy and is known for being an excellent defensive coach (see also Defense, seriously). It basically took him one season to become the most successful and appreciated coach in Bobcats history.
Zeller (Cody): Zeller was selected 4th overall by the Bobcats in the 2013 NBA draft because according to NBA Bylaws every team must have a Zeller or Plumlee. While he had an okay first season, the Hornets will need him to up his offensive production a bit this year, especially with Josh McRoberts no longer being on the team.