March 6, 2008

Where "where is everyone?" happens

I was hoping that the Jazz would be playing here while I was in town, but we missed that game by 2 days. We decided to go to a Hornets game anyway to see what all the fuss is about. The Hornets have the 5th best record in the league and had the best record for about the first 2 1/2 months of the season. You'd think they'd have the stands full to the rafters. You'd be wrong.

This isn't pre-tipoff either, look at the clock and score on the jumbotron.

This one was right at tip-off.

Almost 5 min left in the first.

They were playing the Hawks and it wasn't a very exciting game other than the Hornets' 62 three pointers and a nasty put-back by...some guy for N.O. The best part of the game was during the 4th quarter when there was a problem with the net on one of the rims. There was a 10 minute timeout to fix it and the Arena staff decided to run the "kiss-cam" for a full 4 minutes. For those of you that don't know, the camera men around the arena will zoom in on a couple and the jumbotron will show a cute little heart around them and that's a queue for them to kiss. Eventually it zoomed on Tyson Chandler and Josh Childress who were hanging out at the scorer's table. They both saw the screen and Childress played along and tried to plant a sloppy kiss on Chandler, which he adamantly (and playfully) denied. It was also a good time for Pargo (who I want to fight for his 4th quarter against the Jazz) to show off his Harlem Globetrotters skills, it was pretty cool. (As I write this, Around the Horn is showing the footage.)

Before I forget, I want to comment on the gayest halftime show I've ever seen.
These "brothers" were prancing around and spinning while juggling. About as exciting as an AARP convention.

There is also no lack of booz here. There are full bars throughout the stadium and beer stations about every 15 feet.

Finally, I am convinced that the people here think that Chris Paul is Jesus. It's like he is, literally, their savior. I don't think there's anything he could do that the fans wouldn't support/justify/forgive. If he got high and drunk and drove a bus into a school full of autistic and retarded orphans, they'd still chant, "M-V-P!" every time he touched the ball.

As I watched the game, I thought to myself, "How does this team have 40 wins?" There are no real stars on this team (aside from Paul) and their bench is mostly a bunch of no-names. They have specialists like Chandler (rebounds, blocks, and alley-oops); Peja (threes, threes, and threes); and Pargo (clutch shots, spark off the bench) and Paul knows how to use them to exploit other teams' weaknesses.'s hard for me to not think that they'll fade in the last 8 weeks.

[update: more pics]

Pre-game intros:

Stadium shots:

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