It’s been a while since my last post. Please allow me to explain.
Being a Hornets fan is really hard.
I spent the latter weeks of the regular season clinging onto the slim hope that the Hornets could get the 8-seed in the East. And then on March 8th, they lost to the vastly inferior Brooklyn Nets by 14, and a few days later, they lost to the Knicks by 23. Neither game was as close as the score indicates. That is when I threw a white flag up on 2018.
If you read any of my earlier posts, you know that I held two things to be true: 1) Steve Clifford’s time as an effective coach was over (though I knew he would be hired by the Magic, check that Twitter feed to the left!), and 2) Dwight Howard was a black hole on offense.
Both of these situations have now been remedied. By all accounts, an effective replacement for Clifford has been hired in James Borrego. And today’s trade (that will become official after July 6th) of Dwight Howard for Timofey Mozgov, two second round draft picks and cash concerns is a classic case of addition by subtraction.
The Dwight Howard move was terrible. It was never going to work out. Every team he has ever played for claims that he is a cancer in the locker room. He is a notorious goofball. He is a child abuser, which was never going to fly longterm in Charlotte (this is the city that chased the original Hornets franchise out of town because the owner–George Shinn–had an affair with a cheerleader). He is a center in a league where the center position–as Dwight Howard plays it–is no longer important. Atlanta took on the terrible Plumlee contract just to get rid of him. I could go on and on.
Timofey Mozgov may never play meaningful minutes for the Hornets. He may not even be on the roster by Friday. But if this trade results in Kemba Walker staying and/or the shooters on the team getting actual opportunities to shoot and develop a rhythm, this will go down as one of the most important trades in franchise history.
In other news: Cody Zeller is destined to be a San Antonio Spur.
Have you ever seen the sweet third passes that the CZA makes on the regular? Those passes have ‘Popovich’ written all over them. Sources say that Cody Zeller is the next Boris Diaw.
Kawhi wants out of San Antonio. The Hornets are in a good spot to make a trade or be a third team facilitator for a draft day trade. My gut says these sources are correct.
As for me, I’m in that pre-draft sweet spot as a fan. Anything is possible. Optimism reigns supreme. The Dwight trade has me jazzed. If the Hornets have to go down, I’d rather see them go down missing open threes and running an actual offense than see Kemba pass the ball in to Dwight and then stand around and watch until Dwight shoots just before the shot clock expires. But the Hornets don’t have to go down. The 8-seed is in sight. The time is now.
(Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)