Archive for the ‘ Charlotte Hornets Blog ’ Category

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a contract extension. According to multiple reports, the extension is a four-year, $52 million deal.

“Michael is a huge part of what we are trying to build here in Charlotte,” Cho said. “He has dedicated himself to improving and expanding his game. Michael continues to develop on both ends of the court and has become a key piece of our team. We are thrilled that he is a Charlotte Hornet.”

The fourth-year small forward has played the first three seasons of his career in Charlotte after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. In 2014-15, Kidd-Gilchrist averaged a career-best 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in 28.9 minutes over the course of 55 games played (52 starts). His 7.6 rebounds per game ranked first among all small forwards in the NBA. Last season, he registered career highs of 12 double-doubles and 35 double-figure scoring games after totaling one and 14, respectively, the previous season. The University of Kentucky product holds career averages of 9.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game in 195 career appearances (192 starts) in three seasons in the NBA.

During the 2014-15 campaign, Kidd-Gilchrist posted a net differential of +10.8 points per 100 possessions, the largest differential of any Hornets player (Charlotte was +3.1 with him on the court as opposed to -7.7 with him off the court). His contributions are not limited to the defensive side of the ball, as the Hornets scored 2.7 more points per game with him in the lineup and Kidd-Gilchrist improved his field goal percentage from eight feet from the basket and further by 11.5 percentage points as compared to his first two seasons (.280 from 2012-14 compared to .395 in 2014-15). In the last two seasons under Head Coach Steve Clifford, Kidd-Gilchrist has been an essential component to Charlotte’s success. The team has posted a 62-55 record (.530) with him in the lineup as opposed to a 14-33 record (.298) when he has been unable to play. As a rookie, he was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in November 2012 and was named to the 2013 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

“I want to thank Hornets ownership, Rich, Chad, Coach Clifford and the entire organization,” said Kidd-Gilchrist. “I’m excited to continue my career in Charlotte and be a part of the Hornets organization moving forward. I can’t wait to get out on the court with my teammates for this upcoming season.”

Enjoy these summer league highlights of Charlotte Hornets rookie Frank Kaminsky

Hornets sign Tyler Hansbrough

Hornets sign Tyler Hansbrough

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced Wednesday that the team has signed free agent forward Tyler Hansbrough.

“Tyler Hansbrough is a solid NBA player who can contribute to our team,” Cho said. “He brings energy and physicality every time he steps on the floor. We are glad to have him.”

Hansbrough is — and we mean this in a good way — an irritant to the other team. Nicknamed “Psycho T,” the rugged power forward always goes the extra mile in the hustle department and is worthy of being in a pretty good team’s rotation as a backup.

A six-year NBA veteran, the 6-9 Hansbrough was initially selected with the 13th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He has played in 384 NBA games for the Pacers and Raptors, with career averages of 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 17.9 minutes. He has shot .439 from the field (915-2085) and .746 from the free-throw line (946-1268). Hansbrough has also seen action in 42 playoff games, averaging 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.4 minutes.

Hansbrough spent the 2014-15 season with the Raptors, where he played in 74 games and averaged 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.3 minutes, while shooting a career-high .521 from the field (86-165).

Prior to entering the NBA, Hansbrough played four years at the University of North Carolina, where he averaged 20.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in 142 career games and shot .536 from the field (939-1752) and .791 from the free-throw line (982-1241). As a junior in 2007-08, his accolades included Consensus National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, ACC Athlete of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP and a record eight ACC Player of the Week awards. One of only two players in NCAA history to earn First Team All-American honors in each of his four seasons, Hansbrough was selected First Team All-ACC all four years and to the ACC All-Tournament Team three times. He led the Tar Heels in scoring and rebounding in each of his four seasons, helping the team to the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Hansbrough, who had his No. 50 jersey retired, remains UNC’s career leader in scoring (2872), rebounding (1219) double-figure scoring games (133), 20-point games (78), field goals (939), field goal attempts (1752), free throws (982) and free throw attempts (1241). He is also the ACC’s all-time leader in scoring, double-figure scoring games, 20-point games, free throws and free throw attempts.

Hornets sign guard Aaron Harrison

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced yesterday that the team has signed free agent guard Aaron Harrison.

“Aaron Harrison played very well for us in Summer League,” Cho said. “He is a talented young player with a lot of potential and we look forward to seeing what he can do moving forward.”

Harrison played the last two seasons at the University of Kentucky. He saw action in 79 games, helping the Wildcats to back-to-back Final Fours, with averages of 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 29.2 minutes. In 2014-15, he was named Second Team All-SEC after averaging a team-high 11.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 25.8 minutes as Kentucky became the first team in NCAA history to start a season 38-0 before falling to Wisconsin in the national semifinals. Harrison, who was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team in each of his two seasons, also earned NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team honors in 2013-14, when he hit three consecutive game-winning three-point field goals in the Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four.

Harrison, who was not selected in the 2015 NBA Draft, played in all five games for the Hornets at the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League in Orlando. He scored in double figures in all five contests, averaging 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and team highs of 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 29.0 minutes. He led the Hornets with 14 made free throws and ranked second on the team with 24 total field goals.

Hornets sign Jeremy Lin

Hornets sign Jeremy Lin

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Jeremy Lin.

“We are excited to add Jeremy Lin to our lineup,” Cho said. “He is a talented player who we feel can make significant contributions to our basketball team.”

With Kemba Walker already established as the Hornets’ starting point guard, it is assumed Jeremy Lin will come off the bench as a backup.

A five-year NBA veteran, the 6-3 Lin has played in 291 NBA games for the Warriors, Knicks, Rockets and Lakers, with career averages of 11.7 points, 4.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 26.9 minutes. For his career, Lin has shot .437 from the field (1167-2668), .349 from beyond the three-point line (259-742) and .799 from the free-throw line (812-1016). He has also played in 10 playoff games, all with Houston, averaging 8.4 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 16.1 minutes. Lin was not selected in the 2010 NBA Draft following four seasons at Harvard.

Lin spent the 2014-15 season with the Lakers, where he saw action in 70 games and averaged 11.2 points, 4.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 25.8 minutes. He shot a career-high .369 from beyond the three-point line (65-176), to go with .424 from the field (277-654) and .795 from the free-throw line (213-268).

The first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA, Lin was named by Chinese magazine Vivid as one of its eight most influential Chinese-Americans in July 2011 and by Time Magazine as one of its “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” in April 2012. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in two consecutive weeks in February 2012, becoming just the third NBA player to do so in the magazine’s history, and also appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in the second week. He also received the ESPY Award for Breakthrough Athlete of the Year in July 2012.

In addition to his NBA experience, Lin also played in 20 games in the NBA D-League with the Reno Bighorns in 2010-11 and one game with the Erie BayHawks in 2011-12. In 21 total D-League games, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.0 steals in 32.4 minutes, while shooting .480 from the field (135-281), .359 from beyond the three-point line (14-39) and .732 from the free-throw line (104-142).

Here’s the Charlotte Obsever reporting now on an incident back in June:

P.J. Hairston cited for driving with revoked license

For a third consecutive summer, Hornets guard P.J. Hairston is facing legal trouble.

Hairston was cited around noon on June 18 for driving with a revoked license, speeding, driving left of center and driving on expired tags.

According to the citation, Hairston’s 2015 black Cadillac Escalade was traveling at 51 mph in a 35 mph zone on Toddville Road heading toward Freedom Drive. The tags were expired and his vehicle went more than half its width over the double yellow line for 25-30 yards, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer N.S. Bush in his report.

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that the team has hired 38-year coaching veteran Bruce Kreutzer as an assistant coach on Head Coach Steve Clifford’s staff. Kreutzer, whose coaching experience includes stints at all levels of the sport from the professional ranks to high school, will focus much of his attention on working with the Hornets players’ shooting skills.

“I’m excited to add Bruce to our coaching staff,” said Clifford. “He is a veteran coach at all levels of the game and brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and teaching experience. He has a proven track record of helping players improve their shooting fundamentals, mechanics and ability.”

In 2006, Kreutzer joined former Hornets assistant coach and four-time NBA All-Star Mark Price to form the Mark Price Shooting Lab at the Suwanee Sports Academy, where he served as lead shooting instructor and player development coach. Kruetzer’s professional experience also includes serving as the head coach of the ABA’s Atlanta Vision (2006-2008), where the team won the Southern Division and made an Elite Eight appearance. He has also served as a shooting consultant for the NBA D-League (2008-2011) and the Philadelphia 76ers (2008-2010).

No stranger to the Charlotte area, Kreutzer served as an assistant coach at Queens University – reaching the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2003 – and UNC Charlotte, as well as head coach at Garinger High School. Garinger High School won the 4A Boys State High School Title in 1989 with Kreutzer at the helm. Kreutzer also served as head coach at Massanutten Military Academy (Woodstock, Va.), leading his team to a No. 9 ranking nationally in 2006 and developing more than 20 Division I college players during his tenure. In total, In total, Kreutzer has amassed more than 300 wins at the high school and prep levels.

Hornets trade Matt Barnes to Grizzlies for Luke Ridnour

The Memphis Grizzlies acquired forward Matt Barnes from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Luke Ridnour, General Manager Chris Wallace announced today.

Barnes (6-7, 226) holds career averages of 8.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 779 games (296 starts) over 12 seasons (2003-15) with the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. He owns career postseason averages of 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 79 playoff games (44 starts) with the Warriors, Magic, Lakers and Clippers.

A key member of the Los Angeles Clippers over the past three years, Barnes averaged 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in a career-high 29.9 minutes in 76 games (74 starts) last season. The 35-year-old shot .362 from three-point range and set personal bests for three-point makes (136) and attempts (376). He was traded by Los Angeles with Spencer Hawes to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson on June 16.

The Santa Clara, Calif. native originally was drafted by Memphis in the second round (46th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft following a four-year collegiate career at UCLA and traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on draft night.

Ridnour (6-2, 175) owns career averages of 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26.1 minutes in 830 games (493 starts) over 12 seasons (2003-15) with the Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte and Orlando. The 34-year-old was drafted by Seattle in the first round (14th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft after a three-year collegiate career at the University of Oregon.

The Blaine, Wash. native was acquired by Memphis yesterday from Orlando, where he averaged 4.0 points in 47 appearances last season, in exchange for the draft rights to Janis Timma.

Thunder trade Jeremy Lamb to Hornets for Luke Ridnour

Thunder trade Jeremy Lamb to Hornets for Luke Ridnour

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired guard Luke Ridnour and a conditional 2016 second round draft pick from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for guard Jeremy Lamb, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Ridnour (6-2, 175), a 12-year NBA veteran, has played in 830 career games (493 starts) with five teams, averaging 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.00 steals in 26.1 minutes. The University of Oregon product spent the 2014-15 season with the Orlando Magic, appearing in 47 games and averaging 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 14.5 minutes. Ridnour was acquired by the Memphis Grizzlies on June 24, 2015 before being traded to Charlotte in a separate transaction earlier today.

Lamb appeared in 47 games (eight starts) for the Thunder in the 2014-15 season, averaging 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.5 minutes. In three seasons with the Thunder, Lamb saw action in 148 games (eight starts) and averaged 7.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.7 minutes.

Blazers trade Nicolas Batum to Hornets

Blazers trade Nicolas Batum to Hornets

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Noah Vonleh and guard Gerald Henderson from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for forward Nicolas Batum, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Vonleh (6-10, 240) enters his second NBA season in 2015-16 after Charlotte selected the Indiana standout with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. In 25 career games with the Hornets, Vonleh, 19, is averaging 3.3 points (39.5% FG, 38.5% 3-PT, 69.2% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 10.4 minutes.

In his lone season at Indiana, Vonleh averaged 11.3 points and led the Big 10 in rebounding (9.0 rpg) on his way to Big 10 Freshman of the Year and All-Big 10 Third Team honors.

An NBA veteran, Henderson (6-5, 215) holds career averages of 12.0 points (44.3% FG, 30.9% 3-PT, 79.4% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 27.5 minutes in six seasons with Charlotte. Selected with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft out of Duke, Henderson, 27, ranked 26th in the NBA in free throw percentage last season (84.8%), while leading the Hornets in scoring 17 times.

“Nic Batum was a key contributor to all of our recent success,” said Olshey. “He will truly be missed as a person and a player. We wish Nic all the best for the future.”

In 481 career games (428 starts) with the Trail Blazers, Batum posted averages of 11.2 points (44.6% FG, 36.3% 3-PT, 83.4% FT), 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 30.8 minutes. Acquired in a 2008 draft day trade with Houston, Batum’s 751 career 3-pointers are the third-most in franchise history.

Charlotte will host NBA All-Star 2017

The NBA announced today that Charlotte has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2017. The 66th annual game will take place at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the Hornets, on Sunday, Feb. 19. The 2017 game will mark the second NBA All-Star celebration in Charlotte, which hosted the event in 1991.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement this morning during a press conference at Time Warner Cable Arena, where he was joined by Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Mecklenburg County Commission Chairman Trevor Fuller, Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield, and Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan, who was the leading scorer of the 1991 NBA All-Star Game at the Charlotte Coliseum.

“As a thriving city with a proud basketball tradition and a deep passion for the game, the city of Charlotte is a terrific All-Star destination,” said Silver. “We thank Michael Jordan, the Hornets organization and the Charlotte community for their support and congratulate them on bringing our All-Star festivities back to North Carolina.”

“It is an honor to bring NBA All-Star back to Charlotte,” Jordan said. “I remember the excitement of playing in the 1991 All-Star Game, the first one held in my home state, and I take pride in being able to host NBA All-Star 2017 as the owner of the Hornets. This is a great moment for our fans, our city, and our franchise. We are excited to welcome the world to Charlotte and Time Warner Cable Arena in 2017.”

The 2017 NBA All-Star game will reportedly take place in Charlotte

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Charlotte has won a bid to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, the Observer has learned.

A formal announcement is expected on Tuesday, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in attendance at a news conference. Charlotte officials and the Hornets’ organization formally made a bid for the event last summer…

The city agreed last fall to pay for $33.5 million of what will be $40 million in improvements to the arena. The NBA saw those improvements as key to any All-Star bid.

gerald henderson

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that guard Gerald Henderson has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season.

Initially selected by Charlotte with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Henderson played in a team-high 80 games with 72 starts last season and averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 28.9 minutes per game. He shot a career-high .848 from the free-throw line (184-217), ranking 26th in the NBA, and made a career-best 45 three-point field goals. Henderson scored in double figures 51 times on the season, including 11 games of 20 points or more. He had two double-doubles, setting a career high of 14 rebounds in one and a career high of 11 assists in the other.

In six seasons with Charlotte, Henderson has played in 391 career games with averages of 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27.5 minutes, while shooting .443 from the field (1783-4029) and .794 from the free-throw line (995-1253).

Hornets badly need 3-point shooters

Hornets badly need 3-point shooters

Here’s the Charlotte Observer letting you know just how bad Hornets 3-point shooting is (and has been):

To say the Hornets’ 3-point shooting was bad last season would be overly kind. It was awful. As in historically awful.

The Hornets shot 31.8 percent from the 3-point arc last season, last among 30 NBA teams. But that really doesn’t convey how bad it was. Over the last decade of NBA basketball, only eight teams shot as bad or worse from 3-point range. So they were tied for 291st among the last 300 NBA teams to finish a season in 3-point accuracy.

Granted it’s not good to be last at anything, but 3-point percentage is a pretty significant NBA statistic. If you were last in steals or last in offensive-rebound percentage, you’d try to improve but you wouldn’t necessarily conclude that’s a back-breaker. This was a back-breaker.

It’s no coincidence the top two seeds in this season’s Eastern and Western Conference playoffs – the Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers – finished in the top five in 3-point percentage during the regular season. The Clippers were the only one of those teams not to reach the conference finals, and they blew a big series lead to the Houston Rockets.

Hornets need 3-point shooters

Charlotte Hornets shot bricks from 3-point range last season

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets, who finished last season with a disappointing 33-49 record, and ended the season on a six-game losing streak:

The Hornets had the worst 3-point percentage in the NBA last season at 31.8 percent. The league average was 35 percent. So it makes abundant sense to audition Turner. In his two seasons at N.C. State, Turner made 171 of his 463 3-point attempts, or 36.7 percent of his shots.

The Hornets must address this problem both internally (get power forward Cody Zeller comfortable taking the corner 3-pointer, perhaps find more minutes for shooting guard Troy Daniels) and externally. It seems likely the Hornets will use one or both of their draft picks on better long-range shooting.

Lance Stephenson says he lost confidence in his jumpshot this season

The Charlotte Hornets finished this season with a 33-49 record, failing to make the playoffs in a forgiving Eastern conference. It was a disappointing season. Lance Stephenson was considered a positive addition to the squad last offseason, and while he averaged a solid 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in just 25.8 minutes per game, the swingman only scored 8.2 points per outing on subpar 37.6% FG. And from three-point range it was nothing but bricks. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Lance Stephenson says he lost confidence in his jumpshot this season

Hornets swingman Lance Stephenson had a rough first year in Charlotte, but said he plans on coming back better and with more confidence next season.

Stephenson, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Hornets last offseason, shot 17.3 percent from 3-point range this season. That mark was the worst in NBA history among players who have attempted at least 100 3-pointers, according to basketball-reference.com.

“That is terrible,” Stephenson said of his shooting Thursday as the team addressed the media for the final time this season.

Stephenson said he lost confidence in his jump shot early in the season and never regained it.

mo williams

Charlotte Hornets guard Mo Williams and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 2, through Sunday, March 8.

Williams led the Hornets to a 4-0 week, which included two road wins and a home victory over the Toronto Raptors. Williams’ 19.5 ppg was tied for 10th in the East, while his 10.8 apg led the conference. He scored 20-plus points in three of four games, and posted two point-assist double-doubles. On March 6, he connected on four three-point field goals en route to 23 points and added seven assists during a 103-94 win over the Raptors.

russell westbrook

Westbrook averaged a triple-double as he led the Thunder to a 2-1 week. His 40.7 points led the league, while his 11.3 assists placed third in the West. Westbrook also averaged 11.3 rebounds - good for fifth in the conference, and his 3.0 steals were second-best in the conference. Westbrook recorded his seventh triple-double of the season on March 8, posting 30 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds during a 108-104 win over the Raptors.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Houston’s James Harden, the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, Miami’s Dwyane Wade, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

Forbes says Michael Jordan is now a billionaire

Forbes says Michael Jordan is now a billionaire

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting that Michael Jordan is now a billionaire, according to Forbes.

Michael Jordan just had his name added to another impressive list.

The former Bulls star, who has NBA record-career averages for regular-season scoring (30.12) and playoff scoring (33.45), has been included on Forbes magazine’s billionaires list for the first time.

MJ had a net worth of $1 billion, according to the magazine, to land at No. 1,741. Forbes said it calculated each person’s wealth based on stock prices and exchange rates on Feb. 13, 2015.

Anthony Mason dead at 48

Anthony Mason dead at 48

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting that beloved former New York Knick Anthony Mason has passed away at the age of 48:

Anthony Mason, a bruising power forward who personified the gritty Knicks of the mid-’90s, died early Saturday morning. He was 48. Mason had suffered a massive heart attack earlier in the month.

Mason played 13 seasons in the NBA with six teams but is best remembered for his days with the Knicks. After playing abroad and in both the CBA and USBL, Mason had brief stints with the Nets and Denver before being signed by Pat Riley, who admired his rugged style and his playmaking ability. Along with Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley, he helped give the Knicks of the early ’90s one of the most physically imposing front lines in NBA history.

“He was as tough as they come,” Oakley told the News.

“First I want to think all those who offered prayers and well-wishes for my Father, our family really appreciates it,” Anthony Mason Jr. said in a statement.

QUOTES/STATEMENTS ON ANTHONY MASON’S DEATH

The Mason Family: “We would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt thoughts and strong prayers. Anthony felt each and every one. He fought like a warrior to the very end. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with us through this very hard time – it is a great loss for us. We ask for our privacy during this time.”

Phil Jackson: “As a competitor, there was none fiercer than Anthony Mason. Standing on the opposite end of the playing field, coaching in those great Chicago/New York battles, No. 14 in the Orange and Blue always stood out. On behalf of the entire Knickerbocker community, our condolences go out to Lahis family. Rest in peace, Mase.”

Steve Mills: “For five seasons, Anthony Mason proudly donned a Knicks uniform like no other of his era. His New York City roots, his passion for the City game, his desire to win and his tenacity for defense made him a fan-favorite across the five boroughs, and beyond for every Knickerbocker. All of us here at the New York Knicks will remember Mase and cherish his legacy.”

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets, who are set to welcome Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back into action any day now:

Hornets a better team when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is active

Over this season and last season the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets are 10 games above .500 when small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist plays.

They are 14 games below .500 when Kidd-Gilchrist sits out.

Coincidence? Hardly. Hornets coach Steve Clifford has an expression for what Kidd-Gilchrist does for his team’s bottom line. Clifford says Kidd-Gilchrist “does winning things.”

Those things don’t always pop off box scores. Kidd-Gilchrist is top 50 in the NBA in only one statistical category this season (40th in rebounding average at 7.2 per game).

But how he impacts games, particularly defensively on a defense-centric roster, is significant and growing.

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