Archive for the ‘ Charlotte Hornets Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog reporting positive things about the city’s chances of eventually hosting All-Star weekend:

Now that the Charlotte Hornets and the city of Charlotte have agreed to an arena renovation, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said its inevitable Charlotte will get an All-Star Game

“Personally I’m very excited about coming back here. I don’t think there’s any question it’s going to happen,” Silver said during a visit to Charlotte Wednesday. “Just a matter of what year.”

The first available All-Star Game up for bid is in 2017. In all likelihood the 2017 and 2018 events will be awarded to cities simultaneously. Silver said there’s no set date for when those games will be awarded, but he’d like it to be as soon as possible.

Hornets still aim to make playoffs

Despite their very disappointing start, it’s far too early for the Charlotte Hornets to give up on making the playoffs. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Hornets still aim to make playoffs

In seven of the the past 10 NBA seasons, the eighth and final seed in the East finished the regular season with a losing record. On average in that span, 39 victories got a team in the East into the playoffs.

Certainly it’s plausible the Hornets win 35 of their remaining 63 games. But they have to start closing out victories and Friday’s game, against the similarly struggling New York Knicks would be a good start.

“It’s a very long season. We still have a chance to win a lot of games,” point guard Kemba Walker said. “Things haven’t been going our way, but that happens. Last season we came back and won a lot of games. It’s going to click.

“It’s not insurmountable at all. People might not see it, but we’re getting a lot better as a team. Our chemistry is coming together.”

The Charlotte Hornets are off to a disappointing start to the 2014-15 regular season, putting up a 4-13 record through Friday’s games. Their backcourt is shooting especially badly, with point guard Kemba Walker hitting 38.3% FG and new shooting guard Lance Stephenson only hitting 37.0% FG. Meanwhile, small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist remains out. Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog with the MKG latest:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may be out for rest of November

It sounds unlikely that Charlotte Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will play the rest of November while recovering from a stress reaction in his right foot.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford told the Observer Saturday he isn’t counting on Kidd-Gilchrist being back before the Dec. 3 home game against the Chicago Bulls. Kidd-Gilchrist has missed the past four games after a magnetic resonance imaging in Phoenix Nov. 13 showed evidence of a stress reaction.

A stress reaction is a precursor to a stress fracture. The MRI showed weakening of the bone structure, but does not yet show evidence of a fracture.

Shooting must improve, but Lance Stephenson a rebounding machine for Hornets

The NBA season is just over two weeks old, and still new enough for teams to hold off on sounding any sort of emergency alarms if key new players haven’t totally learned to fit in just yet. The Charlotte Hornets are off to a 3-5 start, not quite what they hoped for — but again, it’s very early. New Hornet Lance Stephenson has been shooting bricks, but scoring aside he’s racking up assists, and doing monster things on the glass. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

The way Lance Stephenson has been rebounding the ball this early NBA season, you’d think he’s trying to make up for something.

Oh, wait. He is.

“I’m just trying to get boards,” Stephenson said at morning shootaround in Portland, Ore., Tuesday. “My offensive game is not coming. I’m working on that, learning how to score in this offensive system.”

Stephenson is shooting just 33 percent from the field in the Hornets’ 3-5 start, but you can’t argue with his contribution on the boards. He’s averaging 10.9 rebounds, 10th-best in the NBA.

His 14 rebounds against the Trail Blazers tied a career high. At 6-foot-5 he is the only guard among the top 19 rebounders in the league – all the others are either centers or power forwards.

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The Charlotte Hornets have waived guard Justin Cobbs, forward Dallas Lauderdale and center Brian Qvale, General Manager Rich Cho announced today.

Cobbs saw action in two preseason games, averaging 1.0 point and 1.0 rebound in 4.5 minutes. Lauderdale and Qvale each appeared in one preseason game, seeing 3:13 worth of action.

The Hornets roster currently stands at 15 players.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets. And yeah, that’s “Hornets.” The Bobcats are gone. They are the Hornets now. You knew that already, but preseason is approaching so it’s worth repeating.

Gary Neal playing well in Hornets training camp

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford made a bold statement Monday about shooting guard Gary Neal’s value.

“Our offense, once he got here, was totally different,” Clifford said.

Bold but not inaccurate. In the 25 regular-season games that followed Neal being traded to Charlotte, the then-Bobcats averaged 104.3 points per game, compared to 95.3 before his arrival. The Bobcats’ shooting percentage improved from 43.7 percent pre-Neal to 45.3 percent with him.

That’s not to say the offensive improvement was exclusively Neal’s doing. For instance, rookie power forward Cody Zeller shot far better from the field in April than in February.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer with a long look at new Hornet Lance Stephenson. Much more on the original article page link:

Lance Stephenson ready to battle for Hornets

As a Coney Island teenager given the nickname “Born Ready,” he became New York City’s best high school basketball player. After a quick stop in college, he has toiled in relative obscurity in the Midwest up until last season with the Indiana Pacers.

Now, Stephenson, the Charlotte Hornets’ big free-agent signing this offseason, is poised for a breakout with his new team. But his talent has always been belied by his outbursts.

Reserved away from the court, Stephenson displays a passion on the floor that results in triple doubles and ankle-breaking moves – but also technical fouls and head-shaking antics.

More than basketball, he also wants to make movies and music. He just released a music video for his new rap song, a remake of the popular rap song, “Hot N—a.” He has ambitions of doing more songs.

Hornets sign Jason Maxiell

Hornets sign Jason Maxiell

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Jason Maxiell. The training camp roster now stands at 18.

The 6-7 Maxiell spent last season with the Orlando Magic, averaging 3.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 14.4 minutes in 34 games.  Originally selected with the 26th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by Detroit, Maxiell spent his first eight seasons with the Pistons, appearing in 523 career games (175 starts), with averages of 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 19.1 minutes.

Over his nine-year career, Maxiell has appeared in 557 games (188 starts), averaging 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18.9 minutes, while shooting .501 (204-457) from the field.

Collegiately, he averaged 12.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 129 career games for Cincinnati. While with the Bearcats, he was named Second Team All-Conference USA twice (2004 and 2005), Conference USA All-Tournament (2004), Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year (2002) and Conference USA All-Freshman Team (2002). Maxiell played in 129 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in school history, and started the last 77 contests he played.

The Charlotte Hornets released the following statement regarding Jeffery Taylor:

“We have informed Jeffery Taylor that effective immediately he will not be participating in any team-related activities while the NBA is investigating his conduct in this matter. As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution. We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position.”

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Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Justin Cobbs, forward Dallas Lauderdale and center Brian Qvale to its training camp roster.

The training camp roster now stands at 17.

A 6-3 guard, Cobbs was not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft. As a senior at California last season, he averaged 15.6 points, 5.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds. Over his three-year career at California, he appeared in 102 games averaging 14.4 points, 5.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 34.1 minutes. Prior to joining the Golden Bears, Cobbs played one season at the University of Minnesota.

A 6-8 forward, Lauderdale was not selected in the 2011 NBA Draft. He averaged 7.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks last season with the Idaho Stampede in the NBA D-League. Lauderdale, who also played one season professionally in Poland, spent four seasons at Ohio State, averaging 4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 138 games.

A 6-11 center, Qvale was not selected in the 2011 NBA Draft and has spent the last three years playing internationally in Turkey, Belgium and Germany. He was named 2010-11 Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Big Sky Conference after averaging 14.9 points on .626 shooting (189-302) and 8.8 rebounds as a senior at Montana. The school’s all-time leader in blocks, Qvale appeared in 117 career games for the Grizzlies, averaging 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 23.2 minutes.

Charlotte finished last season with a 43-39 record. Enjoy this video showcasing some of their top highlights:

Here’s the Charlotte Observer with good news about the Hornets arena:

Charlotte City Council members on Monday approved spending $33.5 million over 10 years on improvements to Time Warner Cable Arena, money that the city said it was contractually obligated to spend.

The Charlotte Hornets will use the money to renovate restaurants and bathrooms, add lower bowl seating, improve lighting and replace the scoreboard, among other improvements.

The team and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority had originally asked for nearly $50 million in public money.

Some council members Monday lauded the city for spending less than was requested, while others said they felt they were giving the NBA team a free ride.

Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh out 6-8 weeks after surgery

Charlotte Hornets forward Noah Vonleh underwent successful surgery today to repair a sports hernia suffered in a recent workout. The surgery was performed in Charlotte by Dr. B. Todd Henneford. Vonleh is expected to miss approximately 6-8 weeks.

The ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2013-14 at Indiana University after averaging 11.3 points, a Big Ten-high 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game.

Hornets sign first-round draft pick P.J. Hairston

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick P.J. Hairston. The Hornets acquired the rights to Hairston (26th overall pick) and guard Semaj Christon (55th overall pick), along with a 2019 second-round draft pick and cash considerations, from the Miami Heat in exchange for the rights to guard Shabazz Napier (24th overall pick).

The 6-6 Hairston became the first NBA D-League player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He was named to the D-League All-Rookie Second Team in 2013-14 as a member of the Texas Legends. Hairston averaged 21.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 32.3 minutes, while shooting .453 from the field (183-404), .358 from beyond the three-point line (73-204) and .870 from the free-throw line (127-146). A participant in the 2014 Boost Mobile NBA D-League Three-Point Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend, Hairston posted eight games of 29 points or more, including a pair of 40-point outings.

Hairston played two seasons at the University of North Carolina, averaging 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 71 career games from 2011-13. As a sophomore in 2012-13, he led the Tar Heels in scoring, averaging 14.6 points, and posted the second-best single-season three-point field goal total in school history (89). Hairston was also selected First Team All-ACC Tournament as a sophomore.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on yet another famous person who has dumped very cold water on their head for a good cause:

Michael Jordan takes the ice bucket challenge

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge, going the extra mile and donating money as well as taking an ice bath.

David Beckham, Ray Allen and Derek Jeter challenged Jordan to take the challenge, which has taken on a viral nature and has raised more than $31.5 million for ALS research from July 29 to Aug. 20.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets and their desire to host NBA All-Star Weekend:

The Charlotte Hornets officially announced their bid to host the NBA all-star game on Tuesday morning. They will bid for both the 2017 and ’18 all-star games, hoping to lure one of them to Charlotte.

Team and city officials both said that Time Warner Cable Arena will need various upgrades of close to $42 million whether or not its bid succeeds for an all-star game. These would include improvements to the scoreboard and the lighting system, but other specifics were not revealed. It was also not clear whether the Hornets would make a contribution to the arena upgrades or if it would be funded entirely by hospitality tax revenue.

Enjoy these video highlights of some of Alonzo Mourning’s best career plays:

Hornets sign first-round draft pick Noah Vonleh

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick Noah Vonleh. The Hornets selected Vonleh, a 6-10 forward, with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

All NBA first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to come to the league right away. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

An early entry candidate, Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Third Team All-Big Ten in 2013-14 at Indiana University after averaging 11.3 points, a Big Ten-high 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game. The team’s leader in rebounding and blocks, Vonleh shot .523 from the field (113-216), .485 from beyond the three-point line (16-33) and .716 from the free-throw line (96-134). In 30 games played, he scored in double figures 19 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds on 13 occasions, tallying 10 double-doubles. In addition to leading the conference in rebounding, he ranked third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage and eighth in blocks.

Vonleh, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times during the season, participated in the McDonald’s All-America game, the Jordan Brand Classic and for the U.S. team at the Nike Hoop Summit as a high school senior in 2012-13.

Hornets re-sign Jannero Pargo

Hornets re-sign Jannero Pargo

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has re-signed guard Jannero Pargo.

“We’re pleased that Jannero will be back with us again this season,” Cho said. “He is a great veteran presence in our locker room who is always ready when called upon.”

The 6-1 Pargo has seen action in 47 games for the team after initially joining the franchise on March 14, 2013, when he signed the first of two 10-day contracts. He later signed for the remainder of the 2012-13 season and re-signed as a free agent prior to the 2013-14 season. In 47 games, he has averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 11.4 minutes, while shooting .419 from the field (109-260), .389 from beyond the three-point line (53-136) and .800 from the free-throw line (16-20).

A nine-year NBA veteran, Pargo has played in 490 career games with the Lakers, Raptors, Bulls, Hornets, Hawks, Wizards and Bobcats. He has career averages of 6.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.4 rebounds, while shooting .391 from the field (1213-3105), .355 from beyond the three-point line (391-1102) and .864 from the free-throw line (317-367).

Hornets sign guard Brian Roberts

Hornets sign guard Brian Roberts

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

“Brian is a quality point guard who we believe will play a key role for us,” Cho said. “We look forward to having him as part of our team.”

The 6-1 Roberts has spent the last two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 19.9 minutes in 150 total games. For his career, he has shot .418 from the field (457-1092), .372 from beyond the three-point line (123-331) and .929 from the free-throw line (195-210).

In 72 games last season, including 42 starts, Roberts averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 23.2 minutes. Roberts shot .420 from the field (244-581), .360 from beyond the three-point line (64-178) and an NBA-best .940 from the free-throw line (125-133).

The 6-1 Roberts was not selected in the 2008 NBA Draft after a four-year career at the University of Dayton in which he was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 as a senior and Second Team All-Atlantic 10 as a sophomore and junior. He spent the 2008-09 season with Galil Gilboa in Israel’s Winner League. He then played for Brose Baskets in Germany’s BBL from 2009-12, helping the team to three-straight league championships, before signing with the Pelicans in August 2012.

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