Archive for the ‘ Charlotte Hornets Blog ’ Category

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 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

“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.


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.

Timberwolves trade Mo Williams and Troy Daniels to Hornets for Gary Neal

Timberwolves trade Mo Williams and Troy Daniels to Hornets for Gary Neal

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has acquired guards Mo Williams and Troy Daniels, along with cash considerations, from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guard Gary Neal and Miami’s 2019 second-round draft pick. In addition, the Hornets have released Elliot Williams from his 10-day contract. The Hornets roster remains at 15 players.

“We are excited to be adding two quality players to our organization,” Cho said. “Mo Williams is a proven NBA player who gives us additional versatility and depth in the backcourt, both while Kemba Walker is out and after Kemba returns. Troy Daniels is an outstanding shooter who we are already familiar with from having had him in our training camp last season.”

The 47th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Williams is in his 12th NBA season. He has played in 750 career games for the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves. An Eastern Conference All-Star in 2008-09, Williams has career averages of 13.3 points, 5.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes, while shooting .436 from the field (3758-8611), .382 from beyond the three-point line (998-2611) and .869 from the free-throw line (1442-1660). He ranks sixth among active players in career free-throw percentage and 24th in NBA history.

Williams played in 41 games for Minnesota this season, starting 19, with averages of 12.2 points, 6.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 28.0 minutes. He shot .403 from the field (180-447), .347 from beyond the three-point line (59-170) and .851 from the free-throw line (80-94). Williams scored in double figures in 23 of the 41 games, including eight games of 20 points or more, and handed out double-figure assists nine times, tallying eight double-doubles. He was named Western Conference Player of the Week for Jan. 12-18 after scoring a career-high 52 points on Jan. 13 at Indiana.

Troy Daniels

Daniels is in his second NBA season, having played in 41 career games for Houston and Minnesota after not being selected in the 2013 NBA Draft. Daniels, who was in training camp with Charlotte prior to the 2013-14 NBA season, has a career average of 3.4 points on .358 shooting from the field (49-137), including .355 from beyond the three-point line (38-107). He began this season in Houston before being traded to Minnesota on Dec. 19 as part of a three-team deal.

Daniels also saw action in 48 games last season for Houston’s NBA D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he was selected for the D-League All-Star Game and earned Third Team All-D-League honors. He averaged 21.5 points, 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 35.4 minutes, while shooting .422 from the field (232-766), .402 from beyond the three-point line (240-599) and .816 from the free-throw line (146-179). Daniels led the D-League in three-point field goals and three-point field goal attempts and ranked third in total points scored.

gary neal

Currently in his fifth NBA season, Neal was acquired last February in a trade with Milwaukee. He played in 65 games for Charlotte, averaging 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 22.1 minutes. Neal saw action in 43 games for the Hornets this season, with averages of 9.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 21.7 minutes.

Dean Smith passes away at age 83

Former University of North Carolina head men’s basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday evening in Chapel Hill. He was 83 years old.

“Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” the Smith family said in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.”

Smith was the head coach of the Tar Heels from 1961 to 1997, retiring as the winningest coach in college basketball. He led the Tar Heels to national championships in 1982 and 1993, to 13 ACC Tournament titles, 11 Final Fours, and an NIT championship, and directed the United States Olympic Team to a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Games.

ESPN’s SportsCentury program selected Smith as one of the seven greatest coaches of the 20th Century with Red Auerbach, Bear Bryant, George Halas, Vince Lombardi, John McGraw and John Wooden.

In 36 seasons at UNC, Smith’s teams had a record of 879-254. He set the record for winning more games than any Division I men’s coach in history, surpassing Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp with his 877th victory over Colorado in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. He finished his career by leading UNC to the Final Four in four of his final seven seasons.

Under Smith, the Tar Heels won at least 20 games for 27 straight years and 30 of his final 31. No coach in history had ever produced that many consecutive 20-win seasons.

Carolina was ranked in the final Top 10 of both the Associated Press and coaches’ polls each year from 1981-89. Smith’s teams finished the season ranked No. 1 in at least one of the two major polls four times (1982, 1984, 1993 and 1994).

His teams were the dominant force in the ACC, posting a record of 364-136 in ACC regular-season play, a winning percentage of .728. The Tar Heels finished at least third in the ACC regular-season standings for 33 successive seasons. In that time, Carolina finished first 17 times, second 11 times and third five times.

His teams played in 11 Final Fours, second in number only to Wooden, who had 12. Smith’s teams made 23 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament. In his last 31 years, Smith led the Tar Heels into the NCAA Tournament 27 times. Carolina reached the Sweet 16 of NCAA play each season from 1981-93. That 13-year streak is the second-longest in Tournament history to a 14-year stretch by UCLA from 1967 to 1980.

Sports Illustrated selected Smith as the Sportsman of the Year in 1997; he received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the annual ESPY Awards.

In 2013, Smith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award that his wife, Linnea, accepted on his behalf from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony.

Smith was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983 and is also a member of the the FIBA Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was named to the inaugural class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame along with James Naismith, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and John Wooden.

Smith also became the first recipient of the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement, given by the University of North Carolina Committee on Teaching Awards for “a broader range of teaching beyond the classroom.”

Born February 28, 1931, in Emporia, Kan., Dean Edwards Smith grew up as the son of public school teachers. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1949 and went to the University of Kansas on an academic scholarship. He played varsity basketball and baseball and freshman football for the Jayhawks. He was a member of Jayhawk basketball teams that won the NCAA title in 1952 and finished second in 1953.

Smith was an assistant coach at Kansas to Phog Allen and Dick Harp, and served in the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant. While in the service, he played and coached basketball in Germany. Smith served for three years as an assistant basketball coach under Bob Spear and one year each as head baseball and head golf coach at the United States Air Force Academy. In 1958, Frank McGuire hired him as an assistant coach at Carolina. Smith served as an assistant under McGuire for three years before McGuire resigned to become head coach of the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors in the summer of 1961. At that time, Carolina Chancellor William Aycock tapped the 30-year-old Smith to become UNC’s head coach.

Smith shared his knowledge of the game with a talented group of assistants. Many of them went on to head coaching jobs, including Larry Brown, Roy Williams, John Lotz, Kenny Rosemond, Eddie Fogler, Randy Wiel and Bill Guthridge.

In Smith’s 36-year tenure, more than 50 of his players went on to play pro basketball in the NBA or ABA and more played in other professional leagues both in the United States and overseas.

Six of Smith’s players won rookie of the year awards in either the NBA or ABA, including Charles Scott, Robert McAdoo, Walter Davis, Phil Ford, Michael Jordan and Vince Carter. McAdoo and Jordan won MVP honors in the NBA and Billy Cunningham was the MVP in the ABA. Three of his players –Cunningham, James Worthy and Jordan – were named to the NBA’s Greatest 50 Players. Those three plus Larry Brown and McAdoo also are in the Naismith Hall of Fame.

Smith coached student-athletes who went on to become doctors, lawyers and businessmen. Better than 95 percent of his lettermen earned their degrees.

Smith retired as the winningest coach in the history of the NCAA Tournament with 65 victories. In 36 ACC Tournaments, he had a coaching record of 58-23, a winning percentage of .716.

Smith, who played for the legendary Phog Allen at Kansas in the early 1950s, is one of only two men to both play on and coach an NCAA championship team. Smith was a member of the Jayhawk squad that won college basketball’s top prize in 1952. Bob Knight is the other person to accomplish the feat.

After taking Carolina to the NCAA championship game in 1977, Smith was named National Coach of the Year by the NABC. He received similar honors from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Basketball Weekly in 1979 and from Medalist in 1982. He was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year in 1993 after leading the Tar Heels to the national crown.

In 1993, the Atlantic Coast Sportswriters Association named Smith the ACC Coach of the Year, an honor he received on seven other occasions as well—1967, 1968, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1988.

– North Carolina basketball

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak issued the following statement today: “Coach Smith was one of the most influential people in my life, and his passing brings me great sadness. However, he was a great man and someone I loved and respected greatly, and I celebrate the fact that I knew him and had him in my life for as long as I did. His influence on my life didn’t end when I left Chapel Hill, as he was a trusted and valuable advisor to me when I became a player, then an executive in the NBA. He had a hugely positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young men who were lucky enough to call him Coach, and I was blessed to be among them.”

Michael Jordan quote on the death of Dean Smith: “Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life. My heart goes out to Linnea and their kids. We’ve lost a great man who had an incredible impact on his players, his staff and the entire UNC family.”

Kemba Walker out at least six weeks after knee surgery

Kemba Walker out at least six weeks after knee surgery

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. The procedure was completed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Walker’s recovery time is expected to be a minimum of six weeks.

Walker is the Hornets’ leader in points (18.8), assists (5.2) and steals (1.4). Walker averaged 23.0 points on .429 shooting from the field (171-399), including .355 from beyond the three-point line (43-121) over his last 21 games played. He scored at least 28 points in six straight games from Jan. 3-14, the longest streak of his career and the second-longest streak in the NBA this season behind only Russell Westbrook’s nine straight games from Dec. 12-26. Walker scored 20 or more points in 14 of his last 21 games played.

The Hornets are 19-26 this season, and have been on a roll recently, winning 8 of their last 10 games. They will absolutely miss Walker, though, who along with center Al Jefferson is the heart and soul of the team.

Kemba Walker injury update: torn lateral meniscus in left knee

kemba walker

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker received a second opinion on his left knee today in New York. Dr. David Altchek confirmed Hornets team orthopedic physician Dr. Marcus Cook’s previous diagnosis of a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. Walker will undergo surgery, performed by Dr. Altchek, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 28. A timeline for his recovery will be determined following surgery.

Walker is averaging 18.8 points, 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 35.6 minutes per game, leading the team in points, assists and minutes played. The fourth-year point guard is currently tied for sixth in the NBA in assists per turnover ratio (3.1). In his last 21 games, Walker has averaged 23.0 points, including scoring 20 or more points in 14 contests. Walker was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Jan. 5 through Jan. 11 after leading the Hornets to a perfect 4-0 week in which he led the NBA in scoring (30.3 ppg). He had a streak of three consecutive 30-point games (Jan. 3 – Jan. 7), which tied the longest such streak in the NBA this season.

P.J. Hairston fined for flopping

Charlotte Hornets guard-forward P.J. Hairston has been fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules for the second time this season.

The flop was epic, and is being celebrated by anti-flop crusaders on the Internet as the flop of the 2014-15 season so far.

The incident occurred with 11:04 remaining in the fourth quarter of Charlotte’s 98-93 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at Time Warner Cable Arena.

You can view the video here.

Kemba Walker

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 5, through Sunday, Jan. 11.

Walker led the Hornets to a 4-0 week behind a league-leading 30.3 ppg. Walker, who posted back-to-back 30-point outings to open the week, averaged 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals. He also ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference with 36.2 mpg. During a 103-95 win over the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 8, Walker scored 29 points, handed out eight assists, pulled down seven rebounds and collected three steals.

klay thompson

Thompson led the Western Conference in scoring at 27.7 ppg, and helped the Warriors to a 3-0 week. Thompson connected on 13-of-26 (.500) from three-point range and 14-of-15 (.933) free throw attempts. On Jan. 7, Thompson poured in 40 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the field, including 6-of-11 from distance, and added four rebounds and three assists during a 117-102 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Denver’s Arron Afflalo, Detroit’s Greg Monroe, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Philadelphia’s Robert Covington, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins.

Al Jefferson injured, out at least four weeks

Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson has been diagnosed with a strain of an adductor muscle in his left groin. Jefferson, who underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) earlier today, is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks.

In 32 games this season, Jefferson leads the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 18.0 points (25th in the NBA) and 8.2 rebounds (T-17th in the NBA) in 32.2 minutes per game. The 6-10 center has scored in double figures in 28 of 32 games this season and has a team-leading 10 double-doubles along with a team-best 14 games of 20-plus points scored. He scored a season-high 34 points on Nov. 7 in the Hornets win vs. Atlanta.

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