Archive for January 18th, 2008

Hornets still struggling to draw fans

The Hornets are one of my favorite teams in the league to watch. And it isn’t just due to Chris Paul. The entire squad plays beautiful, intelligent basketball, and it’s pleasing to the eye. But the team had lousy fan support in New Orleans even before Katrina messed the city up, and now, even with increased effort from the team to put fans in the seats, Hornets home games are half empty. The New Orleans Times Picayune (John Reid) reports:

Despite the team’s asserted promotional push, a 26-12 record and an amended lease agreement that gives owner George Shinn an opt-out option if the team fails to draw an average of 14,735 fans a game through next season, only 9,882 showed for Wednesday night’s game against the Sonics. Hornets officials are not expecting to see a significant spike at the turnstile for tonight’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the New Orleans Arena. The low attendance has caught the attention of NBA Commissioner David Stern, who pushed for the team’s return to New Orleans after it played two seasons in Oklahoma City. “Given the play of the team on the court, I would hope that it would be rewarded by more fan support,” Stern said Thursday. “I’m disappointed in the number, but you know it may take a little time.” Wednesday’s crowd was the fourth-smallest to see a game at the Arena this season. But in the latest attendance count, the Hornets moved from last place to 29th with a 12,205-per-game average. Indiana now ranks last with an 11,960-per-game average after 18 games.

I think it’s safe to say that the Hornets will move again, eventually. Regardless, if I lived in N’awlins I’d see them live as often as I could.



The Golden State Warriors have signed guard C.J. Watson to a second 10-day contract prior to this evening’s game against the Chicago Bulls, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today.

Watson, who signed his first 10-day with the Warriors on January 8, has appeared in five games with Golden State, averaging 4.4 points and 2.0 assists in 14.8 minutes.  Watson began the season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, where he averaged 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.38 steals in 38.1 minutes per contest. At the time of his call-up ranked third in the D-League in scoring and fifth in assists. He was named the NBA Development League Player of the Month for December.

Mike Conley stepping up

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Griz rookie point guard Mike Conley is averaging 15 points on 50 percent shooting (11-of-22), 2.5 rebounds and seven assists over the past two games. … Of the Grizzlies’ last four games (0-4), two have been decided by three points or less (at Sacramento on Jan. 10 and at Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday) and another was decided in overtime (vs. Cleveland on Tuesday). … Pau Gasol is averaging 27.7 points on 63.2 percent shooting (36-of-57) to go with 13.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 blocks in the past three games. In his last 17 games, Gasol is averaging 21.2 points and 10.3 rebounds.

This is local news for the NYC area:

MSG, a premier sports and entertainment network, will partner with NBC4 HD in New York to air the New York Knicks game against the Boston Celtics on Monday, January 21 at 1:00 p.m.

The matchup will be produced by MSG and air in high-definition. MSG announcers will call the action, with Mike Breen on play-by-play and Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier serving as analyst. After the game concludes on NBC4 HD, a half-hour post-game show will air on MSG followed by an “In 60″ version of the matchup.

New York Knicks basketball is directed by Howie Singer and produced by Spencer Julien. Jeff Filippi serves as coordinating producer for the Knicks.

The Los Angeles Clippers signed guard Guillermo Diaz to a second consecutive 10-day contract today. Signed to his first 10-day contract on Jan. 8, Diaz has appeared in one game grabbing one rebound in five minutes of action.

Diaz was the NBA’s ninth call-up from the NBA Development League and played with the Anaheim Arsenal this season.

In 14 games with Anaheim, Diaz tallied 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while connecting on 75-of-154 field goals (.487) and 72-of-84 free throws (.857).

Diaz, the Clippers’ second round selection (52nd overall) in the 2006 NBA Draft, averaged 5.7 points and 1.7 assists in seven contests for the Clippers during the 2007 preseason. Diaz was waived by the Clippers on October 25th, prior to the start of the regular season.

Diaz spent the 2006-07 season in the Czech Republic, where he averaged 20.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 15 games for CEZ Basketball Nymburk. He also played in five games with AEP Olimpiada Patron in the Greek League in 2007, tallying 13.0 points per game.

A 6’2” native from Puerto Rico, Diaz contributed 10.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in five games for the Clippers entry in the 2007 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

In three years at the University of Miami, Diaz tallied 15.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Diaz led Miami in scoring as a sophomore and a junior and was named to the All-ACC Second Team following both of those seasons.

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