The New Orleans Hornets and the Economy

Blake StaffordContributor IFebruary 18, 2009

Apparently Barack Obama's stimulus package didn't include keeping a seven-footer in a Hornets uniform.

Tyson Chandler has now been struck by the mighty fist of the American economy. The thunderous roar you are hearing is the Oklahoma City Thunder fans laughing at the ridiculous trade agreement made between their team and the New Orleans Hornets.

As many teams prepare for the NBA playoffs and try to find the missing piece of the puzzle, the New Orleans Hornets refuse to give in to peer pressure. Sure, the Suns are shopping Amare Stoudemire, but they have many more pertinent playoff issues given that they are being coached on an interim basis by Alvin Gentry.

The Hornets, however, had their most important pieces laid out in front of them already. The coach, staff, and starting lineup were all in place, but the puzzle was not complete given their lack of depth on the bench.

This deal does give the Hornets more leverage in regards to their rotation and depth, but don't be fooled by its attractive exterior. This deal was solely based on the luxury tax looming in the offseason.

It was obvious that George Shinn was not willing to pay the $4 million in tax penalties. No one blames Shinn for not wanting to pay that kind of money, especially with the way the economy has been skating on thin ice. But wouldn't it be much easier to deal with these issues after the season is over?

The Hornets are telling their fans that they were not even close to an NBA championship even after their best season in franchise history along with the addition of key sixth man James Posey.

They are saying they're willing to give up their own title aspirations for expiring contracts. It is hard to imagine the Hornets missing the playoffs altogether, especially with players such as Chris Paul and David West, but this trade just assured them another second-round exit at best.

If New Orleans wants a championship parade to show America that the Crescent City throws parades like no other, their two professional franchises must step up and show their commitment to the ultimate prize.

The New Orleans Saints have tried to prove their commitment with their big splash in the 2006 free agency and their new defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, but the Hornets have taken a different path. 

Defense wins championships; offense sells tickets. Apparently, Jeff Bower has never heard that quote. Giving away their best defender and rebounder, even on a down year, is a slap in the face to the Big Easy.