The New Orleans Hornets have avoided a potential disaster this summer when Chris Paul, the face of the franchise, almost pulled a Lebron James. Fortunately for the league, the team, the public, and Paul himself, the only other contract that he signed was the one with James’ Yabadabdoo Marketing Company. Yes, the one headed by Maverick ”Hee Haw” Carter.
You can still hear the big sighs of relief resonating out of The Big Easy, some sighs coming from Saints fans being dragged through nerve racking close games, uncharacteristic of their super bowl champs… but most of them however, because of CP3.
Paul has indicated that he is happy with the changes that have taken place, and that he feels like a rookie again. Hornets rookie GM Dell Demps added, “Paul just wants to win, that’s the most important thing. He wants to be able to have the right pieces on the floor around him so we can compete. We want to play an up-tempo style of offense and put a product on the court that people will want to come see.”
This is great as well as very exciting news for the city of New Orleans, and its sports fans. Chris Paul wants to be competitive, and his message has rung loud and clear with the Hornets front office. In total, there are 11 fresh faces at training camp preparing for the pre-season opener on Saturday October 9th, against the Grizzlies.
On top of all the roster changes, the team is going into 2010-11 with a rookie coach (Monty Williams). Williams was a player with the NY Knicks under Pat Riley, and was an outstanding assistant coach with the young Portland Trailblazers. NBA insiders view him as a good fit to lead an NBA team as a head coach. He attributes much of his success to Pat Riley,
"Just think about the guys I played with in New York, most of them are in basketball either as a coach or a broadcaster," Williams said. "Doc, Jeff Van Gundy, Derek Harper, Herb Williams, Greg Anthony and Patrick Ewing. It's amazing. A lot of that is because of Riley. And it seems like yesterday we were dead tired in the locker room following one of those four-hour practices."
Achieving team chemistry during this transition period will obviously be a big factor that will lead to the Hornets’ success, but unlike the Miami Heat, they do not have the huge ego problem that emanates thrice.
Consider this: It was not that long ago (2007-08) when CP3 took the reins of the Hornets and led them to the second best record (56-26) in the very tough Western Conference. This has become the Hornet's benchmark season, the best in franchise history. Paul led his team while handing in an amazing 20-10 season average. That year the Hornets finished first in the South West.
It is therefore, not inconceivable for this stellar point guard to repeat, and even surpass that performance this upcoming season. Especially since he has better talent (comparatively) to work with, and CP3 is only 25 years old!
Indeed, all the pieces are coming together, and Paul is over the injury that had cost him a good chunk of last season. The big reason that contributed to New Orleans first losing season since the team came to the Big Easy.
CP3, the team’s leader is back, he’s hungry, and you can see it in his eyes… this Hornet is getting ready to sting!
This slideshow will present the five key players of the New Orleans Hornets going into the 2010-11 season. They’re young, they’re talented, and they’re better than 2007-08!