I still vividly remember going to Hornets games with my dad at the old Charlotte Coliseum, or as we called it "the Hive". The team in those early days wasn't the best in the league, but it was entertaining and boy did the Hornets fill the seats. Who would have ever thought the Charlotte Hornets would lead the NBA in attendance for 6 consecutive years back then?
I miss those days of watching Kelly Tripuka, Robert Reid, Kurt Rambis, Rex Chapman, Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry hustling up and down the court. The night the Hornets beat the Bulls on a last second offensive rebound and put back from Rambis. Those were the days.
Later iterations of the team would bring in Kendall Gill, Larry Johnson (Grandmama), Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice and other stars. The playoff win against the Celtics. I was there. I've never witnessed such an awesome sports experience before that moment or even to this day. Just watching this video again gives me goosebumps!
Now granted the team taking the court tonight isn't the original team. I've heard some outsiders saying that they can't understand why a new team name, new logo and colors would make that much of a difference. It's all about the product on the court. I couldn't agree more. While all the nostalgia will be fueling the tonight's game and most of the this season, it's still about the win loss record at the end of the day.
Post All-Star break last season the former team in Charlotte put up some great numbers and had an impressive 2nd quarter record. They made the playoffs only to face LeBron and the Miami Heat with a banged up Al Jefferson. Had things gone a little differently those last few weeks of the season they may have had a higher seed. Had Al not hurt his foot who knows what may have happened. But that was last season. This is a brand new season in every sense of the word. In addition to the players that have come back, the Hornets have added a few key free agents - Lance Stephenson from Indiana and Marvin Williams from Utah. Add those guys to drafted rookies Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston and I'm excited for this upcoming NBA season.
If you've been a regular reader of my blog then you've probably noticed by my lack of posts that I've hit that proverbial collecting wall. I often find myself going to Target or Walmart and not even looking at the card aisle these days. I really want to finish my 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter set, but I can't even find the time nor desire to collate the cards I do have so I can make a want list. I fear I've lost some readers and better yet that trading relationship I once had with many fellow bloggers. I do have to say however that my excite over the Hornets returning to town and to the court may flow over to cardboard. While I still have a very small collecting budget to work with, I'm finding myself starting to look at cards again...and even buying a few on the cheap end. Take for instance these...
Big Al has been one of the best free agent signings by Charlotte, period. I really enjoyed watching his constant effort last season. His chemistry with Kemba Walker has been great and I'm looking for good things this season. I know this card shows Al in his old uniform and most likely the white swatch was taken from an old uniform as well, but for a buck I didn't mind making this one of my first Hornets 2.0 cards.
Cody Zeller had a pretty good rookie season last year and while I didn't pick up many of his cards, this was another early Hornets cards that I was able to snag for cheap. Panini appears to have done a nice job w/ the NBA Hoops brand yet again. I look forward to picking up cards of Cody and other players in their new Hornets uniform as the basketball card collecting season moves forward.