Question: What happens during the NBA offseason after all of the major free agents have been signed and no meaningful games are being played?
Answer: You overanalyze literally everything! And what better place to overanalyze the storylines surrounding the Charlotte Hornets than aboard the almighty Twitter machine?
This is the first installment where we’ll take a closer (WAY TOO CLOSE) look at all the buzz that’s buzzing around Buzz City via Twitter dot com. Let’s get to it.
1. Dwight get's comfy
Polarizing 7-footer Dwight Howard has kept his Twitter account humming since landing with the Hornets in a trade with Atlanta roughly a month ago. The former 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, Howard’s online exchanges can also exude defensiveness at times – but he’s always good for a few fun exchanges with fans.
Here Howard is responding to a question regarding his messy exit from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013. As ugly as his exodus from LA seemed from a public relations standpoint, Howard deserves credit for his candor here. Hopefully the presence of Steve Clifford, who has a close relationship with Howard from his assistant coaching tenure in Orlando, is enough to keep him engaged without getting “too comfortable”.
2. Bacon signs with Jumpman
No big deal, right? Michael Jordan is the majority owner of the Hornets, so why is it compelling news that recent draftee Dwayne Bacon has signed on with his brand? Swarm and Sting notes that this additional investment in the Florida State product is quite unique, as just three current Hornets share this affiliation. “Bacon joins teammates Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller as a Jordan Brand athlete […] Dwayne’s signing is a bit different because you don’t see many second round players getting contracts with shoe companies.”
3. The Teal Mamba?
Sorry in advance Charlotte fans, but the draft-day trade that sent Kobe Bryant to Los Angeles in return for Vlade Divac will live in infamy. I suggest we all pour one out for the entire Hornets-Bobcats-Hornets franchise, as this was not only the worst trade of the club’s existence, but quite possibly in the history of the Association itself. Let us now pay our respects by taking a brief moment of silence…
4. Jordan & Jeter eye Marlins
Charlotte Observer beat reporter Rick Bonnell examines the likelihood of Michael Jordan taking a minority stake in the Miami Marlins. “Jordan is part of a group of about 15 investors, organized by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, bidding to buy the Marlins, according to a report in the New York Post. The report says the group is closing in on buying the Marlins for about $1.2 billion. Jordan, the Post reported, would not make a large financial investment in the purchase.”
5. Bold predictions
Hoop Central expects the Hornets to barely squeak into the 2018 postseason with the 8th seed, a significantly more bearish projection than the four and five-seeds that have become trendy among the local Charlotte media. Obviously the additions of Dwight Howard and Malik Monk will not transform the Hornets into the Jordan-era Bulls, but they should absolutely compete in the standings with every team not located in Ohio, Massachusetts and D.C.
6. Cho the Champ
The Hornets biggest win over the past few weeks in Las Vegas wasn’t a basketball game, but rather a ping pong match. GM Rich Cho flaunted his table tennis skills, winning an annual tournament that benefits the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Looks like the negotiating table isn’t the only table Cho dominated this summer.
Christopher Kreider | @krydr1