[Bumping this to the front page due to its high awesomeness quotient - Rohan]
This is why the series just got real.
This is a picture I took in the Hive from the third level at Game 5 of the 2007-2008 playoffs against the Spurs. The Hornets went on to win this game 101-79.
This picture hangs on my wall as an 8 X 10.
Why do I love this picture so much? Well, being an avid sports fans, I have been to many, many sporting events. Saints football (home and away), Spurs games as a child when my uncle used to live in San Antonio (be jealous, I got to watch Michael Jordan at the Alamodome!), Rockets games during my grad school years, and Mavs games during my internship...among many others. So I have been in many loud arenas in my day. Add that with 5 years of playing in a touring rock band, my hearing is going to be shot when I'm an old geezer.
But this particular game just 3 seasons ago was not loud. It was deafening. This had to be single loudest arena I have ever been in.
We still have one more game to play in L.A., and it would be amazing if the Hornets could pull off another victory (even with Magic Johnson and Hannah Storm laughing and saying "ehh, Lakers in 5 games"), but regardless, we now have HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE.
I have been to a game this season in which the Lakers visited the Hive. Plenty of "Faker" fans (NOLA natives wearing Kobe jerseys) were in attendance and making plenty of noise as the referees refused to call fouls on the Lakers.
But, guess what? These home games will be sold out. And people will be commuting (I speak for myself and plenty of my friends and family who are coming to game 3) to support the Hornets. Hornets fans will tremendously outnumber Kobe fans, and we all know how crazy New Orleans (and Louisiana in general) fans can be.
This series is also extremely important for the Hornets' future. Why? Because should the Hornets push the Lakers and make this a series, season ticket sales will spike. They probably sold a bunch today. Last I heard (according to hornets247.com) , season tickets for next year are above 7,500 already, well on-pace to reach the goal of 10,000. Imagine, if the Hornets push the Lakers against the wall, or better yet, if they somehow win the series (barring a David Stern/referee conspiracy intervention), how huge this would be for the future of the organization. Especially if these sold out crowds witness at least one victory against the Lakers.
Now, RyanCaz, calm down, the Hornets have won only one game, and there are plenty left in this series. But winning game 1 in Los Angeles is a big deal, even if the Lakers return the favor in game 2.
And the New Orleans Hornets organization would love for this to be a hell of a series, advancing or not advancing to the next round.