On the eve of Coach Jeff Bower's first game, I thought I'd wade through previous Hornet coaches and how they did their first time out.
Byron Scott, November 3, 2004 (Game 1): The Hornets lost at home to the Dallas Mavericks by 15. New Orleans actually would not win its first game for another 19 days, on its tenth game of the season at Utah. Oddly enough, New Orleans would only win in Salt Lake City once more over the next five+ years.
Tim Floyd, October 29th, 2003 (Game 1): A little more than a year before Scott got his start, Floyd debuted for the Hornets in an overtime win against the Hawks at home. This iteration of the Hornets would actually win its first three before losing to those same Hawks on the road, five days later.
Paul Silas, March 9th, 1999 (Game 16): The Hornets trounced the Boston Celtics at home by 18, a day after Dave Cowens left the team. Suiting up for Charlotte that day: Brad Miller and Ricky Davis. Silas would last as coach until the end of the '03 season, overseeing one of the more successful eras of Hornet basketball. Silas took over a 4-11 team, leading it to a 22-13 record down the stretch (lockout season).
Dave Cowens, November 2nd, 1996 (Game 1): Cowens took over a 41-41 team from the year before. On his first game, the Hornets swept aside the Toronto Raptors by 11, at the Hive in Charlotte. The team would go on to win 54 games before losing to the eventual champion Michael Jordans in the first round.
Allan Bristow, November 1st, 1991 (Game 1): This one's well before my time; Bristow's Hornets lost the season's first game to the Boston Celtics on the road, by 3. The leading scorer for the Celtics? Larry Bird.
Gene Littles, January 31st, 1990 (Game 41): I don't remember much about Littles other than that his was among the first basketball cards I ever owned. The Littles era started stunningly poorly- a 34 point loss at the Spurs, the sixth in a 9 game losing streak.
Dick Harter, November 4th, 1988 (Game 1): And of course, Dick Harter oversaw the inaugural game of the franchise, a 40 point loss at the Hive. That Hornets team would find the perfect antidote a few days later, beating the Clippers by double digits. Some things never change.
So basically, coaches have gone 3 of 7 in their first games with the Hornets. This is the part where, if I were a commentator, I would tell you that the Hornets have a 3 in 7 shot of winning their game tomorrow. You know, historical evidence and what not. Statistics suck, but 20 year old empirical evidence? Ooh, give me some of that.
Seriously though, who knows what's on tap. Maybe the change lights a fire under our guys, and they go out and beat a very good team. Maybe we lose by 59.
Whatever happens, Jeff Bower becomes the eighth coach in Hornets' history tomorrow, and it's sort of exciting.