In a season that has been, quite frankly, better than I had hoped for, I wanted to stop and take a look at something we as fans tend to overlook: the big disappointments of the season. Sure, everyone talks about Chris Paul's passiveness in big game situations (though he's recently returned to the CP3 of old), but I’m not talking about small picture stuff like that. I’m talking more bigger picture stuff relating to the Hornets and their future. There have been several disappointments so far this year- the inability to sign West and CP3 to long term contracts, the sale of the team to the NBA, our inability to develop Q-Pon, Ariza continuing to take threes despite air-balling (33%) more than he makes (29%) (ok, I made the air-ball stat up, but it sure seems accurate), etc., but those are largely outside of the control of the Hornets management. In my mind, there are three big disappointments from this season, and it’s time we brought them out in the open for the Hornets' management because they could fix them instantly.
1) The inability to replace the Peja heads. The Hornets management gets a collective "Come on, man!" on this count. Everyone loved the Peja heads. They were by far the goofiest gimmick the Hornets had going, and everyone I know loved them. Every time Peja hit a three, I’d get excited, looking around for the giant heads with that goofy smile to run by… and then BAM! There they went. You’re telling me we couldn’t have done something similar with Belinelli heads? Or we could have gone crazy- what if they ran giant blowups of Okafor’s shoulders every time he made a free throw?
I’m gonna throw this in as a somewhat related bonus rant- everyone knows DWest screams "And one!" every time he makes a bucket, whether it’s a hard driving lay up, a dunk in traffic, an uncontested jumper, or a free throw. Ok, maybe I made the last one up. But why aren’t they doing something with this every time he makes a shot? You’re telling me the crowd wouldn’t love to scream "And one!" every time the ball left his hands? Wouldn’t that psych his defenders out? Would refs call more fouls just because of the intimidation factor? Let’s get this up and running.
2) Our team has Aaron Gray and Jason Smith, two legit seven footers with long arms and almost no coordination. Why have we not put a video of the two of them attempting to dance up yet? Look, the pregame video is awesome- it always gets everyone fired up, it’s dramatic, and the Honeybees look mighty fine in it. But we don’t have a half time pump up video. Or even a fourth quarter one. The crowd would go NUTS if they would play a video of the two of them attempting to bust a move to Justin Beiber (Baby, Baby, Baby oooooooo) between the third and fourth. Plus, our opponents would likely be so distracted that they’d give up a six point run to start the fourth before they even know what hit them.
3) For those of you who (like me) watch most of the games on CST and not at the Hive. I personally love the McGregorstrator they run at half time. For those of you who don’t watch, the McGregorstrator runs during every halftime, and it basically consists of Gil McGregor taking a random play from the first half, talking about something that has nothing to do with the play for one minute while the play sits on the screen frozen, and then running the play while providing no or irrelevant commentary. It’s hilarious, awesome, and completely uninformative, all at the same time. But once a game isn’t enough. I want more. Let’s get this thing sponsored (how about something clever, like the Raising Cane’s never frozen McGregorstrator) and run it at the start of every quarter. This suggestion is all upside- it would bring 4x the humor to Hornets game, and could easily be turned into perhaps the greatest Hornets drinking game of all time.
Would these suggestions solve the Hornets on the court problems? Most likely, no, they wouldn't (well, except for the Oak shoulders. That would be awesome). But they would sure make the games / broadcasts more interesting, they would establish fun traditions that the fans would enjoy and remember from their game day experience, and they would just generally improve fans' connection to the Hornets.