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Top Ten Moments of Season: #8 - Marcus Thornton Is Traded

 Every fan base of every franchise goes through a moment in time where their team makes a move to trade a player that doesn't go over so well with that fan base.  Whether it be because of hometown ties, playing the game "hard" or "the right way" or even because a player does all of the above, fans tend to attach themselves to certain players and identify with that guy.  The Hornets had a player like that in Marcus Thornton, and it's well chronicled how split the fan base still is over the decision to trade him.  But the Thornton situation sparked debate all season long and his departure infuriated an entire city.  So coming in at number 8 in the top ten moments of the season list is the trade of Marcus Thornton for Carl Landry.

There probably isn't a way to properly quantify how popular Thornton was amongst Hornets fans.  To be honest, he and Darren Collison were the only bright spots on an otherwise forgettable 2010 season and he finally seemed to be the player who the franchise was looking for to man down the shooting guard position.  Add to the fact that he was an LSU product (although Baton Rouge and New Orleans aren't always as much on the same page as outsiders would suggest) and Marcus Thornton on the Hornets just made sense.  There was initial skepticism when Monty Williams suggested that Thornton would be a "super-sub" off the bench for the team and plenty of criticism Monty's way when Thornton started to struggle.

Thornton's playing time wavered throughout the beginning of the season and Monty shouldered a lot of the blame for it.  There were reports that Thornton's defense wasn't up to par for Monty and Thornton's benching for Willie Green made it all the more frustrating.  Even still, there would be no bigger reaction at the New Orleans Arena than when Thornton entered the game.  In certain games he would show up and dominate like the Thornton from last season and then in others he would struggle with his jump shot.  In the other games, he would simply not play at all.  Thornton was eventually traded to Sacramento for front court depth in the form of Carl Landry.

There was initial pessimism amongst the Hornets fan base regarding the trade, even though most analysts favored the move from the Hornets perspective.  Thornton wound up going to Sacramento and regaining his form from last season.  The true impact of not having him on the roster in the future is still yet to be determined.  Landry, meanwhile, took some time to get acclimated to the Hornets and didn't fully get comfortable until an injury to David West put him into the starting lineup.  Once placed with the starters, Landry became the back to the basket player that the team truly needed and his effort and tenacity in the postseason certainly won him his fair share of fans amongst the fan base. 

Landry made more of an impact this season than Thornton did with the Hornets (to be fair, Thornton made more of an impact with the Kings than Landry did with Sacramento as well), but there's still some hurt feelings (even amongst most of the people at ATH) in regards to the falling out of Marcus Thornton in New Orleans.  No one topic sparked more debate amongst the fans this season than Thornton himself, so the number eight spot on the countdown of the top ten moments for the team this season is the trading of Marcus Thornton.