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View Full Version : The Official Pacers vs. Hornets Post-Game Thread (Pacers win, 92-90)



Shade
03-10-2006, 10:33 PM
1) NBA referees suck.
2) Stephen Jackson sucks.
3) See #1 and #2.

bulldog
03-10-2006, 10:34 PM
What happened with that T on the last play?

Fireball Kid
03-10-2006, 10:35 PM
Yeah, what the hell did AJ do?

Shade
03-10-2006, 10:36 PM
I'm still not sure what happened. :shrug:

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 10:37 PM
Anthony Johnson has got to be the stupidest player in the world for that. I understand getting a damn T when you have 20 minutes left in the game but that could have lost us the damn game. WOW.

He got the T for saying something to the ref as the Hornets called a timeout. Freaking moron.

Unclebuck
03-10-2006, 10:39 PM
That "T" was a joke. That ref should be ashamed.

Also I have lost a lot of respect for Chris Paul. He's a punk. He runs into people, he always tries to draw fouls. (yes I know Reggie used to do this, but Paul is very annoying about it. I hate to see that from a young player.

Two quick comments:

Can't complain about Peja not getting shots at the end of the game tonight. He took the last three shots.

Pacers made some great defensive plays, led by Foster two huge blocks.

Nice win.

able
03-10-2006, 10:39 PM
no he got the T for shoving Paul, nothing else.

purdue101
03-10-2006, 10:40 PM
-Sarunas looked horrible again
-Refs were awful
-Foster and Pollard were easily the players of the game.
-Nice to see Peja get a shot to win a game.....FINALLY

SoupIsGood
03-10-2006, 10:40 PM
WE WON!!!

Unclebuck
03-10-2006, 10:41 PM
Anthony Johnson has got to be the stupidest player in the world for that. I understand getting a damn T when you have 20 minutes left in the game but that could have lost us the damn game. WOW.

He got the T for saying something to the ref as the Hornets called a timeout. Freaking moron.


Why do I always disagree with you. I don't blame AJ at all. That type of thing happens about 25 times every game. Terrible call.

purdue101
03-10-2006, 10:41 PM
That "T" was a joke. That ref should be ashamed.

Also I have lost a lot of respect for Chris Paul. He's a punk. He runs into people, he always tries to draw fouls. (yes I know Reggie used to do this, but Paul is very annoying about it. I hate to see that from a young player.

Two quick comments:

Can't complain about Peja not getting shots at the end of the game tonight. He took the last three shots.

Pacers made some great defensive plays, led by Foster two huge blocks.

Nice win.

no joke about chris paul.

Outlaw
03-10-2006, 10:42 PM
no he got the T for shoving Paul, nothing else.

You are correct and Paul was talking smack to him just before that last time out. Paul was baiting AJ and AJ took the bait.

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 10:43 PM
Why do I always disagree wtih you. I don't blame AJ at all. Speedy walks into him after the whistle blows and AJ just kinda pushes him away. That play happens 25 times every game. Terrible call.Walk to the bench and sit down. Pollard was laying on the ground and Arron Williams walked by and kicked the hell out of his feet, didnt see Pollard get up and try to fight. Anthony Johnson is a idiot, I dont care what he did you dont put your self in position to get a T with 3 seconds left in a close game. Ohh and how wierd to see AJ's biggest fan not blame him about something.

Soon he wont be starting and that job will be back to its rightful owner. And Mel Mel outplayed him again today, for 2 straight games.

Unclebuck
03-10-2006, 10:45 PM
You are correct and Paul was talking smack to him just before that last time out. Paul was baiting AJ and AJ took the bait.


As I mentioned earlier. I have lost all respect for Paul (long before that last play by the way) I'd tell him to quit jacking around and just play the game. What an idiot. He's too good to try some of the stuff he tries, he doesn't need to do that

Fireball Kid
03-10-2006, 10:46 PM
C'mon guys.(Rick James voice) THIS IS A CELEBRATION! Why? Because we won! Thats why!

I'm Rick James, B10tch!

Unclebuck
03-10-2006, 10:47 PM
Walk to the bench and sit down. Pollard was laying on the ground and Arron Williams walked by and kicked the hell out of his feet, didnt see Pollard get up and try to fight. Anthony Johnson is a idiot, I dont care what he did you dont put your self in position to get a T with 3 seconds left in a close game. Ohh and how wierd to see AJ's biggest fan not blame him about something.

Soon he wont be starting and that job will be back to its rightful owner. And Mel Mel outplayed him again today, for 2 straight games.


If Jax does that next game I won't blame him. In fact no one would even notice because 99% of the time no "T" would be called. Earl Strom is rolling over in his grave after seeing that call.

Lord Helmet
03-10-2006, 10:50 PM
Walk to the bench and sit down. Pollard was laying on the ground and Arron Williams walked by and kicked the hell out of his feet, didnt see Pollard get up and try to fight. Anthony Johnson is a idiot, I dont care what he did you dont put your self in position to get a T with 3 seconds left in a close game. Ohh and how wierd to see AJ's biggest fan not blame him about something.

Soon he wont be starting and that job will be back to its rightful owner. And Mel Mel outplayed him again today, for 2 straight games.
1. That T hardly ever gets called; the refs were clearly biased.
2. You're telling me Tinsley never makes bonehead plays at the end of games? :rolleyes:


And I like both Tins and AJ.

SoupIsGood
03-10-2006, 10:50 PM
WE WON!!!



OMG WE WON!!!

Indyfan
03-10-2006, 10:50 PM
I didn't see the game, but listening to Mark and Slick, they were both saying how AJ almost cost them the game the with that T, and Jeff was on the postgame for a minute and also just said they have to address the T immediately and not let that happen again, ever. He talked almost like he forgot he was on the air at first, then tried to say something about the win, but they were all very upset about AJ putting himself in the position to get a T. From what they said it didn't sound like they saw it when it happened, so maybe UB is right and it was a terrible call on the ref's part.

So glad they pulled out the win. And Peja definitely had his chances at the end, thankfully making one, but also missing two.

I also noticed at least 4-5 times that when Mark said they were running and iso or clear out, that the ball did get passed back out for a shot, it is hard to follow on the radio but I am wondering if those who watched the game noticed the same thing?

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 10:52 PM
1. That T hardly ever gets called; the refs were clearly biased.
2. You're telling me Tinsley never makes bonehead plays at the end of games? :rolleyes:


And I like both Tins and AJ.Name me one time Tinsley got a T like that. I dont care if there refs where biased or not you dont put yourself in position to get that T.

If Stephen did it, yall would be ready to hang his ***.

Outlaw
03-10-2006, 10:53 PM
Might I suggest some of you feel free to use my stress reducer in my avatar. :evillaugh


WE WON....:dance: :mango: :cucumber: :rock: :carrot: :pineapple :gopacers:

Pacesetter
03-10-2006, 10:57 PM
What happened with that T on the last play?

AJ pushed off a little more than speedy did, it's just speedy didn't get caught. Should've been a no call, but that's the way the game went for Indiana.

Lord Helmet
03-10-2006, 10:58 PM
Name me one time Tinsley got a T like that. I dont care if there refs where biased or not you dont put yourself in position to get that T.

If Stephen did it, yall would be ready to hang his ***.
I can't remember off the top of my head.

But the point is, AJ isn't the only one.

SoupIsGood
03-10-2006, 11:01 PM
Tinsley doesn't play often enough to get T's.

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 11:05 PM
Was that supposed to be funny? Tinsley doesnt play enough to get T's. SMFH, womp womp wompppppppppp.

Roaming Gnome
03-10-2006, 11:05 PM
Just like that jump ball call between Claxton and Jamaal, the Tech was a ****ty call. Yes, AJ was baited and should have known better, but the call was pretty weak.

I do have to say one thing though...I wish our crowd at the Fieldhouse could get into it like the OKC fans. They were down most of the game and their fans were trying to push them thru.

New Orleans doesn't deserve that team back after the way they are being supported in OKC. I know that letting the Hornets stay in OKC is a PR nightmare, but the fans in OKC have shown the Hornets more love then that franchise has seen in a long time.

Wavejumper
03-10-2006, 11:05 PM
What happened with that T on the last play?

#1
he got the T for saying something to the ref as the Hornets called a timeout.#2
no he got the T for shoving Paul#3
AJ pushed off a little more than speedy did, it's just speedy didn't get caught
:confused:

MagicRat
03-10-2006, 11:07 PM
Jeff was on the postgame for a minute and also just said they have to address the T immediately and not let that happen again, ever. He talked almost like he forgot he was on the air at first, then tried to say something about the win, but they were all very upset about AJ putting himself in the position to get a T.

Jeff was clearly PO'd. "I don't know what AJ was thinking." and "We're out of control as a team."

He signed off with "Slick, let's go to the casino!"

SoupIsGood
03-10-2006, 11:08 PM
Was that supposed to be funny? Tinsley doesnt play enough to get T's. SMFH, womp womp wompppppppppp.


You're welcome

PostArtestEra
03-10-2006, 11:10 PM
If Stephen did it, yall would be ready to hang his ***.

Excellent point.

Unclebuck
03-10-2006, 11:10 PM
Jeff was clearly PO'd. "I don't know what AJ was thinking." and "We're out of control as a team."

He signed off with "Slick, let's go to the casino!"



I'm sorry I missed that. I had to watch Paetz interview Peja who says nothing

Fireball Kid
03-10-2006, 11:10 PM
I don't like the sound of "We're out of control as a team".

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 11:10 PM
#1#2#3
:confused:I was wrong, I just went back and looked at my tape and he pushed the dude, and ref looking right at them gave him a T.

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 11:12 PM
I'm sorry I missed that. I had to watch Paetz interview Peja who says nothing

LMAO As a fellow Serb, I just lmao at Peja, he has been in the US longer then me and I speak English better then him.

Paetz: Peja what did you think about AJ getting that T?
Peja: Ummmm (confused look on face) he got the T, they had chance to win, but we won.

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 11:13 PM
Just like that jump ball call between Claxton and Jamaal, the Tech was a ****ty call. Yes, AJ was baited and should have known better, but the call was pretty weak.

I do have to say one thing though...I wish our crowd at the Fieldhouse could get into it like the OKC fans. They were down most of the game and their fans were trying to push them thru.

New Orleans doesn't deserve that team back after the way they are being supported in OKC. I know that letting the Hornets stay in OKC is a PR nightmare, but the fans in OKC have shown the Hornets more love then that franchise has seen in a long time.I agree with you, they will go back to NO and they will have 10 people come to their game just like before the whole disaster.

SoupIsGood
03-10-2006, 11:13 PM
I'm sorry I missed that. I had to watch Paetz interview Peja who says nothing

Yes, was it just me or did he say something like "unfortunately we won the game" :laugh:

Bball
03-10-2006, 11:14 PM
While I agree that the ref calling a "T" in that situation was pretty weak (and quick), I can also say that AJ should never have put himself in that position. That 99% of the time the refs let that one go is not an excuse nor should AJ feel singled out and somehow picked upon. He blew it. His "bad".

He also (IMHO) took a few quick shots in this game.

IMHO he is feeling the heat of Tinsley's return and no longer letting the game come to him. He's forcing things and quite possibly letting some frustration sink in. His head doesn't seem to be in the game AND in the moment of late.

-Bball

piksi
03-10-2006, 11:14 PM
Why would You ever want to wait for an interwiev with Pedja Stojakovic ?

Fireball Kid
03-10-2006, 11:15 PM
LMAO As a fellow Serb, I just lmao at Peja, he has been in the US more then me and I speak English better then him.

Paetz: Peja what did you think about AJ getting that T?
Peja: Ummmm (confused look on face) he got the T, they had chance to win, but we won.

Wait a sec, your Serbian???


And I agree, Peja isnt exactly the guy you want to interview.

Indyfan
03-10-2006, 11:15 PM
Thanks MR, I couldn't remember Jeff's exact words, but they were strong.

Also Mark asked Slick what he would have done if that happened when he was coach....Slick kind of fumbled a bit in his answer and then said he wouldn't have put up with it...but also that it wasn't a problem back then because the players policed themselves and would have been all over the one who did it. Again this is a loose quote, but hopefully you get the idea.

SoupIsGood
03-10-2006, 11:15 PM
IMHO he is feeling the heat of Tinsley's return and no longer letting the game come to him. He's forcing things and quite possibly letting some frustration sink in. His head doesn't seem to be in the game AND in the moment of late.

-Bball

Why is this not labeled an attitude problem, like with Tinsley.....

Outlaw
03-10-2006, 11:18 PM
While I agree that the ref calling a "T" in that situation was pretty weak (and quick), I can also say that AJ should never have put himself in that position. That 99% of the time the refs let that one go is not an excuse nor should AJ feel singled out and somehow picked upon. He blew it. His "bad".

He also (IMHO) took a few quick shots in this game.

IMHO he is feeling the heat of Tinsley's return and no longer letting the game come to him. He's forcing things and quite possibly letting some frustration sink in. His head doesn't seem to be in the game AND in the moment of late.

-Bball Bingo! I was thinking the same thing that AJ knows he is on borrowed time with the starting job.

piksi
03-10-2006, 11:19 PM
LMAO As a fellow Serb, I just lmao at Peja, he has been in the US longer then me and I speak English better then him.

sounds same in Serbian

he is a nice guy but not very educated and outspoken. He turned pro with 16. Did not finish high school.

Wavejumper
03-10-2006, 11:20 PM
tx Jermanaiac! :buddies:


Ummmm (confused look on face) he got the T, they had chance to win, but we won.No one states the obvious like Peja!!!

Jermaniac
03-10-2006, 11:22 PM
Yes, was it just me or did he say something like "unfortunately we won the game" :laugh:Yes he did say that, lmao. Peja just looks confused when he is talking.

But as long as he hits that 3 like he does, I could care less if he talked like a caveman.

bulldog
03-10-2006, 11:29 PM
sounds same in Serbian

he is a nice guy but not very educated and outspoken. He turned pro with 16. Did not finish high school.

Is it just me or does not answering questions make him smarter than a lot of the guys in the L. He's not a jerk about it, always personable, always has a nice smile and answers every question, and never really says anything. Never gets in trouble, but the journalists still like him enough to write positive pieces about him.

To me, that's the sign of an intelligent man.

Unclebuck
03-10-2006, 11:31 PM
OK, it seems like we've beaten this into the ground. There were other plays besides the technical call.

Why does Granger get hit in the face, eyes, nose, mouth so much.

I thought this might have been Jax best defensive game of
the year or at least close to it. He was very active.

Where did Pollard's sudden offensive explosion come from. He was unstoppable.

This Kings vs Grizzles game looks like a good one.

I think Saras should stop taking three point shots for awhile. Instead of standing just outside the 3 pt line, he should move in two or three steps. I bet if he did his shooting % would sky rocket

Lord Helmet
03-10-2006, 11:31 PM
So Jeff was really pissed, I take it?

piksi
03-10-2006, 11:34 PM
This Kings vs Grizzles game looks like a good one.



way too close for my taste

since Spurs lost at himeto LAL - we really need this one

getting killed as usual by Jake and Chucky

piksi
03-10-2006, 11:35 PM
Is it just me or does not answering questions make him smarter than a lot of the guys in the L. He's not a jerk about it, always personable, always has a nice smile and answers every question, and never really says anything. Never gets in trouble, but the journalists still like him enough to write positive pieces about him.

To me, that's the sign of an intelligent man.

He is very nice and very professional.

Maybe he is smart and just plays stupid

BayouPacer
03-10-2006, 11:37 PM
I agree with you, they will go back to NO and they will have 10 people come to their game just like before the whole disaster.

You know, it is a more sensitive issue than you so callously state is as Jermaniac and RG.

Saying New Orleans doesn't deserve them because OK is showing face right now is just moronic. Maybe you should say that OK has done well to support the Hornets with the opportunity they have been given and has earned a chance to support a NBA team. One is not dependent on the other.

If you want to argue a case for New Orleans being able to support a NBA team, feel free to make the thread and I will fight you till the end in it, but to make the comment in the context you did is simply worthless.

Tim
03-11-2006, 12:12 AM
Why do I always disagree with you. I don't blame AJ at all. That type of thing happens about 25 times every game. Terrible call.

UncleBuck AJ should know better than that, there is no reason a 9 year vet should be baited into something like that in that kind of game situation.

Jermaniac
03-11-2006, 12:13 AM
"I’m just trying to get to the bench after a timeout and this little dude weighing 150 pounds was getting in the way."

:lol:

Tim
03-11-2006, 12:15 AM
1. That T hardly ever gets called; the refs were clearly biased.
2. You're telling me Tinsley never makes bonehead plays at the end of games? :rolleyes:


And I like both Tins and AJ.


And Tinsley gets lit up here for a lot less than that.

I agree with UncleBuck that the ref should have let that go BUT AJ can control that situation by not reacting.

Jermaniac
03-11-2006, 12:20 AM
And Tinsley gets lit up here for a lot less than that.

I agree with UncleBuck that the ref should have let that go BUT AJ can control that situation by not reacting.Agreed, Mel gets blasted for not laughing 24 hours a day.

Anthem
03-11-2006, 12:30 AM
Can't complain about Peja not getting shots at the end of the game tonight. He took the last three shots.
And we won. Coincedence?

Roaming Gnome
03-11-2006, 12:33 AM
You know, it is a more sensitive issue than you so callously state is as Jermaniac and RG.

Saying New Orleans doesn't deserve them because OK is showing face right now is just moronic. Maybe you should say that OK has done well to support the Hornets with the opportunity they have been given and has earned a chance to support a NBA team. One is not dependent on the other.

If you want to argue a case for New Orleans being able to support a NBA team, feel free to make the thread and I will fight you till the end in it, but to make the comment in the context you did is simply worthless.

First, If I offended you. I'm very sorry, that was not my intention.

I know that it may be hard, but I'm looking at this at a pure attendance and business angle. How do you explain a paid attendance of barely 14K(with far fewer in the stands) for the Hornets last play-off series? The New Orleans Hornets have been last in attendance every season that they have been in N.O.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that New Orleans can not support Pro Sports because I know that the Saints belong in the Bayou. They have done a fine job of supporting the Saints thru all the lean years. I just don't see the same for the Hornets, ever!

The move of the Hornets franchise to New Orleans was a mistake!!! George Shinn, owner of the Hornets, painted himself into a corner in Charlotte and the league had to approve his "bail-out". We all remember that last play-off series in Charlotte after George Shinn made an *** out of himself. New Orleans was the only city offering him a location that was ready for immediate relocation.

Bayou Pacer, do you think the support of the Hornets will improve with a city that has far less of a population? I just don't see it.

OPINION SECTION~~~
I guess the thing that irritates me is how lousy the fan support was in N.O. before Katrina....
They get moved to a city that supports them better then N.O. EVER has, then has to leave their new fans high and dry to go back to a city that will NEVER support them like they have been this past year.

piksi
03-11-2006, 12:36 AM
Pedja scored 11 of Pacers 17 points in thw 4th. Nice to see that he is capable

brichard
03-11-2006, 12:58 AM
There is a reason that Jax and Tinsley get more flack than AJ... history. If AJ continues to show a history of getting untimely technicals, then he should have the same treatment coming to him. However, Jax and Tins have been T'd up numerous times over the years. I'd be surprised if Jax is not leading our team this year in that department and I'm pretty sure the stats said he got one tonight.

Tins is seen as a bit of a hot head, but he gets far more threads related to his inability to stay healthy. It may not be his fault, but the dude is hurt quite a bit of the time.

Kstat
03-11-2006, 01:21 AM
New Orleans couldn't support an NBA team pre-Katrina.

Now, the city is even LESS financially able to support a pro team that before, city population is going to be a fraction of what it was, and the Hornets are going to go back to what they were pre-Katrina: one of the worst-supported teams in the NBA.

I'm barely sure the SAINTS can survive there now, and New Orleans supported them like crazy before Katrina.

The Hornets? No chance whatsoever.

I'm all for making New Orleans a better place again, but you're be pretty much sacrificing a franchise to do it.

Meanwhile, the Hornets, without the electric college-style atmosphere of OKC, lose the homecourt edge that's made them playoff contenders. They'll be back to being a cellar-dwellar, save some better players added to their roster.

BayouPacer
03-11-2006, 01:22 AM
First, If I offended you. I'm very sorry, that was not my intention.

I know that it may be hard, but I'm looking at this at a pure attendance and business angle. How do you explain a paid attendance of barely 14K(with far fewer in the stands) for the Hornets last play-off series? The New Orleans Hornets have been last in attendance every season that they have been in N.O.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that New Orleans can not support Pro Sports because I know that the Saints belong in the Bayou. They have done a fine job of supporting the Saints thru all the lean years. I just don't see the same for the Hornets, ever!

The move of the Hornets franchise to New Orleans was a mistake!!! George Shinn, owner of the Hornets, painted himself into a corner in Charlotte and the league had to approve his "bail-out". We all remember that last play-off series in Charlotte after George Shinn made an *** out of himself. New Orleans was the only city offering him a location that was ready for immediate relocation.

Bayou Pacer, do you think the support of the Hornets will improve with a city that has far less of a population? I just don't see it.

OPINION SECTION~~~
I guess the thing that irritates me is how lousy the fan support was in N.O. before Katrina....
They get moved to a city that supports them better then N.O. EVER has, then has to leave their new fans high and dry to go back to a city that will NEVER support them like they have been this past year.


Ok, well, first off I was not offended. As sensitive as things are down here, I have grown a pretty thick skin, so no worries there.

Ok, so lets look at the numbers. In 2003-04, New Orleans was second to last in attendence, with Atlanta last. Last year I think they were last for the 2002-03 season was very good. Easpecially for a first year franchise. Did you know that since the hiring of Byron Scott and the excitement of Chris Paul, New Orleans was on pace pre-season sales to out do its first year in New Orleans.

The thing that gets me is that one year out of the blocks, New Orleans did exactly what OK is doing now, great fan support. You can't judge a franchise on 3 years. It just isn't possible. Atlanta consistently sucks and would be more suitable to move based on its record and support over the past 10 years to move than the Hornets. Can you dispute that?

The Nets as well have been having horrific attendence problems for years and one J-Z / VC later, they are getting it back together. What people to tend to forget is that the attendence record is based on seats sold, not percentage of seats sold. I don't know about every arena out there, but New Orleans Arena is sold out at 17500 which is quite small compared to most arena I can think of.

Not to mention it has just recently been renovated to be more up to par with the other arenas.

I will let you with that right now, and we can pursue how much the city at this point needs the emotion, and financial support of a team. Don't be fooled though, there are serious economic problems in this city right now, and long term the Hornets may end up being an after thought. But we need them now, in the short term, and at 17500 attendence, it isn't as hard to sell out as you might think understanding the grassroots efforts of support that have grown since the storm, the success of the team, and the hope to rebuild the city.

bulletproof
03-11-2006, 01:24 AM
Jeff was clearly PO'd. "I don't know what AJ was thinking." and "We're out of control as a team."

Eh. I forgot who it was, Speedy I think, brushed up against AJ as he walked by him and AJ responded by flinging his arm at him. It was a reciprocal thing. Not worthy of a T by a long shot and it certainly didn't warrant Foster commenting on it.

BayouPacer
03-11-2006, 01:27 AM
Also, Roaming Gnome, being that OK doesn't have any real pro sports team, it is easy to imagine people being highly curious. However, there is absolutely ZERO support that they would maintain it. As you stated yourself, we have already shown such support with the terrible Saints.

Kstat
03-11-2006, 01:30 AM
OKC embraced the Hornets right away. New Orleans never did at all.

You're right. New Orleans has shown it can support one franchise. My observation (and pretty much everyone else's) is that it cannot handle TWO.

Same thing could be said of OKC. They just happen to be an empty city, while N.O. had already been occupied.

If the Saints leave N.O. then maybe the Hornets have an outside chance. But as long as they stay there, the Hornets will remain a shadow of an afterthought.

Sacramento is another example. As long as the Kings are the only game in town, they'll always have a huge fan following. OKC has a very similiar situation with the Hornets.

Frankly, I think the Big Easy will have its hands full just handling the task of being a 1-team town for the forseeable future.

Peck
03-11-2006, 01:39 AM
I am getting pretty p!ssed at Bird or Walsh or whoever. Why can we not get a 10 day contract big man in here who could at least fill in a few min. a game?

Now with Fred gone for an unknown amount of time, Austin out till whenever & J.O. not coming back till the season is either over or halfway over we need another body now more than ever.

After several stellar games David Harrison had a stinker, no problem really he's earned one or two, but that then puts the onus on Pollard & Jeff. Well both of them have played well but all it is goint to take are some quick whistles & you will soon be seing Peja at the 4 with Danny in the middle.

God forbid if Scot's feet go out or get to the point he can't play.

I know a 10 day guy may not mean that much but if nothing else the guy could help them practice.

Also, I know we are going to hear all about our defense again or lack thereof but am I the only one who thinks our offense is a mess right now? We've stopped moving the ball as well & we are settling way to often for long range jump shots.

The isolation play was back in full force last night as well. I know it's beating a dead horse to some of you people but I will say it again. Every game we are getting more & more of these called. In fact during the droughts in the 3rd & 4th quarters we almost went with 100% isolation plays. Nothing else was working so in this case I guess why not.

I'm glad we won & it's the sign of a good team when you can win when you don't play well. I just don't like the way we've played for the past week & a half.

FrenchConnection
03-11-2006, 01:55 AM
I am getting pretty p!ssed at Bird or Walsh or whoever. Why can we not get a 10 day contract big man in here who could at least fill in a few min. a game?

Now with Fred gone for an unknown amount of time, Austin out till whenever & J.O. not coming back till the season is either over or halfway over we need another body now more than ever.

After several stellar games David Harrison had a stinker, no problem really he's earned one or two, but that then puts the onus on Pollard & Jeff. Well both of them have played well but all it is goint to take are some quick whistles & you will soon be seing Peja at the 4 with Danny in the middle.

God forbid if Scot's feet go out or get to the point he can't play.

I know a 10 day guy may not mean that much but if nothing else the guy could help them practice.

Also, I know we are going to hear all about our defense again or lack thereof but am I the only one who thinks our offense is a mess right now? We've stopped moving the ball as well & we are settling way to often for long range jump shots.

The isolation play was back in full force last night as well. I know it's beating a dead horse to some of you people but I will say it again. Every game we are getting more & more of these called. In fact during the droughts in the 3rd & 4th quarters we almost went with 100% isolation plays. Nothing else was working so in this case I guess why not.

I'm glad we won & it's the sign of a good team when you can win when you don't play well. I just don't like the way we've played for the past week & a half.

I agree with everything you say, but especially that last part. They are going through a rough patch right now and if we can avoid long losing streaks we will be just fine. The season is long and guys get in a rut. They will pull out of it soon and get in gear for the playoffs.

Now, does anyone have better information about what Jeff said at the end of the game?

owl
03-11-2006, 07:22 AM
One subject I want to bring up is why did it take so long for the team to
recognize Peja can come off screens like Reggie and get a shot off?
This has been obvious since the very beginning when Peja arrived.
Check out AJ's quote


"Peja came through down the stretch and made a big 3," Johnson said. "He showed us he can get it done coming off screens. For now on, when the game is on the line, those are the plays we're going to call, and hopefully he can take us home."

This should be option A everytime and then in no particular order
Saras, Tinsley, JO,Freddie. Jackson's jumpshot should never be an option.

As far as AJ's T the other player extended his arm also. It was a pathetic
call by the ref. Let the players decide the game.



owl

Tim
03-11-2006, 09:10 AM
While I agree that the ref calling a "T" in that situation was pretty weak (and quick), I can also say that AJ should never have put himself in that position. That 99% of the time the refs let that one go is not an excuse nor should AJ feel singled out and somehow picked upon. He blew it. His "bad".

He also (IMHO) took a few quick shots in this game.

IMHO he is feeling the heat of Tinsley's return and no longer letting the game come to him. He's forcing things and quite possibly letting some frustration sink in. His head doesn't seem to be in the game AND in the moment of late.

-Bball

I was thinking the same thing. At times he seems to be getting away from the style of play you all love so much.

Unclebuck
03-11-2006, 09:13 AM
Wow Peck. I'm surprised by your comments. As you know I was going to count the number of Iso plays last night, and I started to, but when I counted 1 during the whole first quarter, I decided I should just stop.

I will say they ran a number of iso plays for AJ in the post and the Hornets doubled and the pacers got very, very good wide open shots off that play, (they didn't make that many, but they got really good shots)

We need to face a fact here, the Pacers are really limited offensively right now. When Jeff and Scot are out there, what options do we really have. And last night Harrison was a non-factor, Granger played well but had to leave the game. Without Freddie we really don't have a penetrator. Sure Tinsley can , but he's just coming back.

So what option do we really have. Peck, I now wish I had kept counting all night, because I have to tell you, my sense is they ran very few iso plays last night. Didn't you see the weave late in the 4th. Didn't you see the number of plays for Peja to come of multiple picks late in the game.

Yes we are settling for far two many jumpshots. But with the players we have right now, what choice do we have.

One other general comment. From a coaching standpoint, certain players are easier to get decent shots for than others. And right now Jax is the one player who can get a decent shot whenever. We may not like it, but becaue of his size and release, he can shot over almost anyone and from a coaching standpoint, it is easy to understand why he gets and takes so many shots.

it is more difficult to get Peja a decent shot, more offense has to be run, more time is needed.

And right now those are really the only primary offensive weapons we have.

I'm a a complete loss to understand what you want the coaching staff to do, what plays do you want then to run.

Tim
03-11-2006, 09:19 AM
OK, it seems like we've beaten this into the ground. There were other plays besides the technical call.

That because we are as upset about it as AJ's team mates. Jeff is really mad and that makes it an issue.

Why does Granger get hit in the face, eyes, nose, mouth so much.

Because he is always in the mix battling. We love it and like Buckner suggested, he should wear a mask if he is going to play like that.

I thought this might have been Jax best defensive game of
the year or at least close to it. He was very active.

Yes he was.

Where did Pollard's sudden offensive explosion come from. He was unstoppable.

We needed something out of the post, JO can't go and it was foul night for Hulk.

This Kings vs Grizzles game looks like a good one.

I think Saras should stop taking three point shots for awhile. Instead of standing just outside the 3 pt line, he should move in two or three steps. I bet if he did his shooting % would sky rocket.

Rick needs to get him the ball more. Maybe he should switch Cabbage and Tinsley, let Tinsley play SG and post up smaller defenders. It won't happen but its just a thought.

D-BONE
03-11-2006, 09:23 AM
Oh, boy. We get a road win to end our skid against a solid team in a very difficult place to play and still people seem negative and reactionary. Here's some thoughts that occured as I read the thread so far:

-AJs T was dumb, but we won so why berate the guy. The officiating in this game was terrible and inconsistent. If that's a T then NO should've had about 5 more Ts called on them. How about Paul's obvious travel under the hoop where he and Snyder both went ballistic on the ref and threw the ball into the basket support? That should've at least been a T on both guys. Besides, overall AJ played a decent game.

-Why do we need to fight over players' negatives when, in reality, this was an incredible team effort. Everyone chipped in and gave max effort. Why does Jack suck? Why the JT vs AJ debate? They both played well last night and we needed everything we could get from each person.

-ISO plays: We did seem to use them a good deal, but I agree with the comment (sorry can't remember who), that I though we passed a little better out of the initial iso than before.

-Peja: I'm glad he seemed to be more of a focal point in the late-game offense. Invovled throughout the 4th offensively and hit that key 3. That was great! OK. Now for my diatribe on lack of objectivity. While Peja was an offensive catalyst in the fourth, if Jack has three shots in the last two minutes and only goes 1 for 3 he's getting crucified on here. In fact, I still see people ripping him. He had a key steal in the last two minutes and hit a key baseline jumper just outside two minutes that staved off a serious momentum push from the Hornets and the fans. In addition he again led the team in assists. Yes, UB, this was an excellent game from him on D. My point: as with JT and AJ, why do we have to create this seeming dialectic between these two? We need both guys playing well. Jack and Peja are obviously offensive options A and 1A right now in either order depending on who's hot. They both need to be involved scoring the ball.

Finally, do we take Jeff Foster for granted or something? Except for the adventures in layups 101, I think he may be my favorite player. Every successful team must have the guy who is willing to do the dirty work and JF is one of the best in the league at that IMO. He is the quintessential hard-working team guy.

317Kim
03-11-2006, 09:40 AM
These games are cutting it too close, I'm glad we won but inhalers are flying around the house when crunch time arrives.

Fiesty was fiesty he got scrappy and had 12 boards and then Scot was 1 point and one rebound away from a double double.

I must say one other thing : :boombaby: Peja :D

Unclebuck
03-11-2006, 10:38 AM
Finally, do we take Jeff Foster for granted or something? Except for the adventures in layups 101, I think he may be my favorite player. Every successful team must have the guy who is willing to do the dirty work and JF is one of the best in the league at that IMO. He is the quintessential hard-working team guy.



Oh, I for one never take Jeff for granted. Keep in mind he did what he did last night with PJ Brown guarding him and trying to keep him off the boards.

I haven't quite figured out when Peja is most effective. Coming off screens or when he takes one rhythm dribble and shots. I do know he loves to go left and pull up. But if you notice on that three he hit late, he was going to his left. He had a ton of good looks last night.

Two other observations on Peja: 1) I have haven't been able to get a read on him, as to when he is going to make it or not. Reggie I could usually tell just by the way he shot it, but Peja it is hard to tell. 2) I've never seen a guy who rarely ever hits the rim when he makes a shot, and yet for such a great shooter when he does miss he usually misses really bad.

Jermaniac
03-11-2006, 11:02 AM
I am getting pretty p!ssed at Bird or Walsh or whoever. Why can we not get a 10 day contract big man in here who could at least fill in a few min. a game?

Now with Fred gone for an unknown amount of time, Austin out till whenever & J.O. not coming back till the season is either over or halfway over we need another body now more than ever.
I agree with you 100% Peck, what if Pollard gets hurt? We would have 4 PG's, 1 SG, 2 SF's and 2 C's. Thats just bad, I bet there is a guy out there who can come in and help this team till Cro or JO come back. I dont what the hell they are waiting for.

piksi
03-11-2006, 11:16 AM
Two other observations on Peja: 1) I have haven't been able to get a read on him, as to when he is going to make it or not. Reggie I could usually tell just by the way he shot it, but Peja it is hard to tell. 2) I've never seen a guy who rarely ever hits the rim when he makes a shot, and yet for such a great shooter when he does miss he usually misses really bad.

Usually he misses when he is wide open or when he is going right. The way - you can tell - look at the arc and rotation. also when Pedja takes shot - look at what he does. If he turns around - it is good.

Pedja is still trying to find rythm in the offense. Trying to find spots and thouches. It will take some more time but it will be ok

Unclebuck
03-11-2006, 11:19 AM
Usually he misses when he is wide open or when he is going right. The way - you can tell - look at the arc and rotation. also when Pedja takes shot - look at what he does. If he turns around - it is good.

Pedja is still trying to find rythm in the offense. Trying to find spots and thouches. It will take some more time but it will be ok

Thanks

Shade
03-11-2006, 11:19 AM
I am getting pretty p!ssed at Bird or Walsh or whoever. Why can we not get a 10 day contract big man in here who could at least fill in a few min. a game?

Now with Fred gone for an unknown amount of time, Austin out till whenever & J.O. not coming back till the season is either over or halfway over we need another body now more than ever.

After several stellar games David Harrison had a stinker, no problem really he's earned one or two, but that then puts the onus on Pollard & Jeff. Well both of them have played well but all it is goint to take are some quick whistles & you will soon be seing Peja at the 4 with Danny in the middle.

God forbid if Scot's feet go out or get to the point he can't play.

I know a 10 day guy may not mean that much but if nothing else the guy could help them practice.

Also, I know we are going to hear all about our defense again or lack thereof but am I the only one who thinks our offense is a mess right now? We've stopped moving the ball as well & we are settling way to often for long range jump shots.

The isolation play was back in full force last night as well. I know it's beating a dead horse to some of you people but I will say it again. Every game we are getting more & more of these called. In fact during the droughts in the 3rd & 4th quarters we almost went with 100% isolation plays. Nothing else was working so in this case I guess why not.

I'm glad we won & it's the sign of a good team when you can win when you don't play well. I just don't like the way we've played for the past week & a half.

Any interest in Rodman? :eyebrow: :brick: :runout:

bulletproof
03-11-2006, 11:37 AM
Any interest in Rodman? :eyebrow: :brick: :runout:

Heh, he's in Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino cleaning up at roulette. No kidding. I was there last weekend, sat down to play roulette and Rodman sits down next to me with a blonde (hooker?) by his side and proceeds to win $4,700 on one spin. I laid down my chips wherever he did after that and won $125. All these goofballs kept coming up to him and fawning over him.

Peck
03-11-2006, 12:19 PM
Wow Peck. I'm surprised by your comments. As you know I was going to count the number of Iso plays last night, and I started to, but when I counted 1 during the whole first quarter, I decided I should just stop.

I will say they ran a number of iso plays for AJ in the post and the Hornets doubled and the pacers got very, very good wide open shots off that play, (they didn't make that many, but they got really good shots)

We need to face a fact here, the Pacers are really limited offensively right now. When Jeff and Scot are out there, what options do we really have. And last night Harrison was a non-factor, Granger played well but had to leave the game. Without Freddie we really don't have a penetrator. Sure Tinsley can , but he's just coming back.

So what option do we really have. Peck, I now wish I had kept counting all night, because I have to tell you, my sense is they ran very few iso plays last night. Didn't you see the weave late in the 4th. Didn't you see the number of plays for Peja to come of multiple picks late in the game.

Yes we are settling for far two many jumpshots. But with the players we have right now, what choice do we have.

One other general comment. From a coaching standpoint, certain players are easier to get decent shots for than others. And right now Jax is the one player who can get a decent shot whenever. We may not like it, but becaue of his size and release, he can shot over almost anyone and from a coaching standpoint, it is easy to understand why he gets and takes so many shots.

it is more difficult to get Peja a decent shot, more offense has to be run, more time is needed.

And right now those are really the only primary offensive weapons we have.

I'm a a complete loss to understand what you want the coaching staff to do, what plays do you want then to run.


Which part suprised you? The part that I mentioned that we played lots of isolation in the 4th quarter or the fact that I said that nothing else was working so why not?

Either way I look at it like this. We won.

As to what do I want the coaching staff to do? Motion, motion & more motion on offense.

You tell us that long jumpers are all we are ever going to get with the players we have on the floor & I will tell you that long jumpers is all you will ever get as long as you play the one guy down low & four other guys standing on the other side. Unless the post player puts up the shot you only have long distance jumpers available at that point in time.

cramerica
03-11-2006, 12:32 PM
I watched the game last night at about midnight, but I thought this game and the Houston game were very similar. We played well and were hitting alot of our shots early, but then couldn't hit too many of them late.

I want Peja (why do some people spell it Pedja?) to be a Pacer for the rest of his career as I'm sure most of you do. I cannot wait until JO and Peja are playing together.

Last night I noticed something. I felt comfortable with whoever was playing center. I know DH's shot's weren't going down, but Pollards were. And when Jeff was playing either the 4 or 5, he was scrapping as usual. I liked it.

Also, I wasn't that upset at AJ at the end. I thought it was a crappy call, but I do agree with Jerm and I wish he would of just went to the bench. But the refs can't call that crap.

I thought the Hornets were very whiny last night...especially Paul. One play, he runs into Jeff's knee and then looks at the ref for a call and was staring him down.

And is it me, or did the refs let them get away with alot of whining. PJ Brown had to be physically restrained one time after a call against him and the ref acted like nothing happened. This is not the only game where the refs are doing this. I really wish the league would crack down on it.

David West is good.

LjuboDaMan
03-11-2006, 02:28 PM
I want Peja (why do some people spell it Pedja?) to be a Pacer for the rest of his career as I'm sure most of you do. I cannot wait until JO and Peja are playing together.


because in serbian dj is one letter

but only j in serbian is more like a "yendt" sound ...

so if u ask a serbian to read Peja ... it would be more like Peya

cramerica
03-11-2006, 04:10 PM
because in serbian dj is one letter

but only j in serbian is more like a "yendt" sound ...

so if u ask a serbian to read Peja ... it would be more like Peya
Interesting. Thanks.

Unclebuck
03-11-2006, 05:05 PM
Which part suprised you? The part that I mentioned that we played lots of isolation in the 4th quarter or the fact that I said that nothing else was working so why not?

Either way I look at it like this. We won.

As to what do I want the coaching staff to do? Motion, motion & more motion on offense.

You tell us that long jumpers are all we are ever going to get with the players we have on the floor & I will tell you that long jumpers is all you will ever get as long as you play the one guy down low & four other guys standing on the other side. Unless the post player puts up the shot you only have long distance jumpers available at that point in time.



I expected you to be happy with the offensive plays they ran last night

denyfizle
03-11-2006, 05:45 PM
Yeah, what the hell did AJ do?


he just did another idiotic move when the game was in the balance. nothing new. i don't care if anybody says the refs shouldn't have called that. heck, don't give the refs a reason to call something like that!

Mourning
03-11-2006, 05:59 PM
Agreed, Mel gets blasted for not laughing 24 hours a day.

:lol:

brichard
03-11-2006, 07:39 PM
it is more difficult to get Peja a decent shot, more offense has to be run, more time is needed.


This sentence has me puzzled. Peja can shoot it all over the floor, he has great height and can shoot over most players, he releases it about as soon as he catches it... where is the part where it is hard to get him a decent shot? It seems to me that he needs very little to get going, he is just either on or off.

SoupIsGood
03-11-2006, 11:34 PM
This sentence has me puzzled. Peja can shoot it all over the floor, he has great height and can shoot over most players, he releases it about as soon as he catches it... where is the part where it is hard to get him a decent shot? It seems to me that he needs very little to get going, he is just either on or off.

Confused me too.


I think the difference is mainly in perception. Jackson has no problem chucking up a terrible shot, and sometimes, he's pretty good at making them. Peja doesn't really like to toss up a bad shot, he needs to be more open.

I think the defintion of "decent shot" changes for each player.

:shrug:

ChicagoJ
03-11-2006, 11:41 PM
What a great thread. My DirectTV/ Tivo cut out with nine seconds left in the game.

Usually the broadcast is scheduled for six hour on the LP, this one turned off at exactly 2.5 hours. By the time we got to that portion of the game, it wasn't even in the TiVo buffer anymore.

Anybody else with the same problem?

:banghead:

Arcadian
03-12-2006, 02:19 AM
I got cut off for the last play of the Philly game. I swore as much as I would have if Jackson would have missed the shot.

Roaming Gnome
03-12-2006, 08:47 AM
"New Orleans needs to start thinking about how it is going to remake itself without major league professional sports franchises, because I find it hard to believe that four, five, six years from now that those teams are going to be here," warned Roberts, the Tulane sports law expert.

NOTHING EASY ABOUT IT (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2358895)
NEW ORLEANS -- As floodwater raged past the overwhelmed levees, as stranded families clung to rooftops awaiting rescue workers to pluck them from the filthy muck that swamped this historic city, as armed soldiers struggled to quell the chaos that ensued at the storm-ravaged Superdome, the opportunities were seen from hundreds of miles away, even as the full fury of Katrina's wrath had not yet been realized.


As Katrina loomed over New Orleans, it didn't take long before some realized that more than people would be looking for new homes.At a time when the very survival of the city and its marooned residents was at stake, the future of its two major sports franchises wouldn't figure to register on the radar. But just days after the killer storm laid waste to New Orleans, an ESPN.com review of public documents reveals, civic leaders and power brokers in Oklahoma City and San Antonio frantically lined up to babysit the Hornets and Saints, respectively, with an eye on a long-term commitment if the Big Easy was unable to regain its big-city footing.

So as news cameras captured images of the hellhole left by Hurricane Katrina, as helicopters dropped massive sandbags to plug the breached levees and Humvees loaded with National Guardsmen rolled through the flooded streets, as New Orleans' frustrated and beleaguered mayor yelled to federal officials during a radio interview to "Get off your asses, and let's do something," the opportunity wasn't lost on those who realized the Saints and Hornets would be looking for places to play.

By the time an early-morning e-mail from NBA commissioner David Stern arrived in Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett's inbox on Sept. 3 -- "mayor mick--if you are checing [sic] e-mails, please give me a call ..." -- only five days had passed since Katrina wreaked her destruction across the Gulf Coast and the wheels had already been set in motion to relocate the teams, if only temporarily. There was little time, if any, wasted by the city officials in Oklahoma City and San Antonio, who moved quickly to fill their own empty sports venues while auditioning for major league brass.

Now, six months after the worst natural disaster in American history, as the Hornets return to New Orleans for a belated cameo appearance Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Saints prepare to head back to the Superdome next season, the long-term viability of the franchises is as up in the air as the New Orleans of tomorrow, despite calming words and financial commitments from league officials.

Ray Nagin, New Orleans' mayor, and other local politicians cast the survival of the teams as critical in the task to remake a major American city. Perhaps in a more realistic tone, sports industry leaders question whether New Orleans, a borderline professional sports town in the days before Katrina, can regain the population base and corporate muscle needed to support NBA and NFL franchises.

The New Orleans landscape has changed in the wake of Katrina.Even before the storm, season-ticket sales for the Saints had dipped to about 35,000. The Hornets were the NBA's worst draw last season. And New Orleans, after having played host to nine Super Bowls, had fallen out of the rotation for the NFL's mega event.

Officials from New Orleans to the statehouse in Baton Rouge just hope league officials are true to their word in realizing recovery won't be a one- or two-year deal. In the case of the Hornets, the NBA and Louisiana officials agreed to push back the club's return and play the bulk of the schedule in Oklahoma City through the 2006-07 season.

"Listen, there is no secret that both the NBA and NFL are providing us with ample opportunity to have a better projection of what the future is going to look like," said Tim Coulin, chairman of the state-run Louisiana Superdome and Exposition District, which manages the Superdome and New Orleans Arena. "It's obviously no different than any other business that has concerns over the repopulation. All we have asked for is the opportunity. And they understand because they have seen the magnitude of the disaster."

Of course, there are civic leaders far and wide who would grab the teams in a heartbeat. The Los Angeles market eventually will become home to another NFL club. Kansas City, which next year will debut a 20,000-seat downtown arena, is eager to become host of an NBA team. And Oklahoma City and San Antonio clearly have an alluring eye out for the Hornets and Saints.

Just take a behind-the-scenes look at the provincial boosterism and political wrangling that went into becoming the home away from home for the New Orleans teams, if for only three NFL games in San Antonio or, in the case of Oklahoma City, two NBA seasons.


"Welcome to Oklahoma!"

For the better part of a decade, Oklahoma City officials pestered Stern in pursuit of an NBA franchise. They'd put out feelers for an NHL club, too. Stern liked the mayor and the city's business leaders he'd come to know, but nothing materialized. So the debt-free downtown Ford Center sat dark, save for minor league hockey games and a variety of special events.

Kai Harwood and his son Darren Harwood were just two fans to show up to a raucous opening night in Oklahoma City.Then Katrina blew through New Orleans, and folks back in Oklahoma finally had a shot, if only a tryout.

In a Sept. 2 e-mail to Stern, Cornett -- the Oklahoma City mayor -- carefully assured the commissioner that he wasn't responsible for tipping off the national media to his city's interest, then declared "we stand ready" if Hornets games needed to be relocated. The mayor further thanked Stern for a conversation the two engaged in a day earlier -- just three days after Katrina.

"They were clearly a perfect waiting city that had a great understanding of tragedy," Stern recently described Oklahoma City to ESPN.com. "So, they are very respectful, and very able to move fast, as well."

In subsequent exchanges over the next 10 days, as well as presumably in a Sept. 9 meeting, Cornett pitched the financial wherewithal of Oklahoma City, advising Stern in an electronic message that three of the world's largest energy companies are based in the city. "Have you seen the price of oil and natural gas?" Cornett asked the NBA boss.

Hornets owner George Shinn told ESPN he was clueless about Oklahoma City until being tipped off by Stern himself. "David suggested Oklahoma City, and my first reaction honestly was, 'Oklahoma where?' " Shinn recalled.

Ultimately, Oklahoma City promised to house team employees and furnish office space for 100 employees, as well as guarantee to cover the difference up to $10 million if the team's gross revenues failed to reach $40 million, which was 5 percent more than it attained last season in New Orleans. That kicker likely won't come into play because club officials project the Hornets to turn a profit in their new digs, unlike during their 2004-05 season in the New Orleans Arena.

"Welcome to Oklahoma!" began a letter from Gov. Brad Henry to Shinn in which Henry promised to support legislation exempting Hornets tickets from Oklahoma sales tax.

Once the deal was swiftly executed and the national media gathered in town, Mayor Cornett, an old TV sports anchor, sat behind his desk at city hall and reviewed a series of talking points crafted by a local public relations firm, The Gooden Group. It was about the right spin, advancing the major league message while not coming off as a cold, heartless franchise raider. And letting it be known Oklahoma was doing its part to welcome Katrina evacuees.

It spelled out detailed points for the mayor to hit on, like:

"OKC experienced its own tragedies," a reference to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. "... We know what New Orleans is going through at this time."

"Talk about how the rapid development of the [Hornets] agreement speaks volume for the city's agility to respond to significant opportunities."

"Will Oklahoma City land a permanent NBA team? While time will eventually tell, the business community certainly has used this unique opportunity to unequivocally demonstrate it has the capabilities to move OKC to top of the NBA preferred list of expansion cities when the time comes."

... We are a city that also experienced disaster 10 years ago and was in disappointing straits. So, we're highly sensitive to what the people of the Gulf Coast are going through.
Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett, sticking to the script during an interview
Cornett routinely stuck to the script in articles that would appear in a number of major newspapers from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, as well as a segment of ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Never was the mayor more on point than when he told The Denver Post: "The NBA decides where the Hornets play. If they can't return, they have a place to play. But we are a city that also experienced disaster 10 years ago and was in disappointing straits. So, we're highly sensitive to what the people of the Gulf Coast are going through."

More than 500 miles west of New Orleans, San Antonio civic leaders were doing their own flirtatious dance with Saints owner Tom Benson -- one far less appreciated by those paying attention back home. Benson created his own PR disaster by openly chatting up San Antonio and its franchise-hungry mayor, Phil Hardberger, and already had been labeled an "old crybaby" by some in the New Orleans business community for repeated threats to take his NFL franchise to greener pastures.

After his nomadic team played on the LSU campus in early November, Benson got into it with a group of fans leaving Tiger Stadium, and later claimed in an e-mail to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue that he and his family members "could have all been severely injured or killed." Eyewitnesses said the unpopular owner was never in danger.

Tagliabue later indirectly criticized Benson's flirtations with San Antonio, while stepping up as an ally for New Orleans with his call to market the team regionally and suggesting the Saints rework their Superdome lease. At an Oct. 30 news conference before the Saints took the Tiger Stadium field, the NFL commissioner put Benson on notice, saying, "Teams are not franchised as free agents to run around the country and play wherever they want to play. Under our league policies, owners are not supposed to be talking about relocating their team during a season."

Benson previously drew the ire of Nagin, the beleaguered New Orleans mayor, after it was reported that the Saints owner had been working with San Antonio officials to relocate permanently to the Texas city, where he has a home and car dealerships. Nagin told ESPN.com recently, "Opportunities present themselves all the time. And those mayors are helping out, but they're also, out of the corner of their eyes, looking at this as a potential permanent situation for their city. Every city that does not have an NFL or NBA franchise would love to have one. So, I understand the realities."

In the case of the Saints, the NFL team fattened the San Antonio coffers -- even if the stay proved temporary -- while folks in New Orleans were hunkered down, waiting for federal assistance. Speaking at a local auto dealers luncheon in the fall, Mayor Hardberger estimated the three NFL games in the Alamodome had an almost $25 million economic impact on his city. He also claimed his city received $6 million in free media exposure.

As for the mayor, he received some "very, very nice Saints cuff links" from his city's director of convention facilities, Michael Sawaya -- according to an Oct. 6 e-mail he sent the director.

After the Alamodome sold out for the Oct. 16 game between the Saints and Atlanta Falcons, Hardberger was provided with his own talking points, which were prepared for his monthly box luncheon. Included in the draft, which was obtained by ESPN.com, were the following nuggets:

"I think we've proven wrong anyone who doubted whether San Antonio is an NFL city."

"Commissioner Paul Tagliabue doesn't want (the Saints) here in San Antonio again because he doesn't want them to be successful here and decide to stay for good."

The mayor concedes now that his plans to bring the NFL to San Antonio could be put on hold if the baseball Marlins land in South Texas. Still, he left no doubt about his preference: "If I had the choice of a professional football team or a professional baseball team, I would take football."


"We're giving [the Saints] $180 million over 10 years to stay here?"

In the wake of Katrina, New Orleans' downtown and its tourist lure, the French Quarter, slowly have come alive. But of the 480,000 residents who called New Orleans home before the storm, barely a third have returned. Scattered banks of traffic signals remain dark, producing dangerous four-way stops and snarled traffic. The Hyatt Regency that towers not far from the Superdome is still closed. The same is true of many nearby businesses and a boarded-up shopping mall.

French Quarter strip clubs are having a hard time hustling business since Katrina blew through town.The area around the Superdome and New Orleans Arena is desolate and nearly abandoned. Weeds have begun to creep through cracks in the sidewalk. Inside the basketball arena, the locker rooms that were flooded are being rebuilt -- part of an estimated $10 million repair bill.

Across the street, the Superdome -- at one point home to 25,000 evacuees -- is undergoing $139 million in repairs to get it ready for the Sept. 24 return home of the Saints. Water-damaged Sheetrock is being torn from suites. The soiled playing surface needs replacement. Mold is being removed from the seats and from every nook and cranny. The steel decking on the roof needs replacing, at a cost of about $30 million.

Many rooms at downtown hotels are still occupied by storm victims, insurance adjusters and others connected with Katrina's recovery. Hospitality industry workers are cordial enough, but service is slow even by local standards. Fewer than half the city's food establishments have reopened. Workers are a scarce commodity, with the work force shriveled to a third of its pre-Katrina size, in part because of the dearth of affordable housing.

These nights, a stroll down Bourbon Street proves uneventful and out of synch. Music blares into the street, but a glance inside finds many of the clubs and daiquiri bars nearly empty.

Strip joints such as Larry Flynt's Hustler Club are closing early. A doorman says the pace will quicken when, and if, the Saints and convention business return.

A vendor hawking flowers on a quiet street corner says of business: "It stinks."

Locals have used humor as they move in the wake of Katrina.Down the block at Bourbon Teez, among the souvenir shops catering to tourists, hang a smattering of thin, three-for-$20 T-shirts with not-so-subtle reminders of the post-Katrina angst. Messages like:

FEMA ... The New Four Letter "F" Word
Make Levees ... Not War
Semi-Sweet and a Little Nuts ... Ray Nagin and the Chocolate City


Over on Poydras Street, some 10 blocks from the Superdome, Jerry Amato recently sat inside the door of Mother's Restaurant, a downtown Crescent City landmark, as the noontime lunch crowd steadily filtered in. Amato returned a month after the storm to find the 82nd Airborne patrolling the streets outside his place. A flattened, burned-out car sat curbside just outside the front door. It wasn't until a last-minute spruce-up of the area just before Mardi Gras that the wreckage finally had been cleared.

Crammed in the parking lot alongside Mother's are nine white trailers, one man's solution to the worker shortage. In them, Amato houses cooks and waitstaff until permanent homes can be found.

Business isn't what it used to be, he says, but by post-Katrina standards, his place is hopping.

As for what the city's two sports franchises mean to his and other nearby businesses, Amato suggests the Hornets wouldn't be missed if they never returned. The Saints are another story. They've become a part of the local fabric and draw huge crowds on football weekends. A fair number of fans come from out of town. But like others about town, Amato opines that the future of the Saints shouldn't rank high on what is now an enormous agenda.

Gerry Amato wonders if it's worth the money it'll take for New Orleans to keep its sports teams."Even before the hurricane, we had issues with schools in this state," said the squat, stocky figure with a scruffy gray beard. "We had people who were coming out of school totally uneducated. And we're giving [the Saints] $180 million over 10 years to stay here? There were a lot of people who just couldn't understand why we had to give a person in business such a big amount of money.

"Now, we're looking at sections of the city that may never come back. So who cares about sports teams? You got three- and four-mile areas in the Lower Ninth Ward that are totally destroyed. And people in this country don't understand how massive this is. These people don't have the resources to come back. I was on the road for three weeks [after the storm], and it's tough financially, and I make a nice living."

On a recent sunny afternoon, Amato left his business for an hour to drive down to the hardest-hit areas, just four or five miles from the Superdome and New Orleans Arena. Down St. Claude Avenue and off to the left sat block after block of houses leveled or battered by surging water, and cars still resting on top of each other in some front yards.

The place resembles a war zone, with mounds of debris, decimated homes as far as the eye can see. Nobody lives here anymore. It's eerily still.

Though there are few signs of life in some areas of New Orleans after Katrina hit, there remains at least one sign of what life used to be in the Ninth Ward."Listen, it's so screwed up. There are no birds," Amato said as he lowered the window of his SUV to the sound of silence. "Nothing. No food for them."

Despite the bleak scene, Mayor Nagin, who faces a tough election late next month, is bent on putting a rosy spin on the city's future. The New Orleans population should touch 300,000 by year's end, he suggests, with 90 percent of the 1.3 million pre-Katrina residents returning to the greater metro area. Displaced folks are, in his perhaps overly optimistic words, "clamoring to get back."

Construction-related activity should be a boon to the city, he adds, predicting almost $100 billion to be spent over the next five to seven years.

"This economy should be strong enough to support those franchises," Nagin said. "They are absolutely critical. The Saints franchise has been here for 30-plus years. It is part of the culture, if you will. It looks as though we're going to have a real significant shot at retaining them. I think it is good for the psyche of the community, also."

These days, rightly or wrongly, the ability of a city to attract pro sports franchises validates its arrival. The Saints put New Orleans among the bottom rung of those cities, but it was that second franchise, the Hornets, that civic leaders believe brought real bragging rights. A second franchise puts New Orleans one up on places like Sacramento, Portland and Memphis.

The Big Easy would be Birmingham if both franchises were to leave tomorrow.

"In America today, the existence of professional sports brands a city as a first-class city," said former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial, now president of the National Urban League. "The cities that have sports franchises have reputations as being elite communities. One of the best examples might be Nashville, which only in the last 10 years picked up pro football and the hockey team. What has happened to Nashville is that their profile has risen. They have been able to relocate a number of corporate headquarters. I'm not going to say the two go hand in hand, but certainly it is directional.

"I thought that when the Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002, as I was leaving office, it was an endorsement of the direction of the city. People don't move sports franchises to cities that are in decline. They move sports franchises to cities that are on the rise.

"Now, that community should be given a chance to prove that they can continue to support the teams. You have an unusual situation in New Orleans because you had the greatest natural disaster in American history. And it is going to take time. It may take two or three years before ticket sales and corporate sponsorships get back at their pre-Katrina levels."

Or they might never return fully.


"There will be a team one way or the other in Oklahoma City"

Repopulation of the city is critical for the health of its sports teams. So, too, the vibrant return of corporations with the cash to lease suites and sign sponsorships deals. But if the tourism and convention industry fails to flourish again, and early signs are dubious, experts predict it will be the death blow to the franchises, if not the city.

A banner hung from the Superdome marks the date the Saints return to New Orleans.There is a simple reason: The major revenue stream that supports the Hornets, and to some extent the Saints -- as well as the operations of the facilities, thus allowing lucrative lease arrangements for the teams -- is funded by a 5 percent hotel/motel tax in New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish. Sixty percent of the budget for the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, the state body that oversees the facilities and a signatory on the leases, is derived from the hotel tax.

Already, tax estimates for the fiscal year ending June 30 are projected at $22.7 million, dramatically off the $42.1 million generated by tourists last year. The LSED slashed its operating budget and laid off 151 employees in advance, but where it potentially gets dicey is if the hospitality tax money doesn't pick up after the teams return.

In the case of the Saints, for instance, a new lease signed in 2001 entitles them to inducement payments from the state totaling $186.5 million through the 2010 season -- including $20 million next season. The payment from this past season is a modest $3.3 million because only two preseason games were played in the Superdome. The Hornets have inducements based on attendance, although they're far less lucrative than what the Saints have.

"Over time, the ability of the state to be able to continue its obligations under that lease are going to require that the hospitality industry come back strong," said Morial, the former mayor. "Which I think is possible, because the infrastructure of the hospitality industry was not substantially damaged by Katrina. The tough side is that the housing market, which supported the workers that they need, was substantially damaged."

Compounding the problem are the horrific images of suffering that were beamed worldwide in the weeks after Katrina, hardly a selling point for a city where the No. 1 industry is tourism. The city's major convention center remains closed till June. And the turnout for the first Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina was smaller than normal -- an estimated 350,000 this year, compared with the usual 1 million, according to the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.

The Saints weren't forgotten during Mardi Gras season, as evidenced from this remnant from a float."Let's be honest, it is a tourist-based economy," said Sal Galatioto, who brokers franchise sales through his New York-based Galatioto Sports Partners. "And the port is incredibly important there, but it is not a real diversified economy. There's not a lot of corporate headquarters. It is what it is.

"It is a tough situation. No one expected this to happen, so it takes a little time for people to reformulate their thoughts and move forward on a thoughtful basis. Look, it is not as if it was a huge market before. And now, it depends on your view of what you think will happen. Some people think the city is going to come back in better shape than it was. We'll see."

In the meantime, the parties are posturing and biding time. While the Hornets have approval to stay in Oklahoma City through the 2006-07 season, they are playing three games this month in New Orleans and another six next season. Stern, the NBA boss, described the half-dozen games against Western Conference teams as a "pretty good test case."

"Right now, we're operating on the assumption that the team is returning in 2007-2008," Stern said. "I think that that will pretty much reveal itself by this time next year -- the All-Star Game in Las Vegas."

The Hornets have proven fabulously successful in their new, larger digs, averaging 18,651 through 26 home games -- including 14 sellouts. Last year in New Orleans, the Hornets posted a franchise-worst record and saw attendance plummet to 14,221 -- last in the league.

Club officials have resumed efforts to sell equity shares in the franchise, a process that began in New Orleans after minority owner Ray Woolridge sold back his interest to Shinn last year. Hornets president Paul Mott said that only about 60 percent of the New Orleanians who initially expressed interest continue to be engaged in talks. At the same time, potential investors are being sought in Oklahoma and Mott expressed hope that the club would be able to bring people before the NBA for approval this summer.

Stern said he was unfamiliar with the potential partnership sale, but offered his strongest endorsement yet of Oklahoma City's future as an NBA city. "I don't know what time frame to put on it," the commissioner said. "But yes, I would say there will be a team one way or the other in Oklahoma City."


"It was a dead loser"

Based on the contract signed four years ago when the Hornets relocated from Charlotte, it appears they'd have an epic legal tussle if they were to try bolting New Orleans. The contract runs through 2010 and contains no option allowing the Hornets to terminate the agreement.


Workers put the finishing touches on New Orleans Arena before Wednesday's Hornets game.Of course, if the New Orleans population fails to come back in the expected numbers, legal experts suggest that the sports teams could argue to void the contracts because the circumstances upon which they are based have changed so fundamentally. At this point, however, no one is talking legal action.

The Saints are a considerably more fluid case. The deal signed in 2001 allowed them a one-time out after the 2005 season, and before March 31 this year, if they anted up an $81 million exit fee. After Katrina, the Saints agreed to push the date back a year, and there's some speculation it could be delayed yet another year or two, largely because the NFL would not want to be perceived as failing to give the city a fair shot to recover.

Ultimately, it will be the leagues' commissioners -- Tagliabue and Stern -- who make the decision whether to bail on New Orleans. The feeling in some quarters is that Benson might have been on a permanent path to San Antonio had Tagliabue not stepped in and committed the league to New Orleans, at least for the time being. Benson did not respond to multiple interview requests by ESPN.com.

"The league constitution requires that Benson follow the league bylaws, so he has few options," said Gary Roberts, deputy dean of the Tulane University law school, located in New Orleans. "I cannot see Tom Benson beating Paul Tagliabue in a lawsuit. Frankly, if Benson thought he could win a lawsuit against the league, he would have brought it this year. He couldn't. It was a dead loser.

"So, he basically came crawling back with his tail between his legs because Tagliabue told him to. And I think the league is going to continue to maintain that position through next year. What they do two or three years down the road, I don't know."

Long term, the Saints still are considered the much stronger New Orleans franchise -- for a lot of reasons. Not only do they have three decades of history on their side but they're looking to draw for only eight regular-season games -- plus two in the preseason -- as opposed to 44 NBA dates, a fair number falling on weeknights. Saints officials reported last week that season-ticket renewals are nearly four times what they were a year ago, with 20,000 to 25,000 deposits. The encouraging news is linked to many ticket holders having money remaining in their accounts because of the cancellation of the New Orleans games last season, as well as reduced prices on some seats.

A message for Tom Benson, written on a window at a ticket booth outside the Superdome.The real clincher is that Benson can bank on -- before next season kicks off -- more than $100 million in revenue sharing from the NFL, the bulk coming from national broadcast partner agreements. The NBA revenue sharing package projects to be about a third of that.

That hasn't swayed Benson from talking up other potential markets in better times or extracting huge financial concessions from Louisiana politicians. So where might he threaten to leave for next? His choice of San Antonio might not pass muster with NFL hierarchy because of the city's population base and its own dearth of corporate headquarters, plus the fact that it would be a third team in Texas.

Of course, the NFL continually leverages the Los Angeles market, and it's just a matter of time before someone is given the OK to relocate. Some have projected the Saints heading way west if all fails in New Orleans. Or might NFL owners keep the L.A. slot warm for an expansion franchise, knowing a new team would bring a projected $1 billion expansion fee?

More likely, the NFL will stay the course in New Orleans for two or three years, doing the right thing for all the PR reasons. If a stadium deal is done in L.A. by then, and if it should become obvious New Orleans can't sustain an NFL franchise, the Saints loom as a perfect candidate to move there.

Now, it's just a speculative game, projecting how much of the population will find its way back to the Big Easy, what kind of jobs they'll return to and whether the tourism industry can drive the local economy again. It'll all unfold through time, whether it's three, four or five years down the road.

"This city needs to start thinking about how it is going to remake itself without major league professional sports franchises, because I find it hard to believe that four, five, six years from now that those teams are going to be here," warned Roberts, the Tulane sports law expert. "You look around the country, and there are fine midsize cities that don't have a lot of major sports that are quite nice places to live. I think we can get through it, survive and do very well. But the city's official position is 'No, we need them.' I don't blame them. The sports franchises are assets, and if we can keep them, it is to our benefit. But I'm not sure we are going to keep them, so we might as well get beyond that and start thinking about how we're going to rebuild the city without them."

If so, as sports cities go, New Orleans will go down as home of the Triple-A Zephyrs. Or Birmingham with a whole lot of jazz.