Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Brethren: Watching the New Orleans Hornets and Chris Paul absolutely own the Dallas Mavericks toys with my emotions. On one hand, the brand of basketball Chris Paul plays is amazing -- he's so strong for a guard his size, he has the ability to lull you to sleep then switch gears, he's confident, he's always aware of the court. Quite simply, he's everything you'd want out of your point guard.
On the other hand, I'm a Bobcats fan -- been with them through their inception, they have my full support. However, I feel like how someone in a second marriage must feel: there's no denying I had a first love, a first marriage, and a nasty divorce. The Hornets were my starter marriage of professional sports teams.
I loved them. I loved going to games at the Hive, listening to Steve Martin in the car or on my clock radio in my room, watching them on WJNZ. So many memories, many memories I have sufficiently suppressed, especially when I hang out and root for the Bobcats. I try to forget that I ever had such a passionate, deep relationship with the Hornets.
But, as the Big Cat says, "I'm gonna go see Dr. Finklestein and I'm gonna tell him we have a whole new bag of issues. We can forget about mom for a while" -- the sight of Chris Paul's near-perfect basketball in that vaguely familiar Hornets jersey and hearing the New Orleans Arena blasting "Shout!" as the Hornets built a 30-point third quarter lead, well, it made the emotions of that starter marriage all come flooding back.
Theraputic sessions, desde
Brethren: Chris Paul broke Muggsy's assists-for-a-playoff-game record toinght en route to a 32 points, 17 assists, 5 boards, 3 steals line. That's just an absurd line. And don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing Chris Paul to any Hornet player -- I don't think anyone I watched could have posted a line like that when I was a fan. Le Baron might have posted it -- but it wouldn't have been expected at all. With CP3, a line like that can be expected.
So it's not so much that Paul reminds me of a certain Hornet or a certain time when I was a Hornets fan. Because when I was around, the Charlotte Hornets won lots of games, built solid teams, and won a few playoffs series. But they were never a 2 seed with such a deadly line-up and a player who was seriously considered for the MVP award.
But that's also what gets me: I put in 14 years of Hornets fandom. And aside from that jackass Shinn, it was awesome. I loved it. And we did have good teams with great players to watch. But we never had a Chris Paul.
CP3 is taking the Hornets places. And I guess it's just sad to think how easily the Hornets could still be in Charlotte, and how I could be engulfed in all this.
At least the Bobcats bring in a steady paycheck. Oh wait, they're deadbeat too? I thought second marriages were supposed to be better...
Nacho: While I'm not going through the existential crisis Brethren is, that's probably because I'm more Jason Alexander (Britney's first husband, not Constanza) in that I'm the fan folks forget. I had some magical times at the Hive. I witnessed Alonzo's buzzer beater against the Celts. I remember SuperHugo. I even went to a monster truck rally at the Charlotte Colesium.
But I'd lost all interest a few years before they left. There's about four years there where I just kind of fell off the sports map. Strange how one, steroid-infused Super Bowl season can bring you right back into the fold. So now, I view the Hornets as someone who once dated the Hornets and is genuinely happy for their success, while mutter about how much a loser they're dating now.
Still, the best joke I've heard about the playoffs so far was, I think, from Basketbawlful: the Hornets have banned billionaires from their locker room. Good on 'em.