New Orleans fans getting adjusted to Hornets
By By Richard Dark / EMG sports Writer
Oct. 24, 2002
NEW ORLEANS In a game consisting primarily of backups for the New Orleans Hornets, the result was fitting.
The Atlanta Hawks, a team which got much stronger in the offseason, had all of its weapons and it showed by virtue of a 95-87 preseason win over New Orleans, in front of 13,320 fans on Tuesday night.
After trailing by as much as 20 points in the third quarter, the Hornets were able to outscore the Hawks in the second half by seven, so that the final margin was respectable. One of those additions, Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, paced the Hawks attack with an 18-point effort. Theo Ratliff added 16. The ongoing war for the Hornets starting point guard heated up, as both David Wesley and Courtney Alexander tossed in 24 points. The duo combined for eight rebounds and nine assists. Both played extensively due to back spasms suffered by All-Star guard Baron Davis, who did not play.
It may be a byproduct of preseason basketball, but the loudest ovations continue to go on during the times the Hornets team mascot, Hugo, is on the court. It may also have something to do with the fact that he is usually wielding a Hornets t-shirt cannon or loading the device up with mini-basketballs.
Hornet Fan Jam
For those interested in a day trip to the Crescent City this weekend, the Hornets will be holding a free fan appreciation Fan Jam' at the New Orleans Arena, which is located next to the Louisiana Superdome. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Those on hand will get a chance to watch the team practice, as well take part in plenty of family fun and games.
Hugo the Hornet, will also be on hand and concessions and Hornets gear will be available. Cameras are permitted.
Some notable faces were in the crowd during Tuesday night's contest. Saints players, Charles Grant, Charlie Clemons, Joe Horn and former Ole Miss standout Norman Hand all sat courtside to view the action. Former Mississippi State baseball star Will Clark was also in the stands.
Mashburn extends gratitude
For the third time, in as many home games, a Hornet player addressed the crowd prior to tipoff, thanking them for their support. In Biloxi, Davis did the honors, while Louisiana native P.J. Brown spoke at the first game in the arena. Injured forward Jamal Mashburn took the mike Tuesday night.
This is the second straight preseason opponent that has listed former Alabama guard Rod Grizzard. The Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention was released by the Washington Wizards on Oct. 11 and picked up by Atlanta a few days later. He has only logged three points in preseason action and played only three minutes against the Hornets.
With less than two weeks to go before the hugely anticipated inaugural regular season game, Silas has to be a tad worried. Four of the team's five starters did not dress Tuesday. Brown, Davis, Mashburn and of course Elden Campbell all sat the bench in street clothes. "These next few days will tell the tale," he said. "Some of them are a lot closer to getting back than others."