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Saturday , Mar , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Hornets sign Patrick Ewing Jr. to 10-day deal

The New Orleans Hornets are signing Patrick Ewing Jr. from Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA D-League to 10-day contract after losing David West for the season.
Ewing was averaging 19.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per game with the Skyforce.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Not sure if NOLA fans will be chanting ‘Patrick Ewing’ like the faithful at Madison Square Gardens.

This isn’t the Patrick Ewing, the Hall of Fame center with the New York Knicks. It’s his son, an athletic swing who has been on the verge of making 'The League' for some time.

Ewing Jr. had been destroying the 'D'-League before getting called-up by the New Orleans Hornets, who had an open roster spot after David West's knee injury.

He'll need to use his athleticism on defense and finish in the open court to parlay his 10-day contract into something more long-term.

Whatever happens, following Ewing Jr. will be fun.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Nov , 12 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Did Paul toast playing with Anthony and Stoudemire in New York?

Carmelo Anthony has confirmed a New York Post report that Hornets point guard Chris Paul made a champagne toast at the Denver forward's wedding in July that called for himself, Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire to team up with the Knicks.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Remember the context before crucifying Chris Paul.

Paul was at the wedding of friend and fellow superstar Carmelo Anthony. Paul may have had a ‘pop’ or two. Paul was probably emotional. And Paul’s status with the New Orleans Hornets was up in the air.

So he made a toast about joining forces with Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire in New York.

Paul’s toast is not the issue. Anthony’s loose lips are.

After a pair of tough seasons, Paul has led his Hornets to a league-best 7-0 record. He has bought into rookie Coach Monty Williams’ defensive system and doesn’t need a friend creating distractions.

When asked about the toast, Anthony should’ve bit his tongue. Or, he should have told reporters to talk to Paul. By confirming the toast, Anthony threw Paul, his friend, under the bus.

Perhaps Paul should keep this in mind when deciding whether to team up with Anthony in New York.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Monday , Oct , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Chris Paul on trade rumors: ‘nothing is going to catch me off guard’

When asked if he was caught off guard by anything that took place over the summer, the point guard shrugged. "Nothing, nothing is going to catch me off guard," said Paul, who has seen a lot throughout the course of his five-year career.
 
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HoopsVibe’s Vibe’s Very Quick Call:
Good thing Chris Paul is up for anything because the New Orleans Hornets are again in flux.

Paul supposedly requested a trade this summer because he wanted to play for a winner. With cheapskate owner George Shinn, a small market, and a struggling local economy, the superstar realized a championship was beyond the Hornets’ reach.

However, Paul was –temporarily- appeased because basketball enthusiast Gary Chouest was interested in buying the club. Everything would change with the Louisiana billionaire in the owner’s box. 

The team would have money. Paul would get his supporting cast. And New Orleans would become a destination.

Well, that was the dream rookie GM Dell Demps and Coach Monty Williams sold Paul on this summer. Yesterday, Paul got a dose of a reality: Chouest and Shinn announced they weren’t able to reach an agreement on a sale. 
 
Bottom line: ‘The White Knight’ is out.

Of course, this impacts Paul. He was expecting a wealthy patron to support his quest for an NBA Title.

Instead, he’s got Shinn, who has been trying to dump the team for years. And the Donald Sterling of the south may just move Paul and his max salary –if he can’t find a  buyer.

Anything can happen with Shinn at the helm in New Orleans, so Paul better expect the unexpected.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Sep , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Rudy Fernandez vetoed trade to New Orleans

 Rudy Fernandez, according to a source, rejected a possible trade to New Orleans, where he could have played for former Blazers assistant Monty Williams, now the Hornets' coach.

 
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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Beggars can’t be choosers –unless, of course, that beggar is Rudy Fernandez.

For months, the Spanish swing has been whining for a trade out of Portland. And when the Blazers finally accommodated his wish by working out a deal to the New Orleans Hornets, Fernandez vetoed the move.

To be fair, New Orleans has its share of issues: superstar Chris Paul remains uncommitted; the much discussed ownership change has yet to occur; and Dell Demps and Monty Williams are in their first years as lead executive and head coach.

But Fernandez wanted an opportunity to play. He got it. But New Orleans wasn’t good enough. So he said no.

The saga between Fernandez and the Blazers will continue. And it’s bound to get uglier.

 --Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Sep , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hornets can’t trade Okafor, hoping he produces

 “For most guys, when you are traded to a team that was successful, it’s hard to fit in right away,” Williams told SN. “The dynamic of fitting in, it’s not always right there and it’s probably not fair to Emeka to just expect him to come in and fit in right away. Emeka will have to find ways to be efficient. I think we have done some things—added some shooters—who will make things easier on Emeka. Now that he is adjusted, I think he is going to have a very good year.”

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Monty Williams knows he must get more from Emeka Okafor.

What other option does the first year sideline boss have?

After all, the New Orleans Hornets have been unsuccessful in their attempts to move the struggling post. In these dire economic times, no team would consider taking  the remaining four years and $51 million on Okafor’s contract.

The Hornets reportedly resorted to packaging his big ticket with superstar Chris Paul. If a team wanted CP3, they had to jump on Okafor’s grenade of a contract.

No team would take the hit -even if came with a superstar point guard. This is no longer an option because Williams and GM Dell Demps have taken Paul off the trading block.

Bottom line: Okafor, not Williams, is responsible for righting his career. Instead of sitting out training camp and practices with what some deemed as minor injuries, he could endear himself to the organization by managing pain.

So Okafor, Williams, and the Hornets are together for the long haul. All parties must make it work.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Sep , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: New Orleans Hornets and Coach Monty Williams protecting Chris Paul?

"You can say it has settled down now, but it was settled before that," Williams told Sporting News. "For me, it was never an issue. Chris never said anything about a trade. He never asked for a trade. He wants us to be a better team, but we all want that and Dell [Demps] and I are going to do all that we can to make it a better team. We're going to make this a better team with Chris here."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Credit rookie coach Monty Williams for getting one thing: Chris Paul is his and the New Orleans Hornets’ meal ticket.

Maybe Paul requested a trade. Maybe not. Regardless, Williams won’t throw his best player under the preverbal bus and into the media firestorm.

According to Williams, Paul doesn’t want a trade, but does want the team to improve. Translation: ownership better splurge on some high-priced talent or CP3 bolts as a free agent in 2012. 

For that to happen, George Shinn - the club’s owner and the NBA's most dysfunctional rich old guy other than the Clippers’ Donald Sterling and Knicks’ James Dolan – must finally sell the Hornets to Louisiana billionaire Gary Chouest.

Chouest loves hoops. Chouest is also filthy rich and will spend some of his considerable shipping empire on bringing a contender to The Bayou.

So Williams is right to protect Paul. Perhaps the organization eventually appeases him. However, this doesn't happen unless a change in ownership occurs.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jun , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Coaching Carousel: Monty Williams to New Orleans; Tom Thibodeau to Chicago or New Jersey

The New Orleans Hornet quickly reached an agreement Friday night with Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach after Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau withdrew from consideration earlier in the day, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Williams' deal will be made official no later than Saturday after Thibodeau, who was offered New Orleans' job last week, informed the Hornets that he plans to pursue opportunities with the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: New Orleans got their man off the NBA coaching carousel. Well, sort of.

Once it became clear Boston Celtics defensive guru Tom Thibodeau had little interest in the Hornets gig, the club went all out for Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams.

Williams is a fine choice. He's young, personable, hardworking and smart.

This, however, may not be enough to resurrect a Hornets squad that fell behind in the competitive Western Conference last year and lacks the financial resources to catch up through upgrading their talent.

Meanwhile, Thibodeau is a lock for a head coaching gig, either with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. Of course, he'd also get serious consideration with Boston -if Doc Rivers retires at season's end. 

Got thoughts on the coaching carousel?