Names Behind the Games: Cris Quintana
By: Jim Eichenhofer,, @Jim_Eichenhofer
July 27, 2011

His official title is Director of Event Presentation, but during Hornets home games in the New Orleans Arena, Cris Quintanas role closely resembles one you might see backstage at a Broadway show. Equipped with a headset, Quintana is in charge of prompting and cueing the multitude of people who provide entertainment and on-court promotions during timeouts, such as Hugo the Hornet, the Honeybees, Used to Bees and Stingers.

Much like the director of a stage play or a recorded TV show, Quintana is armed with a predetermined script and must make sure everyones timing is flawless. That becomes more of a challenge when its a tightly-contested fourth quarter and emotions both on the floor and in the stands may be running high.

Our games can be very intense, so its my responsibility to make sure that everyone is thinking ahead of whats going on in the game and stays on track to what they need to do, Quintana said. A big part of what we do is based on being be able to build off of the energy in the building, or if were trailing in a game, its our responsibility to get the crowd back into it so that they can be that Sixth Man for us.

The Hive is often at its peak decibel level late in games, when the Hornets go on a big fourth-quarter run. That sometimes results in the popular playing of the anthem Shout! which always inspires a large portion of the audience to dance and sing. When the Hornets are trailing late or are locked in a nip-and-tuck affair, you may see a video of the famous locker-room speech from the movie Rudy, for example (No one, and I mean, no one, comes into our house and pushes us around!). Decisions on what to play and when to play it, based on the specific game situation, are also made by Quintana. He also writes all of the scripts for Hornets PA announcer Chuck Edwards. The Hornets have been perennially recognized for having one of the NBAs most innovative in-game entertainment packages.

On non-gamedays, the Chicago natives workload is filled with planning and overseeing a vast array of fan-friendly events for Hornets fans and season ticket holders, including the annual summer Hornets Night at Zephyr Field.

Heres more from Quintana on his experience working for the Hornets:

The 2007-08 season was pretty memorable all things considered. The team won a franchise-record 56 games and came within one game of advancing to the Western Conference finals. Throughout the year, we were able to create a great atmosphere at our games and events with the help of our great fans.

Helping create the energy at the Hive each and every night from the moment that our fans park their cars until the end of the game. We have a great group that works very hard in coming up with different ideas, to ensure that every game night is a different experience and that our fans walk away with a few memorable moments.

I have one of the best seats at the Hive for every home game. In producing the games, I sit at the scorers table, which allows me to see everything happening outside of the game action, from our on-court promotions, entertainment team performances to video features. Were always one step ahead and play a key role creating and maintaining the energy in the building.

I attended St. Thomas University in Miami and graduated with a degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Sports Management. While in school, I was part of the athletic department staff and had the opportunity to work in all of the sports offered for three years. My college experience led me to the opportunity in working for the Miami Heat (2000-03), prior to making my way to New Orleans to work for the Hornets.

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