The New Orleans Hornets will be sporting a brand-new look in 2008-09, arguably the most anticipated season in the 21-year history of the franchise. You can witness what the organization is calling the rebirth of the Hornets by logging on to Hornets.com.
Hornets.com will be streaming live video from the 2 p.m. event, which is taking place in the French Quarter, but is closed to the public. If you are unable to watch the event as it happens, the video will be archived on Hornets.com for you to view later. Hornets players Morris Peterson and Julian Wright will be on hand to model the new home and road uniforms and discuss the gear with the New Orleans media.
If you are interested in purchasing new apparel Wednesday, the online Hornets Nest store (www.hornetsnestonline.com) will allow you to pre-order the new jerseys. The online shop will also have various other merchandise items that feature the new logos.
Hornets.com will also look differently beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, including an altered homepage and new color schemes.
Hornets.com recently enlisted the help of our colleagues from around the Southwest Division, to provide updates on the major offseason news involving each club. After hearing from Rockets.coms Jason Friedman last week, its time to briefly look at the offseason of the team we cover here, the Hornets.
Tell us what you think about the Hornets and their offseason by leaving a blog comment in Big Easy Buzz. Next week: Dallas, Memphis, San Antonio.
The headline-grabbing acquisition of the summer was the July 23 free-agent signing of two-time NBA champion James Posey, an ideal addition to a team that has lacked consistency from its bench. Poseys versatility improves the Hornets depth and gives New Orleans another reliable perimeter shooter, along with an excellent defender. The nine-year veteran helped slow the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant during the 2008 playoffs. If you talked to people in Boston, they would tell you that it should have been called the Big Four (instead of the Big Three), says Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski, referring to Poseys underrated importance to the Celtics championship run.
On the first day moves could be made official, All-Star point guard and MVP runner-up Chris Paul signed a long-term contract extension. The agreement means that the Hornets entire starting lineup of Paul, Morris Peterson, Tyson Chandler, Peja Stojakovic and David West is now under contract through at least 2010-11.
In other free-agent news, reserve guard Jannero Pargo signed a one-year contract with Russian team Moscow Dynamo. Ryan Bowen, an energizer off the bench, was re-signed Aug. 11. Meanwhile, Chris Andersen, who appeared in six games in 2007-08, left New Orleans as a free agent to return to Denver, where he began his NBA career.
Draft night was uneventful for New Orleans, after GM Jeff Bower opted to trade the No. 27 overall pick to Portland. However, that move helped free up the cash and cap room to sign Posey.
Summer league synopsis
The focus of the teams 12-day trip to Las Vegas was the development of two-year backup center Hilton Armstrong and one-year reserve forward Julian Wright. Neither turned in what could be described as a great performance. Armstrong was inconsistent from game to game, while Wright struggled with turnovers and his perimeter shooting. I was not extremely impressed with the way they played, Hornets coach Byron Scott observed. Being in your second and third year (in the NBA), you dont have to necessarily dominate summer league, but you should be up there (as one of the better players participating). But they showed signs of improvement.
Little-known undrafted guard Bobby Brown was arguably the biggest surprise of the entire league, leading the Hornets in scoring and assists, but Brown signed a guaranteed two-year contract with Sacramento four days after the final game in Las Vegas.
For the first time in franchise history, the Hornets are being viewed as a legitimate championship contender. New Orleans won a team-record 56 games in 2007-08 and captured its first-ever division title. Behind an MVP-caliber season from the 23-year-old Paul, the Hornets established themselves as one of the NBAs up-and-coming clubs.
Many analysts opinions of the teams chances to compete for a trophy improved considerably after the addition of Posey. New Orleans may be a trendy pick this fall to win the unheralded reserves third ring in a span of four years.