When the Charlotte Bobcats change their name back to the Charlotte Hornets next year, you’ll see some familiar colors out on the floor.
The Hornets have one of the most iconic and totally 90’s jerseys, and it’s good to see that Michael Jordan and company are reviving the old purple and teal color scheme.
When you think of the name “Hornets”, you think of Larry Johnson (Grandmama!), Muggsy Bogues, Zo, and those beautiful, beautiful starter jackets.
Appealing to nostalgic saps like me is a fine idea all around, and Jordan knows it. Here’s what MJ had to say about the return of purple and teal in the team’s press release:
“It was important to us to acknowledge the heritage of the Charlotte Hornets when bringing the name back to the market,” said Jordan. “The purple and teal color scheme was instantly recognizable as being associated with the original Hornets and we felt it was only appropriate to utilize the colors once again with this historic brand.”
The new (old?) color scheme will be accented by secondary colors of black, gray and light blue, because the people of North demand the inclusion of light blue in every single thing, ever.
I’m excited to see the return of the Hornets next season, even if it’s probably going to confuse casual basketball fans a bit. So long as the Hornets bring back their old mascot along with the names and the color scheme, though, we all win.
Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.
Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.
But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.
LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.
LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.
However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.
For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.
Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.