View Full Version : ESPN - Nice Article

11-02-2005, 08:35 AM
The crowd, meanwhile, never stopped roaring once it soaked in a jazzy instrumental rendition of the national anthem by former Oklahoma star and NBA veteran Wayman Tisdale. One Oklahoma City newspaper columnist opined in Tuesday's paper that the NBA's arrival finally made this an actual city and, judging by the noise from a sellout of 19,163 at the Ford Center, it means a lot to the locals to be in the big leagues.

"These crowds are going to be like college basketball crowds," said Desmond Mason (, the Hornets' newly acquired swingman from Oklahoma State. "It's unlike anything else you'll see at an NBA game."

Yet even the player who knows this terrain best found it a bit strange to be playing a real NBA game in the land of collegiate football. The proximity to the rest of the Southwest Division and the presence of a relatively new NBA-level arena were lures that, for the league and the Hornets, made Oklahoma City an obvious choice to take the Hornets in, but Mason was openly stunned to be back.

:kicking: Here's the article:

11-02-2005, 09:36 AM
Looks like the Hornets are front and center on the ESPN website. Very cool!

Doug Loudenback
11-02-2005, 10:09 AM
Yeah, what a great article by Marc Stein!

He notes that it was the largest margin of victory in the Hornet's history!

Also, see the related article: of which the following is an excerpt:

Desmond Mason, a former Oklahoma State star, and Paul got the loudest ovations during introductions, and fans didn't sit down until Brown scored inside for the Hornets' first basket.

Another ovation came after Claxton hit a 3-pointer and the Hornets led 22-21 after the first quarter. More came when Hornets vice president Willis Reed and Bill Walton, who signed autographs before the game, were introduced.

The crowd chanted "de-fense" and booed when officials called fouls against the team the public address announcer called the "hometown Hornets."

"With that loud crowd out there, I think we're going to have one of the loudest crowds in the NBA, if not the loudest," New Orleans forward Rasual Butler said.

Before the game, Hornets owner George Shinn admitted he was a bit leery when NBA commissioner David Stern recommended Oklahoma City for a temporary home. He was beaming afterward, predicting that if the level of support continues, "they're going to see a lot more wins than anyone expected."

"It was electric. It was absolutely electric. It was as good I've seen it," Shinn said.

Shinn said he had to be careful talking about the Hornets' future, but it's still the team's goal to return to New Orleans.

"When we go back to New Orleans, this city will get a franchise, I'm convinced," Shinn said. "Whether the NBA is smart enough to come here or the NHL or the NFL or baseball, somebody will come here. This market is going to be too good for them to pass up."