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New Orleans Hornets

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New Orleans Hornets

Background:

NBA Commissioner David Stern announced on September 21, 2005 that the New Orleans Hornets would play the 2005-06 season in Oklahoma City due to the tragic destruction of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. An agreement was later made to play the 2006-07 season in OKC as well. The team returned to New Orleans for the 2007-08 season, but residents of Oklahoma City continue to follow the team.

2007-2008:


Preseason begins with a game in Oklahoma City on Oct. 9th and ends the 26th
Regular season begins Oct. 31st and ends April 16th

Location:

The Hornets play their regular season games in New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. For any exhibition games in Oklahoma City, they'll be at the Ford Center downtown. Built in 2002, the Ford Center is state of the art and hosts a number of amateur sports franchises. The 586,000 square foot arena seats nearly 20,000 and features over 3000 club seats, 7 party suites and 49 private suites.

Tickets:

Prices range from $10.00 for individual games to $9,250 for premier seating season tickets. Season tickets as low as $370 and 12 and 18 game packages are available at $120 and up.

Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling the Ford Center Box Office at (405) 602-8700.

2006-2007:

The Hornets finished 39-43 in 4th place in the Southwest Division, one game better than their previous season in OKC but missing the playoffs. They drafted SF Julian Wright (13th overall) from Kansas and SG Adam Haluska (43rd overall) from Iowa.

Roster:


12 Hilton Armstrong F-C 6-11
40 Ryan Bowen F 6-9
45 Rasual Butler F 6-7
6 Tyson Chandler C 7-1
51 Eric Chenowith C 7-1
33 Melvin Ely C-F 6-10
1 Adam Halusak G 6-5
8 Bobby Jackson G 6-1
24 Trey Johnson G 6-5
2 Jannero Pargo G 6-1
3 Chris Paul G 6-0
9 Morris Peterson G-F 6-7
16 Peja Stojakovic F 6-10
11 Marcus Vinicius F 6-8
30 David West F 6-9
32 Julian Wright F 6-8

Head Coach:

Byron Scott
Experience: 7 years
Career Regular Season Record: 244-290

2007-2008 Season Outlook:

After two seasons of being adopted and cheered by the residents of Oklahoma City, the Hornets return home to New Orleans. It will be a transition that carries many unknowns. Will New Orleans arena be the home court advantage the Ford Center was? Will the team be supported amidst a continued rebuilding effort? Will the situation create additional pressures for the team?

One aspect of the team that isn't under much question is talent. The Hornets most definitely have it. Chris Paul has become a bona fide NBA star, and several new additions last season proved quite effective, including veteran scorer Peja Stojakovic and defensive stopper, 7'1" Tyson Chandler. So after two seasons of narrowly missing postseason play, many will expect the Hornets to take that next step in 2007-2008. Nevertheless, the team still has a lot of youth. Paul has become such a leader that many forget he's only in his 3rd year. Last year's rookie Hilton Armstrong will be expected to contribute as will 1st round pick Julian Wright from Kansas. Veterans like Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson must provide the perspective needed to help the young guys perform and improve.

Problems from previous years such as youth, scoring and interior defense all seem to have been addressed by free agent signings and rookie draft picks in the past two seasons. Expect this year's version of the Hornets to be in the playoff race throughout, with the fans in OKC and New Orleans cheering them on.

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