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June 13, 2014

Charlotte Hornets part with Rod Higgins two weeks before NBA draft

Rod Higgins is out as head of the Charlotte Hornets basketball operations.

 In an odd and ill-timed press release, the Hornets announced past midnight Friday that president of basketball operations Rod Higgins has “stepped down” two weeks before the Hornets make the ninth, 24th and 45th picks in the draft.

 Higgins has effectively run the Bobcats/Hornets basketball ops since June of 2011. He was a key figure in the decisions to sign free agents Al Jefferson and Ramon Sessions.

 The Hornets noted in their press release that general manager Rich Cho will continue to report to Jordan and vice-chairman Curtis Polk.


Rod Higgins, seen here in a 2011 Observer file photo, is out as head of the Charlotte Hornets basketball operations. (Robert Lahser - rlahser@charlotteobserver.com)

Posted by Observer Sports on June 13, 2014 at 01:15 AM | Permalink


I hope that whoever makes the basketball decisions isn't foolish enough to trade the draft picks away for some other team's less than stellar player. Just make the right draft selection. Don't reach and again draft the developmental next "Jordan", "Olajuwon", or "Bird." Those slots are already filled on the Hornets roster. Just draft the players who have displayed that they can become the best firsts of themselves.

Talent is best acquired through the draft and developed in-house. This draft by exception is extremely deep with talent throughout the first round and it spills over into the second.

Posted by: Chuck | Jun 13, 2014 2:06:33 AM

Rod Higgins was never a credible basketball mind. He was a Jordan yes man from day one. He and Bob Johnson were the ones behind drafting Adam Morrison to sell tickets and letting Larry Brown trade someone every other week.
Mike got a lot of unfair blame during those days as well as in Washington. In D.C. he helped get them out of one of the worst salary cap situations i can ever remember and brought in a great young core. Then Abe Polin decided to take credit for it and canned him. And every GM in the game would have drafted Kwame Brown the year he came out,so stop with the haters!
It would appear that Jordan has finally turned a corner as an owner and wants to be surrounded by a legitimate front office. And for that, as well as fighting to bring the Hornets brand back, i applaud him!

Posted by: Jason | Jun 13, 2014 2:13:51 AM

Rick, Rick, Rick. "Can" "Two Weeks Before Draft" "Ill timed" "Odd"

Somebody sad?

I'm sorry Higgins resignation isn't working out for you personally, but the organization will be better off for it. This is a move that a credible organization would have made a long time ago. Kudos Hornets.

Posted by: Zed_Naught | Jun 13, 2014 4:40:21 AM

Are you forgetting all of the horrible decisions Higgins made during his tenure, and giving him all of the credit for Jefferson? Seems like you are purposely trying to make the organization look bad. Higgins/Cho was always an odd marriage, so this is best for the franchise in the long haul. Please stop trying to put a bad spin on Hornets-related news. And yes, Rick, they are the Hornets now (again). Stop being an old party-pooper and recognize why this city is buzzing with excitement (see what I did there?).

Posted by: Chris | Jun 13, 2014 5:43:54 AM

ill timed for who Rick? The only thing that was ill is that it took so long. Do you remember this guy put his son on the team? How about the Dampier trade. Tyrus Thomas anyone? Maybe the worst draft record in NBA history.

This could be the single best thing the team has done ever. They didn't even know what cap space looked like until Cho got there.

The only person that comes off looking bad here is Bonnell. I am shocked his editors didn't tear this story up. Have you even noticed the ridiculous decisions they made before Cho showed up?

Posted by: John | Jun 13, 2014 6:02:44 AM

It is a Christmas miracle. He had to have the worst record in the NBA. Did he ever draft an all-star? I am shocked that MJ pulled the trigger on this one, but great great move. First the Hornets, then the 9th pick falls to them, now this! It really does feel like Christmas. Happy Holidays everyone!

Posted by: Benjy | Jun 13, 2014 6:10:37 AM

It is odd only is that I thought the guy was untouchable. Clearly Jordan is starting figure out how to be an owner. Can't have guys like that around. Is Bonnell really defending him? There has to sometng there. I have never met one person that thought Higgins knew what he was doing. Jesus. They have been god awful until last season. Can't wait to see Bonnell's lengthy article defending the guy, what they hell can you write as part of that story?

Posted by: GB | Jun 13, 2014 6:19:06 AM

These comments are hilarious and dead on. What a wonderful way to start a Friday. Now maybe they can get some talent in this draft now. Happy Friday everyone!

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 13, 2014 7:07:01 AM

Once Clifford got here , you had to know he was going to tell Mj what a clown Higgins was . And Cho too . Higgins gave the keys to the franchise to a pt gd who's an under sized sg that can't shoot . Cho is next . A hs math major or law student can deal w the cap . Cho has no clue as to talent evaluation . Zero . At some point soon , all these advance stats Gms will be shown the door . Cho is one of them .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 13, 2014 7:33:40 AM

Amen Amen and Amen. The only thing 'odd' is that it happened at all in this organization. And the idea of it being 'ill-timed' is only true in terms of it being way too late. In all likelihood the timing speaks of strong disagreement in the front office and coaching staff about where we need to go in the draft. And if someone needed to leave to settle things, this was the right one.

Posted by: Marty | Jun 13, 2014 7:39:26 AM

Excellent move by the Hornets. You don's usually have 2 guys like that in an organization. I would have went this way as well. It is shocking that Bonnell can even find a way to defend Higgins. What was his record here? What about any where else? If you think he is any good, lets see where he ends up now. Absolutely no way he runs basketball for any team in the NBA.

Posted by: Speedy | Jun 13, 2014 7:45:14 AM

I'm not going to bash Cho, he should stay. I do beleve Higgins was the problem as well as Jordan's inexperience. M.J. maybe growing up as an owner finally. Let.s see how they handle the draft. I'm optimistic.

Posted by: JayTee | Jun 13, 2014 8:00:38 AM

The next basketball ops guy will be Buzz Peterson. Mark it down.

Posted by: Wayne Johnson | Jun 13, 2014 8:10:22 AM

Thank god! Nuff said!

Posted by: DShtg!! | Jun 13, 2014 8:56:19 AM

Oh no. If Billy King gets axed in Brooklyn Rick will have exactly zero NBA sources.

Meanwhile, MJ has figured out that the only way forward starts with him wooing FAs. Personally. I really think seeing what his old guru is doing with the Knicks woke him up -- it really is true that you need a legend to close the deal. Heat have Riley, Bird in IND -- how can Higgins compete?

Posted by: JAT | Jun 13, 2014 8:57:28 AM

It's About time we got rid of Fraud Higgins hopefully our draft selection's will change. I think we should pick Zack Lavine with our number 9 pick in the upcoming draft and stay away from Doug McDermott. I think we should trade our number 24 pick and our second pick and Gerald Henderson and Bismack Biyombo for Aaron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson.
1.Kemba 1.Jameer
2.Aaron 2.Zack
3.MKG 3.Jeff
4.Josh 4.Cody
5.AL 5.Brandon

Posted by: Demetrious | Jun 13, 2014 9:14:15 AM

Higgins was Bonnell's inside source. That's the only logical explanation. This is another great day for this franchise. A day we've all been waiting for for years.

Posted by: apauldds | Jun 13, 2014 9:28:25 AM

It’s hard to know who deserves credit for any specific activity that has taken place since 2011 when Cho was brought on board. However, it’s safe to say that, overall, it’s no coincidence that the team has been managed much better from a cap perspective since Cho started. The front office has not made one bad signing or re-signing since 2011 but made many prior to that time. The draft record since 2011 is less than stellar, but the reality is that the past three drafts have not been deep and Biyombo is the only pick that we can call an underperformer at this point. And, on the flip side, Kemba is looking like a great pick given what was left on the board when he was chosen. At the end of the day, the NBA is a business with high turnover and Jordan would be the one that knows best who he needs on his staff, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. The team is on an upswing and I applaud Jordan for not being afraid to make bold changes. GO HORNETS!

Posted by: Cats_Fan | Jun 13, 2014 9:29:01 AM

I'm hoping this means no McDermott

Posted by: Brian | Jun 13, 2014 9:35:12 AM

I don't think I've ever been this happy...

Posted by: TheRealJD | Jun 13, 2014 9:45:09 AM

I will never cheer anyone loosing his job, but surely this article is protective of someone who's record is indefensible.
We can now move forward judging Cho and hold him accountable for future moves. As we should for any organization.
Charlotte is so slow to be critical of its franchises and Higgins had nothing in his resume to protect him from this move or to justify a supportive article. Unless you can say he alone finally signed a FA (Big AL) his tenure is marred with draft bust and bad trades.

Posted by: ReggieG | Jun 13, 2014 9:56:00 AM

Hey MJ! I'm available. :)

Posted by: marty hurney | Jun 13, 2014 10:08:44 AM

Roy Williams is available; he has been working with Pros for many years-

Posted by: Gettlemen | Jun 13, 2014 10:25:09 AM





Posted by: Bobcat Bucks | Jun 13, 2014 10:57:18 AM

In Cho you trust. His biggest contribution since arriving in Charlotte thus far is convincing MJ and Rod to trade up to get Biyombo. How soon we all forget. It was Higgins who orchestrated the only two playoff teams the franchise ever had. MJ decided to break up the first playoff team and basically made him start from scratch. Hum, back to playoffs again this year, i'd say a pretty good track record from 2011-2014. Having said all that, Go Hornets!

Posted by: Jackson | Jun 13, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Cho was intimately involved w drafting these current players . The standard is if your pick can't score more than moderately in the playoffs or have a big impact , leave him on the board . He should pay for drafting Kemba as the point gd of the future . He should have moved to get Lowry or Bledsoe . BIZ . Mkg over Leonard . The franchise has been set back for a decade . Cho has no more talent evaluation skills than many of the bloggers here . Higgins contract was up in a few days . He was beyond worthless . There's way too many people on the payroll any way . Cho is a waste . Now that another pf will ultimately have to come in and defend , block shots , score and play help defense , Cho will be fired . Cho has no exclusive on knowing the cap . He talks like he's stoned and is way into advanced stats .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 13, 2014 11:20:46 AM

Kemba averaged 19.5 per game in the playoffs. Is that more than moderately? Give me Cho over Higgins any day of the week. The decisions before he got here were mind boggling.

Posted by: Speedy | Jun 13, 2014 11:35:13 AM

Good or bad decision, announcing it at 12:22 a.m. makes it seem like MJ had to finish watching Game 4 of the Finals, then have a few drinks before he signed off on the move. Or he and Higgins got into some drunken argument watching the game and MJ then decided to can him. Whether Higgins had to go or not, it's a clown move -- even for this organization. What I also find amusing is all these posts for a franchise that no one in CLT seems to care about -- until they have a chance to take shots at Bonnell.

Posted by: J.D. Springer | Jun 13, 2014 11:38:37 AM

When? Why? Who cares what it looks like. Long over due. The guy had a horrible track record. No one would have survived that long on any other team. The Win Loss % alone would have led to change.

Posted by: Ken | Jun 13, 2014 12:05:46 PM

No one said Kemba couldn't score . He can't do it proficiently , spread the floor , play defense , hit threes or facilitate in the lane . Cho drafted him too . Bc it was the pt gd position , it was one of the worst mistakes . But Cho has other huge totally indefensible blunders that time will show he set the franchise back a decade . And like his other two stops , he will be canned . No one can argue that he has no clue about evaluating talent . Zero .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 13, 2014 12:15:56 PM

Uh Cho was not fired in OKC. Spent a lot of years there and then was hired by Portland for a bigger job.

Posted by: Mike T. | Jun 13, 2014 1:43:12 PM

Iron Man, there are many big-time PG's who have FG% around 40%. Wall, Lilliard, and Westbrook, among others. Kemba's shooting % did decline last year but will probably pop back up some once the team gets a better shooter at the 2 position. MKG over Leonard? Those guys didn't even come out the same year. Kawhi Leonard was 2011 and didn't go until #15, so it's not like we're the only team that overlooked him. Overall, this team is in a good position talent-wise and a great position flexibility-wise. MJ knows more than any of us how much Cho contributed to that, so I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt on this.

Posted by: Cats_Fan | Jun 13, 2014 2:19:01 PM

Maybe Higgins just didn't want to be here anymore - everyone is assuming he was fired.

For the draft - i would really like to see them trade up... Not sure if they can get #3 - but perhaps #9, #24, MKG and Henderson could get it done?

Posted by: Dom | Jun 13, 2014 2:28:06 PM

Jabari Parker is the next Carmelo Anthony. Both have about the same game - and Parker plays defense about as bad as Melo... Parker will put up points though which the Hornets need from the 3

Posted by: Dom | Jun 13, 2014 2:30:15 PM

I like Nik Stauskas at #9 unless Marcus Smart falls to us. Nik reminds me of Manu Ginobali. At #24 I like Adrien Payne or TJ Warren if he falls to us. PJ Hairston is an interesting option too. Zach Lavine at #24 would be a steal and i would not be shocked to see him fall that far. He is very raw and many teams are not sure what to think of him. At #45 we have a few options - i like Dwight Powell a ton. I think he could be on the board at 45 and he is going to surprise a lot of people. another player i like is Jordan Bachynski. Big center who plays solid defense - i would seriously consider him at #45 if Powell is gone. I might even try to trade back in the to late second round to get him.

Posted by: Dom | Jun 13, 2014 2:53:28 PM

Higgins might have been fired for not drafting Leonard and Faried instead of Walker and Biyombo... I said during that draft those two guys were going to be studs and i actually wanted the Bobcats to trade down to get them both... Just saying...

Posted by: Dom | Jun 13, 2014 2:57:15 PM

this might be the greatest day in franchise history.

easily one of the worst GMs in the history of the NBA. easily one of the biggest mistakes jordan has ever made in his life was trusting this guy's decision making.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 13, 2014 4:27:24 PM

Sorry Cats .. I stand corrected . But now it's worse . Cho and
Higgins should be fired for the one of their biggest blunders in failing to get the BPA in Lilliard , Beal or Drummond . And the yr before , just bc other Gms missed out is no excuse . The Spurs would never have taken Biz over Faried , the MANIMAL . We desperately needed a pf .
. Still do although I like Zeller . Mj had enough . He has other things to do . Imagine when he FINNALLY saw Lilliard and Drummond in action what he had to say to Higgins . Other pt gds may shoot around 40% but you can't compare Kemba to those allstars who can do it all managing the point .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 13, 2014 4:56:07 PM

Another sign MJ is figuring out how to be an owner. as bad as Higgins was, it has to be tough to fire your friend. Now that these teams are skyrocketing in value, you just can't have your buddy running it for you. Someone actually needs to know what they are doing,

Posted by: John | Jun 14, 2014 6:16:23 AM

This article could have been about Santa Claus and Ironwoman would STILL find a way to talk about Walker. What is it with you man? Did Kemba steal your girlfriend? Did he take your lunch money? You have a very sad, disturbing and psychotic obsession with him.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 14, 2014 8:16:52 AM

"This is a move that a credible organization would have made a long time ago."

Yup, so by definition...

And you slurpers thought Cho was running the show!

Here's how it works morons: “No one person makes any single decision,” Jordan said of the front office. “It’s them and me and Curtis. We collaborate in all parts of the process.”

Told you so.

Cho is now up to #5 on the totem pole, big whoop.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 14, 2014 8:27:24 AM

All owners are involved in the decisions. Safe to say the Hornets owner now has a better resource to draw from. At least this guy has seen how a good team was built. Definitely a good move and big improvement.

Posted by: Shawn | Jun 14, 2014 9:46:50 AM


Posted by: Peterson | Jun 14, 2014 9:50:50 AM

Love love love this move. Most people thought Jordan would never do something like this. Over due or not. He did it and it was perfect timing. Picks and cap space and a bad bad decisions maker out of the way. Best I have felt about this team.

Posted by: Hornet Time | Jun 14, 2014 9:54:04 AM

dim Witted goofball. ..that's DWG.. Kemba was mentioned bc it was a foolish move Higgins to give him the keys to the franchise . . A sg that can't shoot or defend to run point . Once they finally realize that you can't win w Kemba managing the point , they will have to start all over again and this time he was doing so , was a waste of time . My obsession is to win a championship here or have a team put together that can reasonably attempt to win one . Any team w A sg running point that can't defend either will never get out the first round . But a clown like you w zero bb knowledge wouldn't understand . As stated , try submitting anything in depth . You can't . We agree that you're an idiot . Stop opening your mouth w zero to contribute which each time only confirms it .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 14, 2014 10:32:35 AM

Mj told you what Higgins is good at . He's a guy who can hang w the team and interface w the coaches , players and get the owners intentions across to the coaches and players . He reports the teams temperature to the owner . There's a good need for this ESP w the new crop of young Inexperienced coaches in the league . Higgins must have options . He must stay away from talent evaluation , which is what he wants to do but has no clue . Even tho Cho is not the sole decision maker , he will have more of an input to look like the clown that he is . He gets credit for drafting Westbrook , Harden and Durant when he wasn't in the mix . He left Portland w no center , waited way too long to deal w the Roy situation and Oden situation which hurt the team . He also gave away way too much to Charlotte for Wallace who was shipped not long after . This helped Cho land this job . See what the Portland owner says about Cho before and after he fired him . In short , he said he didnt know what he was doing but talks a good game .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 14, 2014 10:52:07 AM

you guys are still thinking MKG isn't a stud are oblivious.

is it possible that beal, lillard and drummond turn out to be better? sure. is it possible he turns out to be better than all 3? absolutely. lillard is significantly older than mkg, beal, and drummond.

what mkg has done thus far has been far from unimpressive. that one playoff game was all the evidence anybody needed of his talent level. the guy just needs the ball more. he lacks 1 skill and has EVERY other skill imaginable that you would want in an nba player. and 1 skill is fixable. it's not like he's greg ostertag. the dude can make his jumper. and it will get better and better and better and better. for a 20 year old soon to be 21......i'm thrilled we have the kid. just as thrilled as I would be if we had beal or drummond. or barnes (who i wanted to trade back for and who is in a similar situation of needing the ball more).

undoubtedly the best talent we have on the roster. his ceiling is so much higher than anybody in franchise history which was the entire point of taking the chance on the kid instead of taking a supposedly surer talent.

the kid can play. and everybody should be rejoicing that higgins is gone REGARDLESS of how you feel about cho and his performance. unless they announce they're hiring david kahn, we're out of the woods.

i'm absolutely thrilled by this announcement.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 14, 2014 4:13:01 PM

"is it possible he turns out to be better than all 3?"

No, that is not possible....

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 14, 2014 4:46:58 PM

"Over due or not. He did it and it was perfect timing."

"Over due" and "perfect timing" are mutually exclusive...

...f'g morons, SMH.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 14, 2014 9:04:07 PM

it absolutely is.

the kid just had 22 and 10 on lebron while simultaneously locking the guy up on defense. run that tape back and tell me there is anybody else in the league that has done that to lebron in a playoff game. at age 20.

you guys are delusional about what to expect from a young guy who doesn't get the ball on offense. clifford gave a ton of post up opps to jefferson and absolutely none to mkg or zeller, both of whom are great post up options.

the kid can play. there's 1 thing he doesn't do great. he literally does everything else great. great rebounder, great ball handler, great defender, great passer, great finisher, great post up threat, great dribble drive threat, great transition player, great hustle player, smart player, great size, great instincts, etc.

not being patient with a kid that young just shows the ignorance in our fan base.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 14, 2014 9:12:28 PM

Mkg is not being used correctly . Bc of the ball dominance by Jefferson , he will never see his talents flourish here . He's not great at anything . If he were , he'd do it in light of Jefferson and all the time . He's not a great finisher bc he double pumps but he's very good . . He's not a great dribble drive guy bc he doesn't find the openings , put it on the floor and finish at will . But he's very good and this should be exploited more w a screen or multiple screens . He can make very good entry passes but is not a great passer . He's great in transition . He has the potential to be great in post ups and jump hooks off flashing in the post . The one game you speak of had Ray Allen on him and not a similar sized sf on him . His jump shot probably will not be fixed unless he shoots w one hand like Jefferson , which he can do . Mkg should average 16 points . 7 Rebs and 2 steals a game playing stellar defense . This will not happen here . Clifford has little respect for him as he's played Neal ,Cdr and Taylor in front of him in the last half of fourth quarters . He's very tired of his being foul prone , lack if spacing and not being able to hit an outside shot . I believe they tried to shop him on a number of occasions including to the Wizards for their sf from Gt who looks like he's a bust . Clifford is not an offensive coach in the least . Someone will ultimately have to come in an build out his offense . Having said this , if there were a pass first point gd here , Mkg and the wings would all improve greatly ESP in transition . There will be one coming within a yr , I strongly believe . Think of how much Carter
Williams meant to Evan Turner . It will be no different . I'm Hgh on Mkg . Not as high as you . Very good in most respects is not shabby . You make a good point about his age but hes a little different bc of his hitch . The wings solely bc of Jefferson appear to have regress . They have not . They need an uptempo game inc multiple touches . Henderson did not forget he to score . He averaged 20 after the break . But this yr , he did not get the multiple touches , growing cold and passive watching . Spo told you during the game that if the ball sticks , players can't get a Rhytm . This is absolutely true here . Both need to go . You can't have the ball sticking w the center and no facilitating breeding easy buckets as well from the pt gd and expect the wings to produce , if slashers . Period . This is a game only for catch n shoot wings or ones who live off set shots , neither of which the two starters are . Ship them out . But watch the defensive decline . Mkg will never shine here under these circumstances . Never . Neither will Henderson .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 14, 2014 11:13:36 PM

That is really funny. ASSTAR correcting people about something he said would never happen. Another thing he was wrong about. If that list ever comes back it will fill the entire comment section of the blog. Is Tyrus still on the roster? Ha.

Posted by: Real | Jun 15, 2014 7:25:29 AM

i'm pretty sure he said mj would never fire higgins, too (everytime i made the point that it needed to be done).

call it what you want, higgins just got canned. i don't know if i'm happier that the spurs are up 3-1 over that egomaniac or that higgins got canned......great week in the nba.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 15, 2014 12:12:15 PM

This guy Cho doesn't appear to get along too well with others does he?

How screwed up does an organization have to be for a guy like Higgins to quit the place? Wow...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 15, 2014 1:43:25 PM

"run that tape back and tell me there is anybody else in the league that has done that to lebron in a playoff game. at age 20."

That and $2.11 will get you a coffee at Starbucks.

Based on a full season of data MKG ranks 37th at his position. Your logic of cherry picking his best game ever out of 140 total and suggesting that will be the norm makes as much sense assuming Zach Johnson will birdie into the house at Pinehurst because he just aced the 9th -- none at all.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 15, 2014 1:52:40 PM

Lol. I didnt know any of you guys knew anything about golf . Now that's the game . A regular day is like dropping 50 in an nba finals .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 15, 2014 2:01:51 PM

NASTAR classics include:

Kemba will be in the Italian league.
Jordan is too cheap to amnesty Thomas.
Team will never fire Higgins.
Jordan has no money.
Team will never spend on a free agent.

Too many more to remember. Now he compounds his moronic comment that the team would never cut Higgins. That might be the most pathetic spin of all time. If they ever win a championship it would be..."but they will never win another"

What a pathetic excuse for a human being. Whatever the bobcats did to him must have been good. Of course based on his comments. It would be hard to believe it wasn't deserved. They have sure gotten better since then.

Posted by: Alan W. | Jun 15, 2014 2:33:04 PM

Hey Alan W. who is this "superstar" the Boobs are going to bring in? You have any ideas on that?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 15, 2014 4:19:52 PM

James will play pf . They will pound it inside . Maybe go some zone to stop the pick and roll which they haven't done . If it's an aggressive zone , you can contain the shooting . Anything is better than getting slaughtered by the pick and roll and it's variations which the Spurs are doing to the Heat .. . Btw, the Hornets have no pick and roll . ... Haslem should replace Lewis . The Heats defense has been weakened by Lewis and Allen . And still , they have no center or a shot blocker . James claims centers clog lanes . They do . See what Jefferson does to the wings here . The
Heat cannot bc of its bad defense allow a large lead which will preclude a comeback or stops ..they should consider a slow down game limiting possessions w James going inside to win the low possessions game . 90 to 93. James and Wade OVERDRIBBLE too . As Spo says , if the ball sticks your teamates can't get a Rhytm . They must let the ball move freely to warm Chalmers and Cole up who are not spot up shooters . James kills Chalmers role too bc Chalmers doesn't move well wo the ball so when
James plays pt fd , Chalmers is off in the corner standing around growing cold . They have similar problems as is the case here . James does swing it more tho . Much more .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 15, 2014 5:04:25 PM

Yes, talked to Jordan yesterday. Told me he was going after Melo, Love and Stephenson. Because an owner saying he wants to attract a superstar is a capital offense. You don't care about any of this stuff any way. Just want to rip the Hornets on Ricks little blog. Probably the best thing you have going. Enjoy loser. Keep making predictions and keep being wrong, it looks good on you!

Posted by: Alan W. | Jun 15, 2014 6:45:46 PM

Sounds like the superstar is Lebron. Probably not. But wow has the conversation around the Hornets changed from 2 years ago.

"Conversely, the Hornets are teeming with young talent. Charlotte’s roster averages 27 years of age and the team’s three biggest stars — Kemba Walker, Al Jefferson, and Gerald Henderson — are all under 30. That trio also led the franchise to a 43-39 regular season record and its first postseason appearance since 2010.Make no mistake, the addition of James would give the Hornets a championship caliber core. Miami, on the other hand, looks as though its time may be passing, even if it brings back Chris Bosh, Wade and James. If Charlotte were able to sell LeBron on that notion, he may be inclined to accept less money to play there. The potential opportunity to grab another two or three rings may mean more to him than an extra $28 to $30 million."

Posted by: Marcus | Jun 15, 2014 6:58:06 PM

^^^^Hell Yeah!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Grant | Jun 15, 2014 8:04:36 PM

Alan W., knew you couldn't.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 8:55:31 AM

With our fresh start, which includes changes in name, management, cap space, draft picks and momentum, here's the starting five I'd like to see for the Hornets.

I think this is very doable.

Kemba Walker
Lance Stephenson
Marcin Gortat
Al Jefferson

This team would have a punishing, physical identity, similar to the Pacers, with more youth, athleticism, and better point guard, bench, and post play. Teams would not look forward to facing this Hornets team in the regular season, and we would vie for a top 3 seed. I could see this Hornets team going to the Finals this coming year, particularly if we get development from our youth on the bench and some contributions from our draft picks.

Let's make this happen.

Posted by: Jeff | Jun 16, 2014 9:15:49 AM

I think I will stand on your track record. Absolutely atrocious.If you don't a "superstar" is coming here. The odds just increased big time! All Hornets fans thank you.

Posted by: Alan W. | Jun 16, 2014 11:11:11 AM

Let the first guy who's never been wrong , cast the first stone . At least he knows bb , gets off the fence and brings good insight . Most of you guys have one liners and nothing else . Do any of you guys really know what you're saying when you clamor for Stephens ? The sg position was the second net positive on the team . The combined Neal ánd .Henderson averaged 25 points . And complimented each other . Henderson plays elite defense . Lance can only go right , he finishes per Grantland as "so so". Per his own coach , he steals rebounds from Hibbert . A portion of his stats are generated w the second unit . Per Chad Ford , he would dominate the ball stymying Kembas growth . If you take out the 25 point game which they lost , he averaged 10 points in the Ecf. He's not an upgrade if you see that he won't be able to dominate the ball here . Even under a passing system , he averaged only 13 points a game .

It's time to share the ball like superstar Duncan did . You have the wings in .cdr , .neal , Mkg , Henderson and .taylor . No rookie will start over these guys . Bc the Spurs shared the ball including their stars , Leonard was MVP . Share it and get a Rhytm for the wings .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 16, 2014 1:00:07 PM

Iron man I get a kick out of it when I ask "who" and all of sudden it becomes "NASTAR said"....slurpers like Alan W. who never have anything to add to the conversation sure have active imaginations -- clinically they call it paranoia.

So, back to the "superstar" discussion....who?

Big Al is due $13,500,000 per for next 2 seasons, he's underpaid. If Air Minimum had any couth he'd tack on at least another $5,000,000 per for the big boy, but that's another discussion.

Now, we had another $13,000,000 guy last year and he certainly wasn't a "superstar" by any means...so it probably safe to assume a "superstar" will cost the Handout King $18-20,000,000 per annum.

In that scenario 50%++ of the cap will be going to pay the salaries of 2 players, neither of whom were drafted by Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho...

...wait, I thought we were building through the draft?

Spurs 4 highest paid players, in order:

All were drafted by the Spurs and in 2014 collectively they will be owed about $38,000,000...this is the definition of a "core".

Biggest upside surprise in Finals, Kawhi Leonard -- drafted by Spurs.

Most impactful players not drafted by Spurs:
Diaw...5th highest paid at $4.7 million, cast off by the Boobs
Green...7th highest paid player, $3.8 million.

Has one Boris Diaw gone from the very worst possible NBA situation to the absolute very best, or what?!? I bet he's having a good laugh at Air Min's expense....LOL.

What's our new "Plan"? Do we have one?

Through the draft?

Paying up for high priced free agents?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 2:27:50 PM

Man. NASTAR should be in politics. Jordan went from cheap to the handout king. Tough to be both. Only NASTAR can do that. When you are wrong, change the discussion. NASTAR must be pretty flexible the way he "slurps" himself!

Posted by: Dave | Jun 16, 2014 3:10:15 PM

Dave, he's the Handout King because he can't keep his franchise above water without handouts from fellow owners. Nice try. See if you can keep up going forward...ahhh forget that, you can't.

Hey Dave, what's the "plan" going forward? Have an opinion?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 3:25:32 PM

Of course it'll be fashionable to call for 29 teams to rebuild themselves after the Spurs as if no team has ever won before without this (albeit beautiful, selfless) brand of basketball and no one will ever win another way again.

But know this.

Great passing is predicated on great shooting as much as great shooting is predicated on great passing. We will not, nor will most of the other teams, win the way the Spurs did without a roster stocked with shooters and half court offensive weapons. Without shooters (lots of deep 3 and corner shooters), teams slack off on defense, passing lanes are stifled, and the Boris Diaws of the world are stuck somewhere between a turnover into readied hands and a would-be-assist when three pointers clank off the rim. I think that did us good for about 7 wins.

What we need is to continue building what we've been building. Which is more of an old-fashioned defensive-minded, pick and role kind of team with a scoring point guard and back to the basket specialist surrounded by cutters and mid range jump shooters in the mold of two different Detroit Pistons championships teams from two different decades.

While this is not the direction the league is heading, and we certainly will need one more three point shooter anyway, it could be good enough to get us out of an Eastern Conference that will be in the middle of a rebuild over the next two years while Jefferson remains at the peak of his career.

We had enough pieces in places this year to squeeze in at the eighth seed, most everyone is returning, we have more cap space than most teams, and two first round draft picks. If we properly identify our team's identity and add pieces to make the best version of that kind of team as possible, then the Hornets can and will make some noise. Add Stephenson & Gortat and we will be a top 4 seed, will win a first round matchup, may win round two, and could win the Eastern Conference Finals. That's a good start.

Posted by: Jeff | Jun 16, 2014 3:33:56 PM

there is no nba gm or coach that would rank MKG anywhere near 37th at the 3. many would probably peg him 3rd defensively and that's only because of the team success that george and leonard are seeing. he's just as good as either defensively if not better.

his offensive stats (as i noted) are severely marginalized by his role in our offense this year. he keeps being told he's not a scorer, but he could absolutely be one if we just gave him the ball.

he's every bit the offensive talent that rudy gay is (and then some) and a better defender.

kawhi goes for 14 and 7.5 per 36. while being included. MKG goes for 12 and 8 per 36. while being marginalized.

that and $2.11 will get you an nba finals mvp.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 16, 2014 3:52:38 PM

Iron Man-
I agree with most of what you said in your last post, except that "Henderson plays elite defense." No that is not true, he is an average defender and above average whenever he is locked in (very rarely). Henderson's issue has always (from his college days) been his inconsistency. Dwyane Wade at half speed killed him in the playoffs and you could see him reacting very slow and late to his assignment. It was acually painful to see him defending in the playoffs.

Stephenson and Gortat are two of the worst fit for the Hornets right now. If you want Gortat, you have to get rid of Jefferson, those are two identical players, with Gortat a better defender and more athletic. Stretch PF and C, or small lineups will kill you every night. You need a good passing big next to Al or a great defender that can score (Biz is not that guy, sorry I've moved on from him). McRoberts worked great because of his vision and willingness to pass. Stephenson will be too much of a risk, unless Clifford can actually help him mature and refocus. He is a product of the Pacers style, outside of that team he will have a really hard time adjusting and fitting in, which may frustrate him and make him an even worst teammate.

Posted by: RobC | Jun 16, 2014 4:00:40 PM

Good post Jeff.

As for this..."Of course it'll be fashionable to call for 29 teams to rebuild themselves after the Spurs"...

...the components of the Spurs are certainly different than the "old-fashioned defensive-minded, pick and role kind of team" you describe but the process the Spurs used to get to where they are is draft great talent and develop it...

...now I could have sworn Draft & Develop was exactly what Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho's Grand Plan was predicated on -- did I dream that?

Weren't all the slurpers dead set against paying up for "high priced free agents"?

The highest paid player on the Spurs roster for next year that they didn't originally draft is Danny Green at $4 million...nobody else on the books for even $3 million.

Conceptually The Boobs could have $30,000,000+ tied up in 2 players through free agency...

...has The Plan been abandoned?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 4:02:55 PM


I get your point although I only partially agree with it. I get the Bobcats were horrible "at best" drafting. Ideally we could have had Kemba, Leonard and Drummonds in our team, instead of Kemba, Biyombo and MKG. And yes, that is indeed very bad scouting and drafting. But you can count in one hand the elite teams in the NBA that build through the draft, basically Spurs, Thunder and to an extent Pacers.

Now, when you try to compare salary situations for the Bobcats (now Hornets) with the Spurs, you are comparing apples to oranges. San Antonio is an super-exception to the rule because of their current situation. The Spurs 3 best players are all in the very end of their careers "literally". Duncan, Manu and Parker can literally all retire today and it would be prefctly normal and understandable. They ALL took HUGE paycuts to allow the front office to build a Championship caliber team. Actually, the entire rotation took paycuts to be in the position they are. They are the only team in the NBA willing and able to do that, no other of 29 teams would do that. Nowitzki "maybe" but I doubt that he would sign for less than half his market value as Duncan and Manu did. You have to have the perfect scenario for that to happen, which the Spurs actually have right now. No other team has that, all have tried to get it and all have failed.

Posted by: RobC | Jun 16, 2014 4:15:17 PM

"But you can count in one hand the elite teams in the NBA that build through the draft, basically Spurs, Thunder and to an extent Pacers."

Very fair observation.

However, isn't that exactly what our illustrious management said they were going to do, build through the draft?

I thought the Thunder were the roadmap and Cho was the experienced bus driver?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 4:49:45 PM

Rob c . Henderson is a top defender at sg . Period . He was not allowed to touch Wade and backed off . He easily could have played up on him but was getting a quick whistle . Pls note that he backed off after the game he fouled out . Mkg backed off some too . In the earlier rounds , Wade and James were guys you couldn't look at to assure you get them to the ECF. name one player that Henderson got torched by during the yr . And name 5 sgs that play defense better . Once Wade n James got to the Ecf , they started to call their games evenly . They did not get the superstar calls in the finals . But the calls they got in the first few rounds were ridiculous . Go by what a player does in other situations , not against them . What I didnt realize is that in the first two rounds , they got to hammer players and didnt get called for it . It's how the nba is set up .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 16, 2014 5:12:56 PM

And if it's true what Charlotean says , then bring in a spot up shooter who shoots it in the mid 40's from the arc and ship Henderson . But this guy usually can't play defense . The other thing is this . If they go the way of the Pistons , they must use the pick and roll . But Kemba and Jefferson can't run it . And Clifford is not smart enough to allow other players to run it . The team will ultimately have to implement the pick and roll . All teams do . It won't be run by either Jefferson ( too slow) or Kemba ( no ct vision , too small , weak and won't wait for the screen ) . The Spurs killed the Heat w the pick and roll . Until the Heat took it away in the 4 th game . Then the Spurs ramped up ball rotation and in the last game , started dumping it into Duncan who was single covered . The Spurs when Duncan was young dumped it into him . Yrs later , they started using the pick and roll w both gds much more to get them off and evolve . Then they went to fully flat out swinging the ball to kill teams . They averaged almost 5 passes a play for almost 25 % of the plays this yr !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have the players here . Mkg , Henderson and McRoberts want to seeing the ball . They did it last yr but needed more players . It can work and will be the only thing that will work to get them back to the playoffs . I'm so glad the Spurs won . It showed that sharing the ball is the way to go . Not two dominate ball hogging scorers . Clifford and staff saw it . They know the game has evolved . So do you guys who watched the finals . You can't win w a high USEAGE center who attempts to score on guys doubling him failing to make the pass to the open guy . I only disagree w Charlotean about one thing . We have the shooters . Tolliver is in the top ten . Neal can shoot . So can Cdr . They must get the open looks like the Spurs got . Recall that when it's contested , your shooting per centage drops 20% . That's in the 20's. The spurs took open shots all game bc ball rotation wasn't stalled by overdribbling ( Kemba ) and ball hogging ( Jefferson ) . I would love to see these two get religion and no longer let the ball stick . Sacrafice for the other players , the team and the staff and move the ball so the others can get a Rhytm . Ima preach it to judgement day .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 16, 2014 5:32:27 PM

Try to keep up? Impossible with the garbage you write every day of the week. I am not on your schedule. I know your parents basement has liberal work hours.

That nickname is so clever and meaningful. Sorry I missed it. I guess you have changed now that your talk about his financial status was another indication of how WRONG you are. You have to be getting used it it. Proven wrong. Change the nickname. Good work!

The plan that has taken them to the playoffs and left them with 2 numbers ones and cap space is flawed? How many non-drafted players are on the Spurs? How many on the Bobcats? You add a free agent or 2 a year and now you are not building through the draft? 3 of the Hornets starters last year were drafted by the team. Oh and it looks like they will take another 3 players this year. I know its hard, but try to keep up.

Posted by: Dave | Jun 16, 2014 5:42:41 PM

Dave, seriously, the basement line is the best you can muster? LOL...

How about you flesh out your "3 starters" thesis for us a little more? What are your expectations for those 3? Be specific.

"You add a free agent or 2 a year...".

Dave, were not talking about fill-ins around the edges (like what the Spurs do), if Air Min, Yes Co. & Cho seriously bring in a "superstar" we're talking about potentially having 50%+ of the cap tied up in 2 players neither of whom came through the draft -- high priced free agents. You don't see this as a departure from The Plan?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 6:30:40 PM

Double digit posts on this blog? If you are not in the basement, you are not contributing much at the office. LOL.

The nuance of any "plan" is completely lost on you.

Posted by: Dave | Jun 16, 2014 7:15:00 PM

Dave, I knew you couldn't.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 16, 2014 7:22:42 PM

Are the Bobcats going to revoke Bonnell's press pass? I see they made him take "can" out of the headline here.

Posted by: CENSORSHIP | Jun 17, 2014 8:39:51 AM

Nice to have this guy as the owner. First he brings me back and now this? Can't be a coincidence.

"the financial magazine’s estimates show that Jordan crossed the threshold from super rich to insanely wealth"

Posted by: Hugo | Jun 17, 2014 9:15:49 AM

Nastar's questioning of management's stated plan is perfectly legitimate. Any pro sports or business organization should have one. The successful one also know when to adapt their plan to present circumstances. Personally I think the Hornets have very recently restored a great deal of credibility and relevancy to the franchise, and part of that came from bringing in Big Al. I also agree that the best way to build a consistent winner is to draft well, and hope your star/superstar players are found there. That's the biggest remaining question mark in my opinion, can management execute that part of the plan?

Posted by: Rob Butler | Jun 17, 2014 12:54:07 PM

I don't know, almost every mock draft has the Hornets picking McDermott at #9. I really think Gary Harris or Nik Stauskas are the best choice. I like Harris better, he has a similar body type to Henderson, is a better defender, driver and a much better shooter. Harris looks like an all-around SG, worst case scenario he will be the next Affalo, I could live with that. But McDermott will be Kyle Korver at best, and I'm not sure you draft that at #9. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Posted by: RobC | Jun 17, 2014 2:33:16 PM

Harris is only 6 ft 3 . It's like w Beal . When you get to the later rounds , his height will hurt he and the team trying to cover wings . Clifford wants to get bigger at each position , not smaller . If you think that any of these rookies can beat out the starting wings on the defensive end ESP , you would respectfully be quite incorrect . It will take yrs to catch up w the strength and conditioning . They won't beat Taylor out . Cdr or Neal on the fe sive end but both can shoot if they get open jumpers w the best of them . Cliffird has no respect for Mkg . He's trying to replace him first . Look at how he prep laced him w Taylor , Cdr and then Neal at the end of games and half of the 4 th . These wing rookies will get slaughtered in practice . You guys were clamoring for Shabazz , Mclemore , , Mayo , Reddick , Tyreke etc and Eric Gordon . All are on the outs . And are not close to what's here .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 17, 2014 3:17:37 PM

King James is my favorite player . But he went down thinking foolishly that he could assemble a unit of stars to beat everyone . He did it twice . Really only once bc the Spurs lost on a crazy lays shot . He lost bc bb is best played w team work . Sharing the ball constantly . They did pretty much but James and Wade this yr hogged it too much . James succumbed to the complaints that he wilts by passing so he foolishly did not when he should have . If the passing were not enough by the Heat , think of how bad it's here . It will be worse next yr bc coaches will mirror the winner . The Hornets wll be further behind w the grind game if dumping it into Jefferson . Watch . Clifford is on the clock . The honeymoon is over . He has no idea how the demands will suddenly change . Ask the many coaches of the yr that within 2 yrs were fired . And so many teams in the East will no longer be tanking .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 17, 2014 3:27:11 PM

Press releases in the middle of the night...complete fumble with Alexander Julian...these bozos really are the gang who can't shoot straight.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 18, 2014 7:25:18 AM

fumble with alexander julian? because they went with JORDAN brand? I guess you want the panthers to fill the stadium with KFC now, too. you really are delusional. I'm critical about a lot of things, but you take it soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo far to the extreme. even if you're doing it just for attention it's not a good look for you. the joke is always ultimately on you.

you should be elated that higgins is gone. he represents everything that jordan has been doing wrong in his post playing career.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2014 9:00:31 AM

So Higgins is out, Rich Cho is the new GM and according to ESPN he is trying to hire Portland's director of college scouting Chad Buchanan, as the Assistant GM. Now this guy was key in drafting for Aldridge, Batum and Lillard. That seems like a good sign, hiring someone with a good track record in the draft. Hopefully that means good things are coming Charlotte's way!!!

Posted by: RobC | Jun 18, 2014 10:40:15 AM

Read the article blowhard...

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 18, 2014 6:29:39 PM

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