Less than one week left. It feels good, doesn't it? You have survived preseason, and now have only a few days left until the Charlotte Hornets play their first official NBA game in what seems like ages. Time is surely moving quite slow.
Here at At The Hive, we feel your pain, and hope to help pass the time until Wednesday with some links to help get you through the day. No need to thank us. It is what we do.
Anyway, let's get to it, shall we?
- First off, a few power rankings. First, Sports Illustrated released theirs earlier this week, and have the Hornets ranked 11th. Also, add this to the list of things you never thought you'd hear about the Charlotte franchise five years ago: "Credit Charlotte as a savvy free agency player after landing Stephenson and Al Jefferson during the offseason in back-to-back years." Second, Grantland released their annual League Pass rankings and rank the Hornets 13th on that list. Good news: Bill Simmons seems to like the team a lot this year. Bad news: Zach Lowe does not. Side note that may only interest me: Simmons says the Hornets may now have one of the NBA’s all-time irrational-confidence backcourts in Lance Stephenson and Kemba Walker. My question is where would the team rank on all-time irrational confidence if they add Byron Mullens? Finally, Fox Sports has their preseason week 3 power rankings, which sees the Hornets at #18. Seems a little low to me. I say click the 'thumbs up' next to the Hornets' ranking to help show that the Hornets are underrated at #18.
- SI also released a list of their top 100 players in the Association as a part of their NBA preview. Three Hornets made the list — I'll let you guess which three it was. The bigger question is can you guess where the players rank on the list? Here's a hint: SI does not seem to be as big a fans of the players as ESPN is.
- Speaking of previews, props are due to our fearless leaders at SB Nation for their work on their NBA Preview. If you haven't checked it out yet, A. what is wrong with you? B. go check it now! If you have already seen it, you should go check it out again anyway.
- Additionally, here are 20 maps that help explain the NBA, via SB Nation.
- If you are planning on going to a Hornets game at Time Warner Cable Arena this year, but prepared to shell out some cash. According to nerdwallet.com, Charlotte is the 11th-most expensive ticket in the NBA. That is right, the Hornets are more expensive than San Antonio, Golden State, Denver, Dallas, Portland and Washington.
On a brighter note, Charlotte has the cheapest parking in the league, and their beer and hot dog prices are below league average. So there's that.
- Now for something really good that the Hornets have done — the team announced earlier this week that they will be re-retiring Bobby Phills' #13 jersey during halftime of the Nov. 1 game against the Memphis Grizzlies. There will be no smart ass comment here. No sarcastic quote. Instead, I am giving the team a standing ovation for the move. Classy and well done, Hornets.
- On October 28, the fearless leader of all fearless leaders, Michael Jordan, goes where he has never gone before — he will be taking over the Hornets' social media accounts and give fans "unprecedented access behind the scenes." Hopefully this means we can get some footage of his Airness vs. Lance Stephenson in a one-on-one.
- Speaking of Lance, we end with a pair of links on the shooting guard. First, we can thank the Pacers setting a deadline for Lance coming to the Queen City. Second, Lance has developed a reputation as a bit of a flopper. It seems he is already in regular season form when it comes to flopping.
As a fan of Italian soccer, I am used to seeing some bad flops. This is getting close to that level. A new-found side effect of signing Lance Stephenson: hilarious gifs of him flopping. I look forward to seeing more of these.
Last but not least, I found the hilariously creepy photo of Al Jefferson from last night's game against the Pacers to include with this article (see above if you somehow missed it). I'm curious who can come up with the best caption for it. The commentator whose caption gets the most recs wins...some kind of prize. We'll work out the details later. Anyway, get to it guys and gals!