In the last five years, the Charlotte Hornets have posted a field goal percentage of 44 percent or better in only one season — the 43-win 2014 season — so it's no surprise that around the league, they have a reputation of being unwatchable. While the overall perception hasn't yet shifted to account for the Hornets' revamped offense in the 2016 season, the team has made some tremendous strides in fixing that.
They've thrust Michael Kidd-Gilchrist into the spotlight in an attempt to sell fans on defense and intensity, and to some extent, it's worked. But they're still a long way from league-wide recognition and #LeaguePassAlert status.
However, the Hornets have two unlikely fans this season: ex-Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and coach-turned-commentator Jeff Van Gundy. Both are among the greatest basketball minds alive, and according to head coach Steve Clifford, he talks to Thibodeau and Van Gundy about the Hornets fairly regularly.
"He gave about 37 suggestions on our team last night," Clifford said of Thibodeau. "So I know he's watching."
Charlotte Observer beat writer Rick Bonnell added that Clifford has been in regular contact with Van Gundy as well.
Thibodeau was spotted at training camp last month and rumors circulated that the Hornets might hire him as an assistant coach. Unfortunately, that never materialized.
But it's clear that his friendship with Clifford is the real deal.
I can't say I'm surprised that Clifford, Thibodeau, and Van Gundy get along well, as each of them are notoriously blunt and excellent defensive coaches.
I'd pay good money to watch those three in a sitcom. Heck, I'd pay good money to watch them discuss basketball for an hour.
Like, really good money.