What a time to be alive. Drake's words have never felt truer for the Charlotte Hornets than right now. The Hornets currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and are just a half game back of the three seed. On top of that, the Hornets need to win just one of their final six games to finish with their most regular season wins in a season since the Bobcats came to town in 2004.
No one on the Hornets is loving this team's success more than Kemba Walker. Kemba sat down with The Vertical this week to discuss the extreme highs and lows he has felt in his five years in Charlotte. He talked about the criticisms the then Bobcats received, and how that pushed him to elevate his game: "People are always going to say things about the organization because we weren't doing too well. It wasn't a big deal at all... To me, it's all about the guys who stay patient but keep working hard on their games. They're the only ones who can change it."
Two years ago, Kemba Walker took the Hornets to the playoffs in Coach Clifford's first season. This tiny taste of success has turned into an addiction for Kemba. "I'm tired of not being in the playoffs. I'm tired of having to watch the first round at home," confirmed Kemba. He is backing up his talk too. He has certainly worked his tail off this year in an effort to make the playoffs. Statistically, Kemba is having the best season of his career. The city of Charlotte shares your sentiments, Mr. Walker; we too are tired of not being in the playoffs.
A huge piece of this year's playoff run is new addition Nicolas Batum. The Hornets acquired Nicolas Batum in a trade this past summer that sent Noah Vonleh and longtime Hornbobnetcat Gerald Henderson to the Portland Trailblazers. The biggest hitch in this trade is that Batum is on an expiring deal. This summer he can sign with anyone and for an amount of money that would make Scrooge McDuck take notice.
However, Nicholas Batum is not thinking about his upcoming payday. "If I think about it too much it will mess up my game. If you do your job, things will work out. Just play your game and things will happen," said Batum. He goes on to mention that he has been in locker rooms where money is the main focus: "I've been around teams where people think about their contract and their personal situation. I can't understand that." It's refreshing to know Batum's head is focused on the playoffs and team success over his upcoming free agency. The Hornets won't go far in the playoffs without him focused on helping the team win at all costs.
Speaking of making a ton of money, Michael Jordan still makes an absurd amount of money. He might be 13 years removed from the NBA, but he still managed to rake in $110 million last year. That is enough to rank him as the highest paid retired athlete in the world. Jordan has an estimated net-worth of $1.1 billion dollars thanks in part to his Jordan brand and partnerships with companies like Hanes and Gatorade.
Finally I'll leave you with the dunk of the year for the Hornets. No caption necessary.
OH. MY. MARVIN. pic.twitter.com/vyDZ88at9s— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 2, 2016
And the bench's reaction.
Reaction to Marvin's one-handed slam #PHIatCHA https://t.co/hpTyfkt5l2— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 2, 2016