On this episode of the At the Hive podcast, we drafted teams for the pool of players that have played for the Charlotte Hornets. They’ll square off later, and we’ll need your votes.
Before we get into all that, we recap the first round of the NBA Playoffs and I explain why things could be worse for Hornets fans. And I mean a lot worse.
Now, onto the draft. Zach won the
coin envelope toss to get the first pick. We went snake draft style, which with two people essentially breaks down to the two of us making two picks apiece. With the teams constructed, we’ll put it to a vote to see whose team would win (assuming every player is at the peak of their powers).
I also simulated a game between the two teams in NBA 2K19. Those results will be at the end.
Without further ado, here is the draft and the drafters’ explanations for each pick:
Zach’s first pick: Kemba Walker
There is so much to say and nothing at all to say about Kemba being the first pick. Kemba is inarguably the best Hornet in the team’s history. I could come at you with his Win Shares, PER, Clutch stats, etc to prove his worth, but who am I Jonathan DeLong? But above and beyond the numbers, Kemba is one of the greatest leaders who has step foot on any hardwood. His dedication to his craft, his love of his teammates, and untamable drive to win is why I have chosen Kemba as our point guard, as our leader (cue Circle of Life music)
Jonathan’s first pick: Glen Rice
Glen Rice was kind of the original Kemba Walker in terms of on court productivity for the Hornets. He was an All Star each of his three seasons in Charlotte. He averaged 23.5 points per game while shooting 44.4% from three on nearly five attempts per game while he was here. He’s an elite scorer from the wing and a perfect cornerstone for this team
Jonathan’s second pick: Larry Johnson
My one chance to snag some nostalgia from Zach’s team, Larry Johnson is a tremendous all around power forward to fill any gaps left by the other players on my roster. He averaged 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists in Charlotte and made a couple All Star teams.
Zach’s second pick: Alonzo Mourning
Having the first pick I thought that I’d have to choose between Curry or ZO if I was lucky. But watching Kemba and Zo devour teams with the pick and roll is what dreams are made of. Mourning is a legend in both Charlotte and Miami. He was known for his physical play and dominating rebounding. Matching him with Kemba gives this team a 1, 2 punch that no Hornets team has ever had. Did I mention the man is a 7 time all-star, averaged 53% FG, with a PER of 21.2?
Zach’s third pick: Dell Curry
My opponent will tell you that Dell Curry is the second-best Hornet of All-time. My opponent will tell you he shot 40% from 3 in an era when no one was shooting like that. My opponent wrote an article, on this very site no less, about how his jersey should be hanging from the rafters of Spectrum center. And yet, in this time of choosing, my opponent left him high and dry. Matching Dell with Kemba as a relief valve in the corner after performing the myriad of high pick and rolls I will have him in will give this team the space it needs to score.
Jonathan’s third pick: Baron Davis
There really aren’t a lot of great point guards to choose from in Hornets history. Muggsy Bogues was obviously a great player in his own right, but I chose someone a little more modern- Baron Davis. Davis is kinda forgotten about in Hornets history since he did most of his damage while the original franchise was forcing its way out of Charlotte, but he was really good. He made two All Star teams, one in Charlotte and one in New Orleans. He led the league in steals twice and was a consistent 20 point, 8 assists, 2 steals player in his prime.
Jonathan’s fourth pick: Dwight Howard
This is where I capitalized on the stipulation that every player would be in their prime for this game. Howard is arguably the best player to ever don the purple and teal, even if he was a shell of his former self by the time he got here. He’s made eight All NBA teams and is a three time defensive player of the year. Not too shabby.
Zach’s fourth pick: Gerald Wallace
Gerald Wallace, the forgotten all-star, was the heartbeat in the otherwise lifeless shell that was the Charlotte Bobcats. His defensive tenacity single handedly led the bobcats to wins they had no business notching. What we were hoping MKG would become, Gerald Wallace was. 2006 all-star, 1st team All-NBA Defense. We put him at small forward and let him put out the fires started by having Kemba and Dell as your guards on the defensive end.
Zach’s fifth pick: Al Jefferson
With my last pick, I had a lot of options to consider. Do I add another shooter to this Team? Play Alonzo Mourning at Center and hope he is enough to hold up the paint and get rebounds? Do I look into my crystal ball and put Miles Bridges at Power forward? Or maybe I give into my sentimentality and draft the living, breathing Hornet mascot Mugsy Bogues. No, I want this team to win. And the winningest modern hornets teams had Big Al shoving and grinding his way to a double double down low.
Jonathan’s fifth pick: Eddie Jones
I went back to the well of forgotten late-90s Hornets to find Eddie Jones. He made the All Star team in his only full season in Charlotte and averaged 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and a league leading 2.7 steals.
Here’s Zach’s final plea for your vote:
Oh, I can hear the commenters now: “This team isn’t built for the NBA in 2019.” “Gerald Wallace and Big Al are basketball dinosaurs you brought to life in some weird mosquito experiment a la Jurassic Park.” “Dell was a bench player.” To those straw man arguments allow me to retort. First, These are all time Hornets. It’s not exactly a robust list of hall of fame talent as much as it pains me to say it. And second, I didn’t want to come at this like building a fantasy roster. I wanted to bring together, not only talents I thought could compliment each other, but also credos and personalities. Lastly, Hivers and Hivettes, as you cast your votes know this: One of these teams has Kemba Walker and one does not…
As for myself, I feel confident that my team is more well rounded and stronger than Zach’s. I don’t have the nostalgia factor that he does, but I think I have more basketball talent.
To settle this, I took to NBA 2K19 to simulate a contest between these two teams. I turned off injuries, fatigue, and foul outs to ensure that these ten players would be the only ones that played. I let the CPU play a full 48 minute game on All-Star difficulty. Here is the final box score:
Jonathan vs. Zach 2K19
So what do you guys think? Who constrcuted the better team?
Whose team wins a one-game winner-take-all contest?
This poll is closed