There’s a long list of team sport curses floating around. Should The Curse of Alonzo be added? Not since the departure (or trade) of Alonzo to Miami has this franchise had a young center/big with loads of potential. That is 26 years and counting. There have been very few bright spots in between, a Jamal Magloire here and an Al Jefferson there, sprinkle some Okafor if you like. How long must we wait before this becomes a thing? The dominant big that you can lean on for 4 to 5 years if you’re lucky has evaded this franchise.
I mean how many teams have even had a good young center since 2004?
You had a period of time from 2008-2013 where there were basically no elite level big men in the league outside of Brook Lopez and Dwight Howard.
I think the curse would be the fact Alonzo was basically the last superstar this team ever had
Not of Zo game but that guy did more that Larry or Zo on the court.
Larry and Zo had bigger personas and were drafted by us.
I once had to the opportunity to visit GR’s house on Sardis across the street from Charlotte Christian.
Great man and a beast of a scorer.
RE: more than Larry or Zo.
Strong words. Dude could get buckets, but Larry and Zo were legit.
With the personas, yeah, LJ was what this City needed
As a b ball player, not even close… GRice
Never seen a player take over a game in a Hornets Uni like that man
Sure, losing Zo left a sour taste. He was supposed to be our drafted, long term, franchise Hall-of-Fame stud.
But yeah, we had our best ever season with Glen Rice(and Mason/Divac). We had Glen in his prime and if memory serves he was a near MVP for Charlotte when the 3 point line was shorter. That team was just older and not as sexy as Zo/LJ. None of the top 3 players were original Hornet draft picks that year. It was a more boring brand of ball in a more boring brand of NBA(mid to late 90s), in my humble opinion. They won with intelligence/savvy while early LJ and Zo were young, promising Greek gods who happened to have basketball skills and insane athleticism.
I credit the 90s Hornets for salvaging what they could through the years. Mourning was converted to Rice who was converted to Eddie Jones/Elden Campbell who was converted to Jamal Mashburn.
LJ was converted to Anthony Mason who was then converted to PJ Brown, more or less. And at least they had winning seasons.
I’m not the superstitious type, but I thank WIAN for starting this thread. It raises interesting questions:
What “does in” a franchise?
How important IS a dominant big anymore?
Interestingly, Zo Mourning said that if he grew up in the 21st century he’d be more like an Anthony Davis, who just happened to win an NBA championship last year. Having LeBron didn’t hurt, of course. But in my mind AD is the 2020 version of a great “big”.
We were lucky to get both the LJ/Zo picks to begin with. Pretty sure we moved up in the lottery both times. Also the Baron Davis pick was a lucky draw, if memory serves. At least we didn’t completely botch those picks.
If I HAD to blame Horncat failures on one thing, it would be the absolute draft failures of the Bobcat era. Just messing it up time and time again on the HIGH draft picks(Felton, Morrison, Augustin-over-Lopez, MKG(REALLY behind the trends on that one. Great guy, but it was turning into a shooter’s league). Zeller at number 4 I can forgive. Much of the league missed on Giannis that year. Conventional wisdom had Nerlens Noel and Ben Mclemore around that spot(yawn).
But, yes, you CAN point to all kinds of examples for a Hornets’ curse. How about LJ/Zo having their best regular season together and then the greatest player of all time comes out of retirement right before the playoffs to eliminate them? That’s pretty messed up. And of course failing to get the Anthony Davis pick after the worst NBA record in history. But again, they could have salvaged that with Beal, Lillard(Kemba already there, I know), or Drummond? But they didn’t. They went with a decent athlete/high chararcter wing with the most broken shot around at the dawn of the shooting era.
Those were good teams for sure man
Another key point here is that Zo was never going to re sign here.
We have all heard that George ignored Alonzo’s final request for the contract he wanted…
That’s completely false. His demands were met… and he broke off negotiations. Zo and his people were simply trying to get George to a number he would say no to. He never did.
I remember getting the vibe that Zo wanted to go play for a “Championship caliber” coach or something like. Is that what you gathered, Founding? I wanna say he made a quote like that after he got to Riley/Miami.
Yes can see curse want to put a curse at center position from not keeping a multi all star hall of famer. But not have complete garbage at position, even some really solid with Divac/Geiger one of best in NBA for a couple years.
Maybe more “curse” from Grandmamas 7 years/84 million deal, biggest at NBA at time. We not realistically paying more than LJ, market exploding Shaq and Zo not taking less. Move that LJ contract a couple years latter. And expect over last 26 years and counting since we had those 2 all stars, we have the fewest all stars of any team in league.