New Orleans Hornets
The positive vibe surrounding the New Orleans Hornets this offseason is unmistakable. Compared to the stress and uncertainty of recent years, you'd think the Hornets were preseason favorites to win the NBA Finals. Although the arrival of Anthony Davis has New Orleans fans in a tizzy, the Hornets' returning star is not exactly a fan favorite.
From the moment he arrived in New Orleans in the Chris Paul trade, Eric Gordon never fully embraced his new NBA home. He even looked sad when he held up his new jersey at his first press conference. Gordon also drew the ire of fans when he tweeted about a college basketball game during a Hornets' game while out with a knee injury.
But Eric Gordon's worst transgression came during the offseason when he signed with the Phoenix Suns and publicly asked the Hornets not to match the contract. After seeing former Hornets like Chris Paul and David West work their way out of New Orleans, I was angry that Gordon was also unhappy about playing in my hometown.
However, Tom Benson will now be signing Eric Gordon's checks and hopefully that will motivate him to play hard and be a positive influence in the locker room. To be fair, Gordon was outstanding in the few games he did play last season for the Hornets. In fact, New Orleans was 6-3 with Gordon on the floor and he averaged 20.6 points per game.
If he can stay healthy, Eric Gordon has the ability to keep the Hornets competitive while Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers go through their growing pains of being NBA rookies. There will be a lot of excitement in New Orleans during the 2012-13 NBA season and fans like me need to put the past behind them and support Gordon.
I know firsthand how much fun it is to live in New Orleans. And if the Hornets can become consistent winners and perhaps even championship contenders in a few years, then NBA stars like Eric Gordon may want to play here. If Hornets' fans can cheer for Gordon and keep the New Orleans Arena rocking, it will be a win-win for everyone.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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