Hornets' Addition Of Davis Injects "Energy" Into Franchise, Builds On Recent Momentum
There has been an "injection of energy" in New Orleans regarding the Hornets for the last several months, and it was "cherry-topped by the team winning the NBA Draft Lottery," enabling it to select Anthony Davis with the first overall pick Thursday, according to John DeShazier of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. It is "not hard to envision a New Orleans Arena filled with fans honoring a certain physical trait of the prized rookie -- wearing colored-in unibrows, bowing to The Brow each time Davis blocks a shot, advising opposing teams to Fear the Brow whenever Davis steps on the court." That potential, along with team Owner Tom Benson’s "stated goal of changing the team’s nickname, has produced a buzz comparable to when the team relocated" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 6/29). In New Orleans, Albert Burford notes fans Thursday night at New Orleans Arena "gathered in the stands and spilled out on the court about an hour before the draft began." Soon after the team selected Davis, "an announcement came across the arena PA system -- Davis jerseys and shirts would be on sale immediately." There "wasn't any specific demographic in attendance," as businessmen and women "showed up straight from work wearing suits and ties while some Hornets fans showed off fleur-de-bee temporary tattoos on their faces to go with their sketched-on signature Anthony Davis unibrow" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 6/29).
FLYING HIGH: ESPN.com's Andy Katz writes Thursday night's selections of Davis and G Austin Rivers made the Hornets "one of the most intriguing teams to watch." The Hornets will now "look for success at the next level." Davis and Rivers "join a roster that will have a potential All-Star with a healthy" G Eric Gordon. The Hornets "have a chance to create their own big three." Katz writes this "isn't a case in which any of the players are wondering if they can win or are unhappy with the destination," as both Davis and Rivers "want to be in New Orleans." With new ownership in Benson, the Hornets now also have "an injection of the most heralded talent and biggest names in the first round" (ESPN.com, 6/29).
CLEVELAND ROCKED? In Clevleand, Pat Galbincea notes, "About 6,000 fans who attended the free party let out a round of boos and groans and some shrieks of shock" when the Cavaliers selected G Dion Waiters with the fourth overall pick in the draft. However, the party "was salvaged somewhat" when the Cavaliers traded for C Tyler Zeller, who was selected 17th overall by the Mavericks. After the Wizards drafted G Bradley Beal with the third overall pick, fans "booed because he was the player they were hoping Cleveland would get" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/29).