NBA could be blowing its horn in N.O.
Jan. 11, 2002
Frantically fumbling through the files on a Friday while looking forward to Saturday's Ole Miss-State basketball game
The winds of the NBA are apparently blowing in a southerly direction.
Last year it was the Vancouver entry headed to Elvis-land to become the Memphis Grizzlies.
Now it appears we are about to have the New Orleans Hornets. Maybe it should be the Horn-ettes, as in horn blowers. As in the blues. Oh, never mind.
Anyway, it looks like the Charlotte squad may be headed to New Orleans to join the wild and crazies on Bourbon Street and nearby avenues.
Many may not remember, or even believe it, but the NBA was a financial success in New Orleans. The crowds turned out in droves and the old New Orleans Jazz (yes, my young little NBA fans who aren't yet old enough to drive, that is why there is a team in Utah called the Jazz of all things) set several attendance records.
As a college freshman I will not reveal what school I went to as not to embarrass the institution with the fact that it actually admitted me a couple friends and I drove to New Orleans to check out the Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs.
Pete Maravich was playing for the Jazz and he was terrific. It was a little disappointing at first, as he scored just four first-half points, but the Pistol poured in 20 in the third quarter and showed off his creative passing skills for the entire game.
What drove the Jazz from the NBA was that they had to play an entire month on the road because the SuperDome was rented out.
In the late 1980s, or maybe it was the early 90s, the Atlanta Hawks played a few games at the new facility in New Orleans, but the crowds weren't that great.
But New Orleans really is a big league town and will support an NBA team.
It will be interesting to see if the Hornets play sweet music in the Crescent City, or wind up singing the Blues.
Ole Miss makes good selection
It is hard to argue with the choice of Reggie Herring as the new defensive coordinator for the Ole Miss football team.
Clemson was defensive coordinator at Clemson since 1997 and his teams have put up some good numbers. While 2001 was not a banner year, history is on the side of Herring and the Rebels when it comes to this hiring.
Ole Miss was at the bottom in scoring defense in the Southeastern Conference this season and third from the cellar in run defense in the 12-team league.
Not good. Not good at all.
Ole Miss was 7-4 in 2001, and a porous defense got a lot of the blame for the fact that win total wasn't closer to 10.
We shall see what the future holds for the Rebels this year, but Herring needs to understand this, the defense will have to be much improved or he will follow recently fired defensive boss Don Lindsey out the door at the end of the 2002 season.
The Rebels see the next two years as important ones. Eli Manning is at the helm and the fans are excited about Ole Miss football. But excitement only lasts so long if the team isn't going to good bowl games and beating such foes as Mississippi State along the way.
Calling all NASCAR fans
One of the stories we are working on for the upcoming Profile edition of The Meridian Star is one about the interest in NASCAR in the East Mississippi and West Alabama area.
We are looking for readers to send in self-written stories and columns about why they think NASCAR is so popular and what draws them to the sport. You can also tell why you fell in love with racing and why you support your favorite driver.
I would also be interested in hearing from the supporters of dirt track racing.
Just jot down a little story, sign your name, add your phone number and sent it by fax to my attention at 1-601-485-1275 or by e-mail at email@example.com
The sooner I get these columns in my hands, the better.