; The History of Professional Basketball in New Orleans
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The History of Professional Basketball in New Orleans


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									The New Orleans Buccaneers
             •   The New Orleans Buccaneers
                 were a pert of the American
                 Basketball Association (ABA)
                 which was established in 1967
                 and lasted until 1976. During
                 that time, the ABA fought a
                 bitter war with the established
                 National Basketball Association
                 (the NBA) for players, fans, and
                 media attention. The New
                 Orleans Buccaneers were a
                 major force in the early years
                 of the ABA. The franchise
                 stayed in the Crescent City only
                 three years: from 1967-68
                 through 1969-70. But while the
                 team was in New Orleans, it
                 was always fun to watch.
              The Coach
• The fun started with the Bucs' first and
  only coach, Babe McCarthy. McCarthy
  was affectionately known as 'Ol Magnolia
  Mouth because of his so-called "honey-
  dew Mississippi drawl." In fact, Babe
  could always be counted on to come up
  with appropriate "Babe-isms" during
  games to motivate his players. "Babe-isms"
  were short funny phrases that earned
  McCarthy his nickname.
• "Boy, I gotta tell you,
  you gotta come out at
  ‘em like a bitin' sow,"
• "My old pappy used
  to tell me the sun
  don't shine on the
  same dog's butt every
• "Why panic at five in
  the mornin' because
  it's still dark out?"
• "Now, let's cloud up
  and rain all over ‘em."
During the ABA's
inaugural year (1967-
68), the Bucs were
one of the most
interesting teams to
watch. The Bucs had
a fancy passer (Larry
Brown), a rugged
shooter (Doug Moe),
and a slick rookie
(Jimmy Jones). Even
when they played
last-place teams like
Houston, the Bucs
were still
           First Season (cont’d)
•   The first Buccaneers team that
    McCarthy put together was as
    talented as any first year ABA team.
    One of the first players the Bucs
    signed was Doug Moe, a rugged
    forward out of North Carolina. Like
    Connie Hawkins, Moe had been
    tenuously connected with a college
    basketball scandal in the early
    1960's. Nothing was ever proven,
    but the NBA banned him for life.
    Moe was forced to play in Italy
    during his early professional years.
    When the Bucs signed him, he was
    in his prime. He was one of the
    ABA's early stars, averaging 24
    points in the Bucs' first season
    (second in the league) and making
    the First ABA All-Star team as a
                      The Final Season
• However, a few factors worked against the team in its third year. First, New
  Orleans moved its home games into the Tulane Gymnasium, a small, dark
  structure with a seating capacity of only 4,,500 and interest in the team
  lagged once it came back to earth in January and February. The franchise
  had never been strong financially, and it especially suffered once fans
  stopped coming to the games. The Bucs ended up at only .500, and failed
  to qualify for the playoffs.
• The Bucs' owners considered "regionalizing" the franchise for the 70-71
  season; the team would have played in New Orleans, Lafayette, Monroe,
  Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. Other alternatives were to move the
  franchise to Kansas City, Salt Lake City, or Memphis. Memphis turned out to
  be the most attractive choice for the Bucs' owners, since the team had
  played several regular season games there, and had always drawn well. The
  team left New Orleans and became the Memphis Pros.
New Orleans’ Second Pro Basketball

    The New Orleans
       The New Orleans Jazz
•   Played As:
    New Orleans Jazz 1974/75-
•   Nickname:
    Named Jazz following after a
    contest, over other entries that
    included Dukes, Cajuns, Pilots,
    Crescents, Deltas, Knights. The
    city of New Orleans is a hot bed
    for Jazz Music.
•   Logo:
    A purple blue note which front
    becomes a basketball with a
    yellow and green center. The
    blue note is the J as Jazz is spelt
    out in purple. New Orleans is
    written in black of the 2 Zs
•   Colors:
    The New Orleans Jazz (cont’d)
•   The NBA came to the city of New
    Orleans for the first time. The Jazz
    hoped to hit a sweet note with fans
    by acquiring Pistol Pete Maravich
    from the Atlanta Hawks. Maravich
    a star in college at Louisiana State
    was a showman. He wore a
    signature pair of floppy good-luck
    sweat socks that always appeared
    to need washing. He shot the ball
    from anywhere and everywhere. He
    never made a simple pass when he
    could make an entertaining one, so
    his assists regularly came from
    behind the back or through the legs.
    However, the Jazz got off to a rocky
    start as they scored just 74 points
    while losing their first game on the
    road to the New York Knicks on
    October 17th. In fact the Jazz would
    not get their first win until
    November 11th when they beat the
    Portland Trailblazers by 1 point at
               Historical Moments
• 1975/76: In their second season the Jazz would move into the
  spacious Superdome. At first the Jazz played sweet music at the
  dome as they won their first dome game 114-106 over the Detroit
  Pistons on October 24th on the way to a 6-1 start. However, the Jazz
  would struggle in November and December as Pistol Pete Maravich
  missed 20 games due to injury. Maravich would return and the Jazz
  would play competitive basketball escaping last place by finishing
  4th with a record of 38-44 as Pistol Pete finished 3rd in scoring with
  25.9 ppg.
• 1976/77: The Jazz played inconstant basketball as they took a step
  backward finishing in 5th place with a record of 35-47. However,
  Pistol Pete Maravich would be thrilling all season as he led the NBA
  in scoring with 31.1 ppg, highlighted by an unbelievable 68-point
  night at the Superdome against the New York Knicks on February
    Historical Moments (cont’d)
•   1977/78: The Jazz fall 4 games short of a trip to the playoffs as they finish in 5th
    place again with a 39-43 record in an up and down season which included a
    rough December where they won just 3 of 13 games. Pistol Pete Maravich again
    had a solid season with 27.0 ppg. However, injuries would him to 50 games,
    which was not enough games to qualify for the scoring title. The Jazz would still
    have a league leader however, as Truck Robinson led the NBA with 15.7
    rebounds per game.

•   1978/79: Pistol Pete Maravich would struggle all season as he tried to return
    from off season knee surgery. Without Maravich the Jazz would struggle in the
    stands and on the court the struggles were made even worse as they dealt Truck
    Robinson to the Phoenix Suns for Ron Lee, Marty Byrnes, 2 draft picks, and cash.
    Without Maravich and Robinson as the Jazz plummeted back into last place with
    a league worse 26-56 record. Following the season the Jazz would stun their
    fans in New Orleans by announcing plans to move the team to Utah, as their
    April 6th loss against the Milwaukee Bucks ended up being their swan song on
    Bourbon St.
                   Bye, Bye Jazz
•   After the Jazz left New
    Orleans the city would play
    occasional host to Atlanta
    Hawks games. However, their
    best connection to basketball
    came when the Superdome
    hosted the Final Four in 1982
    when a Freshman named
    Michael Jordan hit the game
    winning shot as North Carolina
    won the Championship. New
    Orleans would also host the
    Final Four in 1987 and 1993,
    both of which had classic
    endings as well. So the desire
    to bring the NBA back to the
    Crescent City remained strong.
    In 2000 the city decided to build
    a new arena with hopes of
    luring a team back, and in 2002
    they hit pay dirt as the Hornets
    moved in from Charlotte.
New Orleans’ Current Franchise:

  The New Orleans Hornets
                     The New Orleans Hornets
• Expectations and emotions were high for the
  Hornets as the team began its first season
  in New Orleans, picked among the favorites
  going into training camp to vie for the
  Eastern Conference title. The Hornets
  opened their inaugural season in New
  Orleans on October 30, 2002, against the
  Utah Jazz, who were originally in New
  Orleans and called the New Orleans Jazz,
  with a 100-75 win; "Pistol" Pete Maravich
  had his number posthumously retired during
  halftime. It was the first regular season
  NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17
  years[7] (there were a few exhibition games
  played through the years including the then
  Charlotte Hornets in New Orleans in 2000).
                  First Season
• They qualified for the playoffs for the fourth straight
  year in 2002-03, but were beaten by Philadelphia
  again. After the season, the team unexpectedly fired
  Coach Paul Silas. He was replaced by Tim Floyd. The
  Hornets got off to a 17-7 start, but sputtered at the
  end and finished 41-41, narrowly missing out on
  home court advantage in the first round of the
  Eastern Conference playoffs. They played the Miami
  Heat in the first round, but Dwyane Wade's last
  second shot sunk the Hornets in Game One of the
  series. The teams ended up winning all their
  respective home games after that, but Wade's shot was
  the difference as the Heat won 4-3.
     Season 2
After the season, Floyd
was fired and the team
hired Byron Scott to be
their head coach. Because
of the expansion, the
Hornets were now forced
to play in the Southwest
Division of the Western
Conference which
included four playoff
teams in the San Antonio
Spurs, Dallas Mavericks,
Houston Rockets, and
Memphis Grizzlies. The
team was not expected to
compete for a playoff
spot with such tough
competition. The Hornets
finished 18-64--tied for
the second-worst record
in the league, and the
franchise's first losing
season in 15 years. With
the fourth pick in the NBA
draft lottery, the
Hornets got future all-
star, point guard Chris
          Hurricane Katrina
•   Due to the catastrophic devastation brought by Hurricane
    Katrina upon the communities of southeastern Louisiana, the
    Hornets franchise temporarily relocated their base of operations
    to Oklahoma City in 2005-06 and 2006-07. During this time,
    the franchise was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City
    Hornets. In these two seasons, the vast majority of home games
    were played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, while a few
    remained at New Orleans Arena. Their practice facility while in
    Oklahoma City was the Sawyer Center [8] on the campus of
    Southern Nazarene University (SNU).[9] and the team held its
    2006 training camp at their New Orleans practice facility, the
    Alario Center, in Westwego, Louisiana.
                             Hurricane Katrina (Cont’d)
• For the 2005-06 season, the team played 36
  games in Oklahoma City, with one game taking
  place at the Lloyd Noble Center on the campus of
  the University of Oklahoma due to a conflict at
  the Ford Center; three in New Orleans; and one
  at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the
  campus of LSU. The intent had been to play 5
  games in all at Baton Rouge, but strong progress
  made on restoring the New Orleans Arena made
  the return to New Orleans a better option. The
  Hornets opted to keep their base of operations
  in Oklahoma City for the 2006-07 season due to
  the continued recovery efforts in New Orleans
  but promised to return to New Orleans full time,
  possibly as early as 2007.
Buzz Back in the Big Easy
             •   The Hornets franchise returned to New
                 Orleans full-time for the 2007–2008
                 season, with all 41 home games played in
                 the New Orleans Arena. To that end, the
                 2008 NBA All-Star Game and its
                 accompanying festivities were awarded
                 to New Orleans and a serious marketing
                 campaign was commenced in February
                 2007. Attendance at the New Orleans
                 Arena, while tepid at first, picked up
                 considerably in the months of March
                 and April 2008 with the team registering
                 sell-outs in 12 of its last 17 regular season
                 home games, and the final 13 total games
                 (including playoffs). The team has also
                 publicly announced the sale of over
                 10,000 season tickets for the 2008-2009
                 season, a record total since the relocation
                 from Charlotte.
                   Great Expectations
•   Having experienced the most
    successful season in franchise
    history, both in the regular season
    and the playoffs, the 2009 NBA
    season was viewed with great
    expectations for the Hornets
    franchise. Several pundits picked the
    Hornets to repeat as winners of the
    Southwest Division and as a
    potential Western Conference
    champion. For the second year in a
    row the Hornets were represented
    with two players at the NBA All
    Star Game as Chris Paul was voted
    in by the fans as a starter, and
    David West was selected as a
    reserve by the NBA coaches.
2009 Season and Postseason
             •   The season in itself has been up and down
                 for the Hornets, and by April it is clear that
                 the record-breaking 56–26 record of 2007–
                 2008 is unattainable in 2008–2009. The
                 Hornets finished the season with a
                 disappointing 49–33 record, only good
                 enough for 4th in the Southwest Division and
                 7th in the Western Conference. Paired up
                 with the Denver Nuggets in the first round of
                 the 2009 NBA Playoffs, the Hornets
                 commenced the post-season in a sour
                 manner, losing both of the first two games
                 decisively in Denver. Trailing 2-1, the next
                 game proved brutal for the Hornets. The
                 Hornets tied the worst loss in playoff history
                 in a 121-63 beating. The New Orleans
                 Hornets were eliminated from the NBA
                 playoffs on April 29th, 2009. They lost to the
                 Denver Nuggets 107-86.
                                      Works Cited
•   "Babe McCarthy." Hoopedia. 1 May. 2009. <http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Babe_McCar>.
•   Dimitry, Steve . "American Basketball Association 1967-1976." Steve Dinitry's Extinct Sports Leagues. 1 May. 2009.
•   "New Orleans Buccaneers." Remember the ABA: New Orleans Buccaneers. 1 May. 2009.
•   "New Orleans Hornets Franchise History." Hoopedia. 1 May. 2009.
•   "New Orleans Hornets." Wikipedia. 1 May. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_Hornets>.
•   "Remember the ABA." 1 May. 2009. <http://www.remembertheaba.com/>.
•   Schexnaydre Jr, David "Give 'n Go: Hornets vs Nuggets." Nola.com 25 Mar. 2009.
•   "Suri's World." Blogger. 1 May. 2009. <http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_f6gY_owVM-I/SEEMA_KF8KI/>.
•   Thomsen, Ian . "Fiery relationship between their two stars drives the Hornets." SI.com. 17 Dec. 2008. 1 May. 2009.

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