by Alejandro de los Rios
Well, the AP might consider the Hornets' Mardis Gras gold jerseys fashion-backwards (scroll to the bottom of the link, under "Game Notes"), but that isn't stopping the Hornets from going all gold tonight at the
Hive Nest. George Shinn ws kind enough to pose for this picture pre-game and said that it was Chris Paul's idea to give out the shirts.
"He asked and we delivered," Shinn said.
The shirts would have been delivered earlier namely, for Game 5 against the Mavericks but they couldn't all be printed in time. If y'all remember Game 1 of that series (it seems so long ago, doesn't it) I interviewed Melvin Ely about being back in the playoffs a year after winning a title with the Spurs. Ely had mentioned that he thought about bringing his championship ring in, but forgot. Did he bring it tonight?
"Naw, I didn't think it was necessary," he said.
"Today in shoot around, everyone was real focused," he said. "Players were really vocal. I've been here a year and that's only happened a few times. I didn't want to bring in any distractions."
The team still isn't tense, though. While they might not be playing dodgeball in the locker room, they are loose, laughing and joking around. Ely, for example, had to deal with in the form of Hilton Armstrong, who was making faces and saying "like little baby toes, like mini vienna sausages" (quotes from the movies "Superbad") behind the reporter and cameraman. How is it that Ely was able to keep his focus?
"Years of practice," he said.
Tip-off is at 9:10 so, if you're reading this, put on some gold and get to a television. Now.