And just like that, the New Orleans Hornets are done. It’s a bleak judgment to reach but the NBA Playoffs are out of the picture this season. It was announced today that after an MRI that David West suffered an ACL tear finishing him for the year.
Trying to get a grasp as to what this means is difficult. The Hornets have Carl Landry, a more than capable starter, but they have zero front-court depth beyond it. Even if the Hornets make the playoffs, they will be swept and once again Hornet fans will be kicking and screaming and giving the finger to the basketball gods.
While Los Angeles, Boston, Miami and everyone else receives the luck of the draw, New Orleans is kicked to the curb. No voodoo this year.
The tough thing with injuries is there is no one to blame. We can’t point the finger at David, he was doing his job and his knee paid the price. We can’t blame Millsap or Jefferson; they were doing their jobs too. If we blamed the strength and conditioning staff that’d be a hit below the belt, you can’t stop freak accidents. We are so heart-broken and even more frustrated due to the fact there’s no one we can dump this on.
The best we can hope for is a speedy recovery for David. He is, and will always be a Hornet for life. He’s gone through something like this before suffering a severe injury early on in his career. He’s a true warrior and worked hard towards two All-Stars and Most Improved Player considerations.
I guess since this is a contract year for David we must at least touch base on what implications this has on the bigger picture. We talked about West’s contract in fair detail a few days ago giving scenario’s as to what the likely outcomes were, and the chances of him resigning.
Now it seems like the Hornets will miss the playoffs and perhaps David West too. I actually have no idea what he’ll do. He could very well opt-out and start afresh elsewhere. But he could stay and try to work back from his injury with a supportive cast that he’s known for a while now.
I’d like to think that West will be a Hornet for life. He’s been my favourite NBA player ever since I started following the league. His toughness, never-back-down mentality is what had me hooked. The great thing about West was that he was always fighting to show his opponent that he was better than him. Show no respect? He’ll tap you on your face. Think you’re better than him? He’ll go at you in the post time and time again. He was a quiet dude that never said much off the court. But when he was on it his loud “And-One’s” and leering eyes showed you his competitiveness, that heart and toughness so few NBA players possessed. He is never after the fast car, girls, mansions, lime-light. He is and has been an extension of every competitive average Joe that didn’t make the NBA.
I hope that this isn’t the end for the Hornets era, but the thought still lingers in my mind.