As mentioned earlier in the series there are a few depressing numbers in New Orleans Pelicans and Hornets history. In most cases the reason is just a simple coincidence that the team gave the number to a bunch of random journeyman acquisitions that bump the number of players to have worn it. That is the case with number 6 which without the addition of Tyson Chandler would probably easily be the worst number in franchise history.
The First to Wear #6: Jerome Moiso, 2002-2003
The Most Recent to Wear #6: Sasha Pavlovic, 2011
The history of the number 6 jersey in New Orleans isn’t very complicated or impressive. Besides Chandler the number has been worn by six players over 128 games and a total of 1,724 minutes, an average of 13.47 minutes per game from a collection of awful, unimpressive players. Out of the group Brown had the most success by averaging a measly 6.6 points per game in his 22 games in New Orleans.
Luckily for the number 6 though things were saved by the presence of Tyson Chandler, who during his run in teal and gold from 2006 until 2009 brought fun and success. The highlights came in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons when Chandler was a force in the middle to compliment Chris Paul. In 2006-2007 Chandler started his emergence into the force in the paint we came to know him as, when he averaged 9.5 points, 1.8 blocks and a career high 12.4 rebounds in 73 games for a Hornets team that struggled a bit to a 39-43 finish. During the next season Chandler showed his emergence was no fluke when he played in 79 games and averaged 11.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while helping the Hornets to a Western Conference Semifinal berth where they lost in seven games to the San Antonio Spurs.
Chandler’s career in the number 6 came to an unfortunate end after an injury plagued 2008-2009 season during which he played in just 45 games and averaged just 8.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. After a failed trade to Oklahoma City that was voided by a failed physical Chandler was sent to the Charlotte Bobcats for Emeka Okafor.
If it weren’t for Chandler and his two terrific seasons in the number 6 jersey there is a very realistic chance that this post would be about the worst number in franchise history. But with those two seasons of catching lobs, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds Chandler at least makes the conversation harder. There is a lot of awful in the history of number six but at least for a few seasons it shined.