As has been the case with many numbers in New Orleans Pelicans franchise history, the number 22 is one that has seen its fair share of minutes that flat-out didn’t matter. Four different players have worn the number 22 since a team arrived in New Orleans but just one ever played real meaningful minutes and many of those minutes were a sad reminder of what should have been for the team. The history just isn’t great with this one.
The First to Wear Number 22: Cedric Simmons, 2006-2007
The Most Recent to Wear Number 22: Brian Roberts, 2012-2014
The number 22 didn’t get off to a great start in New Orleans with first round pick Cedric Simmons getting the number for his year in town. Simmons appeared in just 43 games for the Hornets in his rookie season of 2006-2007 and averaged just 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game for the team. After the disappointing rookie year Simmons was sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers for steady veteran David Wesley
After a few seasons of no number 22 on the roster the team broke the jersey back out for Patrick Ewing Jr. for 19 minutes over 7 games late in the 2010-2011 season. Ewing Jr was fairly awful over the short amount of time he played, finishing his career with just three points and no made field goals before heading overseas to continue his basketball career.
DeJuan Summers followed Ewing’s seven game career in the 22 with 15 games late in the 2011-2012 season. Summers was much more productive than Ewing, finishing with 68 total points and 209 total minutes, but it wasn’t enough to stick with the Hornets for next season, causing him to move on to play with the Los Angeles Clippers for two games in 2012-2013.
The number 22 then was issued to Brian Roberts, someone who originally was thought to never have a chance to do much on a roster with some guard depth. But Roberts found time due to injuries and his own effectiveness and he had two fairly solid individual seasons in the 22. In 2011-2012 Roberts played in 78 games for the Hornets averaging 17 minutes, 7.1 points and 2.8 assists per game fort the team while shooting 38.6 percent from the three-point line. More injuries forced Roberts into more action this past season when he started 42 of the 72 games he appeared in and averaged 23.2 minutes per game. Roberts was fair effective with averages of 9.4 points and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 36 percent from three but his presence and knack for stopping ball movement typically made the Pelicans better when he sat. Roberts cashed in on those two seasons though, moving on this offseason to Charlotte, leaving the number 22 open again.
It is a scary thought but out of four players to wear the number 22 in franchise history Brian Roberts is far and away the best one. Just a number after seeing a few really good seasons produced by the same jersey, it is a harsh reminder of how many bad players have flowed in and out of New Orleans over the last few years.
Tags: New Orleans Pelicans