Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

15 Greatest Memories of the New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets

After sweeping the Dallas Mavericks, this has kind of turned into an odd type of “dead week” for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Instead of worrying about the outcome of a pivotal Game 6 or if Russell Westbrook shoots too much, we’re stuck wondering if Perk’s hip is okay and asking Royce when the next game will be played.

Because of this dead week, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at our city’s first date to the NBA prom: The Oklahoma City Hornets. It’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s been nearly seven years since Chris Paul, David West and, uh, Arvydas Macijauskas took our NBA virginity and set the dinner table for the Thunder.

Anyway, here are my Top 15 Oklahoma City Hornets memories. Check them out:

15. David West’s Buzzer Beating Shots

Ready to feel old? It’s been so long since the Hornets played in Oklahoma City that none of David West’s game winning shots are on YouTube. But I did find the video above where West beat Oklahoma City on a last second shot.

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14. David West’s constant denial that he ever committed a foul

As the picture above shows, it looks like David West still whines to the refs every time he is called for a foul. He could be called for a tech after hitting someone in the face with an ax and he’d still whine about it.

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13. Opening Night

This was such a surreal moment. Before the season, the Hornets were universally picked to finish last in the Western Conference and their first game was against a Kings team that won 50 games the season before. Not only did Oklahoma City destroy the Kings, but the crowd was amazing and intense. On that night the Hornets officially became Oklahoma City’s team…for two years.

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12. Kirk Snyder’s wicked dunk on Von Wafer before he absolutely lost his mind

Before he went nuts, Kirk Snyder was one of many below-average shooting guards to play along Chris Paul. In fact, he made one of the greatest plays to ever be seen inside the Ford Center / Oklahoma City Arena / Chesapeake Energy Arena when he dunked over some guy named Von Wafer. If your name is Von Wafer, you deserve to be dunked on.

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11. Boomer Tramel’s daily guarantees in the Oklahoman that the Hornets would never return to New Orleans.

Not too long after the Hornets relocated here, the state’s most popular columnist began to write column after column explaining why the Hornets would stay in Oklahoma City and never return to the Big Easy. Ooops.

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10. George Shinn

I liked George Shinn in the same way I like the guy who sells me the car at the dealership. He’s a nice guy, makes you feel important and tells you everything you want to hear, but deep down you know he’s just kissing your ass because he wants to sell you something.

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9. HornetsCentral.com

Sorry, I had to include this in here. Before there was a Lost Ogle, I ran a local blog and message board called HornetsCentral.com. It was a dorky little place where Internet losers, trolls and Doug Loudenbeck would congregate to discuss the Hornets and debate which city would be the permanent home of the team. I sold the site in 2008, and the new owners renamed it OKCThunderFans.com

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9. Byron Scott’s Blank Stare

During the HornetsCentral days, I would sometimes try to guess what was going through Byron Scott’s brain during close games. I heard from various sources that it was Braum’s Ice Cream, but I think he just enjoyed listening to crickets.

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8. The Birdman

If you partied in North Oklahoma City during the fall of 2005, there’s a good chance that Chris “The Birdman” Andersen either bought you a drink a Baker’s Street or drugs at some after party in Nichols Hills. I think it’s safe to say the guy enjoy life, tattoos and video game bowling a little too much during his stay in Oklahoma City.

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7. DJ Rob Nice

Before Jonathan MeisnerMatt Vaughn and our very own Joel Decker told a lucky fan that Midfirst Bank would give them $100 for hitting the rim or backboard, Oklahoma City NBA fans got to know arena emcee DJ Rob Nice. He was cooler than the other side of the pillow’s pillow. He and his backwards ball cap were fresher than a virgin’s…well…you get the picture.

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6. The signing of Peja Stojakovic

Man, I was pumped when the Hornets’ signed Peja. He was going to be the missing piece of the puzzle. He was going to give Chris Paul the reliable wing threat he needed to lead OKC to a deep playoff run. Peja kind of did all that…the year after the Hornets left OKC. I think he played in only 12 games in Oklahoma City before he injured his back while having wild sex with his hot European model wife…or lifting weights.

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5. Chris Paul

If you lived in Oklahoma City from 2005 – 2007, it was a requirement that Chris Paul be your favorite NBA player. This was because he was a talented, hardworking kid with great character. However, now that time has passed and he plays for the Clippers, he’s a selfish, dirty, flopping, wannabe tough guy.

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4. Jackson Vroman’s Wrist

A bunch of really bad basketball players suited up for the Oklahoma City Hornets. Here are just a few off the top of my head: Boki Nachbar, Linton Johnson III, Moochie Norris, Cedric Simmons, Marcus Vinicius and old Marc Jackson. Vroman may have been the worst of the lot, but he’s more memorable because of a gruesome broken wrist injury that happened at the Ford Center. I can’t find the video online, but the look on Jackson’s face whenever he saw a bone sticking out of is skin was kind of funny. Lets hope his new Luke Skywalker hand is serving him well.

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3. The rise of the speedy finger guy who controlled the scoreboard

I’m not sure who updated the points on the old Ford Center scoreboard, but I’m pretty sure the guy lived about 3-seconds in the future.

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2. The Oklahoma City Patch

I was thinking about putting the Oklahoma City jersey in this spot, but screw that, they wore the OKC jerseys once or twice. They wore this patch every damn game. I still think I have about 20 of the damn things laying in an old shoebox in my attic. I bet they’ll be worth tens of hundreds of pennies when I bring them to Antiques Roadshow in 40 years.

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1. Honeybee Talor

Yeah, the Thunder may have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (and James Harden and Serge Ibaka and Sam Presti), but the Hornets had Honeybee Talor. She’s hotter than all the Thunder Girls combined. Here are a few more pictures of her that I found on her Model Mayhem page:

I think I need a cigarette.

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Anyway, that’s my list. I’m sure there are some things I forgot like Speedy Claxton’s teeth, JR Smith’s Cha-Cha dance and whatever that Gerry Vaillancourt thing was, but I’m sure you’ll let me know in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Good list. And no lie on #3 – that guy had superhuman powers. I could NEVER catch him ringing up points.

  2. I gotta admit I opened this with a great deal of apprehension. I was afraid it was another of your long ticky-dot analyses of hoops in okc. However, it was really good and funny. Of course, how can you go wrong when the grand finale is one of the honeybees.

  3. Oh, thank god you have a pic of that outdoor board. I worked on that campaign and wrote the headline knowing dick about Birdman (or the Hornets or basketball in general) and just came up with the “Feel the buzz…” headline as an easy play off of hornets.

    It was the first time something I worked on got yanked without me being purposefully offensive.

  4. a couple of my top memories

    When the Hornets actually played a home game in Loyd Noble arena in Norman. It was crazy game and was against the kings.

    another was when Peja scored i think the first 22 points of the game for us. Only time he was “on fire”

  5. It does feel like a long time ago to think of the Kings coming off a 50-win season. Also, the Chris Paul reference is funny. Can’t believe how much I fucking hate that guy now. Biggest whiner in the NBA.. and that’s saying something.

  6. April 4th, 2007 is an odd mash of OKC basketball history as the Seattle Sonics visited our hometown Hornets. A local ownership group had just bought the Sonics, so we wondered if we were watching our current team against our future team. Sonics roster included Nick Collison, Earl Watson, and Chris Wilcox, who broke Hornet Desmond Mason’s nose and cheekbone with an inadvertent elbow. Also, Hornet Tyson Chandler left the game early after aggravating his chronic toe injury, the same one that would later undo his possible trade to OKC as a Thunder player in 2009.

  7. I was sitting behind the net when D-West hit that game-winning shot against Washington. Biggest NBA moment, for me anyway, until the Thunder-Lakers Game 3. Can Mason’s free-throw shooting form get an honorable mention? Love the guy, but, damn.

  8. So any Ogle Moles have any scoop on Chris Andersen’s “internet crimes against children” charges? Is it wrong of me to hope it is just some “schoolgirls in plaid skirts” or “not yet legal” sites he is a frequent visitor of?

  9. I just received this link from one of my New Orleans colleagues. Wondering if anyone knows where she is at these days? I met her a few years back, in LA, at the Golden Globes. Very stunning. Would like to get in touch with her.

    Jack
    Beverly Hills, CA

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