Respect The NOOCH!

Last night, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (NOOCH!) shocked pretty much everyone by hammering to Sacramento Kings in front of nearly 20,000 crazed Oklahomans.

Much had been said in recent weeks about the apparent ridiculousness of having an NBA team in Oklahoma City — even the Hornets owner once said, "You've got to be kidding me. Do they have an arena?" — and there were fears this would be a season of empty arenas that more resembled the Old West. Hardly. Last night, 19,163 people showed up, as opposed to 17,250 for the New Orleans opener last year. Obviously, you can't expect that number to stay so high all year, but you can also think it won't drop as dramatically as it did in New Orleans (where, we might add, the team was failing).

We have a sneaking suspicion this will be the best moment for NOOCH all season, so let's enjoy it and celebrate it. Say it loud! Say it proud! NOOCH!

Oklahoma City's NBA Debut Better Than Expected [Ryan Welton]
Hornets Settle Into New Home [ESPN]
America's NBA Team: NOOCH! [Deadspin]