It's hard to believe, but the NBA season is just around the corner. So come with us now as we present five tiny tidbits on each team, just to get you in the mood. Today we continue with the Southwest Division, so do us a favor and send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 1. NOOCH!. Beginning life as the Charlotte Hornets in 1987 (Kelly Tripuka! Yay!), the team moved to New Orleans in 2002, then to Oklahoma City in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated southeastern Louisiana. The team is set to move back to New Orleans next season. Meanwhile, the Seattle SuperSonics were bought by a group of Oklahoma City businessmen and might move there in the near future.
• 2. Chandler Rules. Tyson Chandler, who attended Dominguez High School in Los Angeles, is the only member of the Hornets to have been profiled on 60 Minutes (as a freshman in high school, he was 6-foot-11).
• 3. Oklahoma, OK! Desmond Mason was born in Waxahachie, Texas, but played college ball at Oklahoma State; making him the Hornets' only hometown star. Ironically, he was drafted (with the 17th pick of the 2000 draft) by the Seattle SuperSonics, who may be moving to Oklahoma City. He is an accomplished painter and artist.
• 4. Good Move, Peja. In addition to being married to Greek fashion model Aleka Kamila, Peja Stojakovi once won two consecutive NBA 3-point Shootout titles (2002 and 2003).
• 5. The Legend Of Pistol Pete. "Pistol" Pete Maravich, a guard for LSU, and the New Orleans Jazz from 1974-79, had his No. 7 retired by the Hornets during their first game in New Orleans. Maravich is the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, averaging 44.2 points per game without the benefit of a three-point line. He died of a heart attack in 1988. Just days before his death, Maravich was honored at the O'Reilly All-College Basketball Classic in Oklahoma City.