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504sports

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

MAGAZINE

504 in the zone

W W W . 5 0 4 s p o r t s m a g . C OM

Drew BREES

breaks Unitas’ record

504 sports magazine Bring to you Drew Brees

FeaturedInterviews: Drew Brees Anthony Davis Larry Fitzgerald Dwright Howrad Eric Hill Austin Rivers 504SPORTSMAGAZINE ComingSoonto local TV

504 in the zone

SITS WITH nba #1 Draft pick

anthony davis

2013

SUPERBOWL COMING TO NEW ORLEANS L0UISIANA “GO SAINTS”

504sportsmag.com


cONTENTS 5

THE NEW NEW ORLEANS “This magazine is dedicated toward building the New NEW ORLEANS” - Doc Jones -

Bill Summers

504

Sportsmag

Dwright Howard Traded to LA Lakers

14

Eric Hill

5

Eric Hill formal NFL star is doing great in NOLA

14

16 R-Kal Truluck Inside the Trences

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20

NOLA #1 Draft Pick Anthony Davis

NBA #1 Draft Pick 2012

20

30 Drew Brees Stays with Saints

32

42

Tom Benson Make Deal to buy Honets

36

Barkley Thinks Lebaron Can Be Better Than Jordan

42

New Orleans is in for a big surprise with Draft pick Austin Rivers

Labron James

36

16

all content and photograph material are copyrighted to their respected owners. to contact our editorial team please email us at publish@504mag.com

30 Up close with Drew Brees 504 MAGAZINE 4


The most effective way that Dwight Howard can return the Los Angeles Lakers to the summit of NBA basketball is with his remarkable defense. There’s a good chance that Howard could win his fourth defensive player of the year award next season, which would tie him with Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo for the most all-time. Former Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who was part of the Howard trade this summer, was a good defender but doesn’t have anywhere near the athleticism that Howard does. Howard will be able to give Los Angeles the league’s best interior defense and force players to think twice before entering the paint and having to face him and power forward Pau Gasol. Howard blocked 116 shots last season, which was the same total as Bynum, although the former Magic star played in six fewer games. Howard is always one of the league’s premier rebounders, and grabbed 14.5 of them per game last year, while Bynum led the Lakers with 11.8 rebounds per game. Howard is going to prevent the Lakers from having to defend multiple possessions at a time because he will dominate the defensive glass and help the Lakers’ fast break get started. The Lakers were 15th in opponents’ points per game last season and ranked ninth in

opponents’ field-goal percentage. Howard will help the Lakers improve in both of these areas next year. Los Angeles wasn’t able to defend well enough in the paint during its second-round series loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA playoffs. Since many of the top teams in the NBA are very athletic, such as the Thunder, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the Lakers needed a more athletic center like Howard to have a stronger chance to beat these teams in the playoffs. Defense will ultimately determine how much better Howard makes the purple and gold in the 2012-13 season. His offensive contributions will still be important, but his defense could make the difference for the Lakers next spring.

504 Sportsmag Interviews New LA Laker Dwright Howrad It’s finally done

Dwright Howard now a laker 504 MAGAZINE 5


Dwight Howard Reportedly Preparing to Play in Lakers Opener

NBA fans have wondered when Los Angeles Lakers star Dwight Howard would be ready to play after having season-ending back surgery last year. The latest report from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has the center targeting opening night as his return date. The Lakers open the season against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30 at the Staples Center, and nothing would sell the start of their new year like an appearance and start from their newest acquisition. The rationale for the Lakers essentially trading Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard remains simple. “We got the best,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said this offseason.But there’s also another issue. The Lakers may have had a healthy Bynum, but they rid themselves the risk in absorbing another one of his long-term injuries. To do so, the Lakers took the short-term hit that they may play without Howard to open the season as he rehabs his surgically repaired back. Considering he’s only missed seven games in his eight-year career prior to his back injury last March, it’s understandable the Lakers expect this won’t be a long-term issue. No one should fret because Howard won’t play in the preseason opener Oct. 7 against Golden State (except for Lakers fans attending the actual Wojnarowski reports that Howard is saying privately that his progress has been outstanding so far, claiming “his back has returned to

85 percent strength.” Los Angeles hasn’t said much about Howard’s timetable, but it is safe to say the organization will be playing this situation close to the vest in hopes of protecting its huge investment. With so many new pieces in place, it is imperative that the team gets as many games together as possible so they can build an early rapport. If the Lakers want a chance at NBA championship glory, they need Howard to get healthy and stay that way all season. The 26-year-old star had surgery on a herniated disc in April, and he missed the remainder of the regular season and Orlando’s run into the playoffs. Howard was traded to the Lakers after one of the worst contract disputes in NBA history.


The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season, while Super Bowl XLVII, which will determine the champion of the current 2012 season, will be played on February 3, 2013. The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues’ champion teams would play in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was redesignated as a “conference”, and the game was then played between the conference champions. Currently, the NFC leads the series with 25 wins to 21 wins for the AFC. The day on which the Super Bowl is played, now considered by some a de facto American national holiday,[1][2] is called “Super Bowl Sunday”. It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. [3] In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most watched American television broadcast of the year. Super Bowl XLV, played in 20o association football (soccer)’s UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide.

Because of its high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year. Due to the high cost of investing in advertising on the Super Bowl, companies regularly develop their most expensive advertisements for this broadcast. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcast’s commercials has become a significant aspect of the event.[6] In addition, many popular singers and musicians have performed during the event’s pre-game and halftime ceremonies because of the exposure. For four decades after its 1920 inception, the NFL successfully fended off several rival leagues. However, in 1960, it encountered its most serious competitor when the American Football League (AFL) was formed. The AFL vied heavily with the NFL for both players and fans, but by the middle of the decade the strain of competition led to serious merger talks between the two leagues. Prior to the 1966 season, the NFL and AFL reached a merger agreement that was to take effect for the 1970 season. As part of the merger, the champions of the two leagues agreed to meet in a “world” championship game for professional American football until the merger was effected.


WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK AHEAD,


BUT DON’T COUNT US OUT!


Eric Hill scores a touchdown in New Orleans

Eric Hill former pro football player

E

ric Hill Nissan is your new Nissan dealership in New Orleans, Louisiana. Located at 13050 I-10 Service Road, Eric Hill Nissan is centrally located and ready to serve the New Orleans and surrounding communities; including Slidell, Metairie, Kenner and Baton Rouge. Search our new Nissan vehicle inventory online, Build your Nissan online, or come in today, browse our huge inventory, and take a test drive with one of our experienced salespeople. Eric Hill Nissan also maintains a huge inventory of pre-owned vehicles. We have an amazing Nissan Service Department to meet all your service and parts needs - we carry genuine Nissan Parts. That new Nissan is waiting for you, and we work with a vast array of lending sources to make sure you will get the most complete and comprehensive financial

package available in New Orleans, LA. Our Eric Hill Nissan service department strives for 100% customer satisfaction. From general maintenance such as oil changes to major repairs, let Eric Hill Nissan service your vehicle. Our dealership is one of the premier dealership’s in the country. Our commitment to customer service is second to none. We offer one of the

one of our internet customers. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (866) 621-5785.

most comprehensive parts and service departments in the automotive industry.Our primary concern is the satisfaction of our customers. Our online dealership was created to enhance the buying experience for each and every 504 MAGAZINE 14


E

ric Hill (born November 14, 1966 in Blytheville, Arkansas) is a former professional American football linebacker who played for eleven seasons in the National Football League. He is currently owner of Eric Hill Nissan in Eastern New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, Eric Hill purchased a Nissan dealership and became the 1st dealer in New Orleans to completely rebuild after the Hurricane hit. Alexey and Bill Summers has a seating capacity of 200 plus and is equipped with one of the best sound systems available to lounge/night club venues. They have been featured in several noteiud magazines, such as, Essence, Travel & Leisure, USA Today, and now 504Magazine. Sweet Lorraine’s jazz Club is known as one of the top 10 Jazz clubs in the country.

504 MAGAZINE 15


R-Kal Trluck Former NFL editor’s choice

T

ruluck attended Spring Valley High School, where he lettered in football three times and was an all-state and allCounty linebacker in his senior year. He spent his high school years growing up at the Lakeside Family & Children’s Center in Rockland County, New York, a group foster home that he still visits in the offseason. Truluck attended SUNY-Cortland, where he played in 35 career games with 27 starts. He recorded 238 tackles, 121 solo tackles, 21 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and seven passes defensed. As sophomore, Truluck recorded 64 tackles, six sacks, seven tackles-forlosses and two blocked field goal attempts in 10 games as a defensive end. As a junior, he started 10 games at outside linebacker and recorded 105 tackles, 6.5 sacks, five tackles-for-losses and two blocked field goal attempts. He was a Division III All-America second-team selection and named an ECAC Upstate New York All-Star. As a senior, he recorded 64 tackles, nine sacks, three tackles for loss and four blocked field goal attempts while earning second-team All-East honors. He was also was named an ECAC Upstate New York All-Star in addition to being named team MVP by his teammates and coaches. Truluck graduated with a degree in health sciences. After playing at Division III SUNY-

Cortland, Truluck was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He signed on to the team’s practice squad but was released in October 1997. In April 1998, he signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, where he played from 1998 until 2000. In his rookie year there, Truluck

recorded nine tackles and three sacks, winning the Defensive Player of the Week award for his debut. His season was cut short after four games due to post-concussion syndrome Truluck signed with the AFL’s Detroit Fury, where he played from 2001 to 2002. In 2001 Truluck amassed 9.5 sacks and becoming the “Rookie of the Year,” following that season in 2002 Truluck became Arena Football’s “Lineman of the Year” with 10.5 sacks. Truluck became well known for his speed, strength and quickness many scouts began to make comparisons of Truluck’s ability to late great Derrick Thomas. Which conicidentally,

landed Truluck a return to the NFL to play with the Kansas City Chiefs (2002–2004). In fourteen games of the 2003 season, Truluck recorded 17 tackles and six sacks. He was traded to the Green Bay Packers for a fifthand a sixth-round draft choice during the 2004 preseason. Over the course of the season, he played in 10 games, recording 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He was released by the Packers and signed with the Arizona Cardinals before the 2005 season. In 10 games with the Cardinals, he recorded three tackles before returning to the CFL for the 2006-2007 seasons, which he spent with the Montreal Alouettes. In 2008 Truluck returned to the Arena Football league through a dispersal draft, being selected by the Georgia Force, during that season he amassed 30 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Truluck host’s his own live internet show with VoiceAmerica Sports call Inside the Trenches in Arizona. Don’t believe me, here are some recent commentaries

504 MAGAZINE 16


R-Kal Trluck


504 SPORTS MAG A NEW NEW ORLEANS


WAY TO ENJOY YOUR SPORTS NEWS


Photo by Sandrine Lee


The New Orleans Hornets are set to reap the ben-

from the line. He finished with 12 points and added

efits this season from Anthony Davis’ time with

three rebounds. He also displayed his defensive

Team USA. Instead of lifting weights and running

prowess by blocking a shot and coming up with a

suicide drills this summer, the No. 1 overall pick

steal. However, the thing that Davis gained that

had the luxury of playing with and against the

will be the most beneficial to the Hornets won’t be

greatest basketball players in the world. Davis

found on a stat sheet. In an interview with NOLA.

didn’t see a ton of action in London, but he gave

com, Davis said that playing on Team USA did

the world a little taste of everything in his arsenal.

wonders for his confidence. “Those guys on the

He showed off the range on his jumper by nailing a

Olympic team treated me like I belonged and it

three in an exhibition game against the Dominican

boosted my confidence. When I got in games, I felt

Republic. He blocked a few shots here and there.

more confidence. They talked to me and told me

He showed off his athleticism by being on the re-

what to do, so it definitely was great.” Davis said.

ceiving end of some nice lobs from Chris Paul and

“A lot of them shared their perspective on the game

Deron Williams. The former Kentucky Wildcat’s

and the whole team took me under their wings and

best game came against Tunisia. He hit every shot

showed me the ropes.” he continued.

he took, going 5-for-5 from the field and 2-for-2


Anthony Davis, Jr. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played as a power forward for the University of Kentucky as a freshman before being selected first overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by New Orleans. He plays power forward and center. He was a 2012 NCAA Unanimous First team All-American and was the 2011–12 NCAA Division I men's basketball season blocks leader. He established Southeastern Conference singleseason blocked shots and NCAA Division I freshman blocked shots records. He has also earned the national Freshman, Defensive Player and Big Man awards. In addition, he has been named the 2012 National Player of the Year by various organizations, earning the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Adolph Rupp Trophy, the Associated Press Player of the Year, Naismith Award, Sporting News Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Award. He was the Southeastern Conference's player, freshman and defensive player of the year. He helped lead Kentucky

to a undefeated 2011–12 Southeastern Conference men's basketball season and was the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player when Kentucky won the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

As a high school basketball player for Chicago's Perspectives Charter School, he was unknown nationally and locally after three seasons of play in the lightly regarded Blue Division of the Chicago Public High School League. A "late bloomer", he emerged into prominence in April 2010 (the spring of his junior year) after a growth spurt and exposure on an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) traveling team made him a blue chip prospect. Within months, he was the top-rated player in the national class of 2011 by Scout.com and ESPN.com and the number two player by Rivals.com. He was a high school All-American by every major selector (ESPN, Jordan, McDonald's, Parade, USA Today) and earned Co-MVP honors at the 2011 Jordan Brand Classic.


THE GREAT LARRY FIZGERALD


Fitzgerald left the University of Pittsburgh after a

over 100 passes and also the third pair of teammates

tremendous sophomore year in which he caught 92

to top the 1,400-yard mark.

passes for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was

In 2006, Fitzgerald was injured and missed part of

drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the

the season but still produced 69 receptions for 946

Arizona Cardinals, whose then coach, Dennis Green,

yards and 6 touchdowns. As part of his 2007 Pro

knew Fitzgerald from his time as a Vikings ball boy.

Bowl season, he caught 100 receptions for 1,409

In 2004, Fitzgerald had 58 receptions for 780 yards

yards and 10 touchdowns. Following the 2007 season

and 8 touchdowns. On December 12, 2004, Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald signed a four-year, $40 million contract

became the youngest player at 21 years and 110 days,

extension with Arizona. While still under contract

to record at least 2 touchdown receptions in a single

at the time, performance bonuses forced the team’s

game. In 2005 he led the NFL with 103 receptions for

hand into a massive extension.[7] Fitzgerald’s num-

1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns and was named to

bers earned him the nickname “Sticky Fingers” and

his first Pro Bowl. Fitzgerald teamed with Anquan

“The Best Hands in the NFL” in local media.[8]

Boldin to create one of the most dangerous wide receiver tandems in the NFL. In 2005, they became only the third duo from the same team to each catch


During the NFC Championship for the 2008 NFL sea-

Despite having about 300 yards less than the year

son, Fitzgerald tied an NFL record with three touch-

before, he set a personal record with 13 touchdowns

down receptions in a playoff game. His three touch-

in 2009. He added two more touchdown catches in

down catches occurred in the first half; he became

the Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers in

the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat

a 51–45 win. However, the Cardinals were eliminated

in a conference championship game.[9] Fitzgerald

the next week, beaten 45–14 by the New Orleans

also set a single postseason record with 546 receiving

Saints.

yards, 30 receptions, and 7 touchdown receptions,

The 2010 season for the Cardinals was a major let

surpassing Jerry Rice’s records of the 1988–89 NFL

down from the previous two years, as the retiring of

playoffs. He and the Cardinals represented the NFC

Kurt Warner greatly affected their offense. Despite

in Super Bowl XLIII.[10][11] During Super Bowl

this, Fitzgerald was still able to catch 90 passes for

XLIII, Fitzgerald caught two touchdown passes in the

1,137 yards, and 6 touchdowns. After the season he

Cardinals 27–23 loss to the Steelers.[12] Fitzgerald

was named to his 5th Pro Bowl, and his 4th in a row.

followed up this performance by catching two more

On August 20, 2011, Fitzgerald signed an 8-year $120

touchdown passes in the 2009 Pro Bowl, earning him

million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, tying him

MVP honors.[13] After the Pro Bowl was over it was

with Richard Seymour as the 5th highest paid player

revealed that Fitzgerald had been playing at least the

in the NFL. Fitzgerald would reward the Cardinals

whole postseason with a broken left thumb as well

by having another stellar season, catching 80 passes

as torn cartilage in the same hand. It is speculated

for 1,411 yards and 8 touchdowns and setting a

that Fitzgerald has had this injury since November 5,

personal record of 17.6 yards per catch. Fitzgerald’s

2008, when he showed up on the injury report with

accomplishments were recognized by an All-Pro

an injured thumb.[14] After his record-breaking post-

second team selection as well as his 6th Pro Bowl

season, capped by his Pro Bowl MVP award, many

selection.

analysts, including NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes, regarded Fitzgerald as one of the best receivers in the NFL.[15][16]


New Orleans, LA —

caught nine balls for 131 yards and three scores,

Drew Brees broke a 52-year-old record in the first

while Devery Henderson had eight receptions for

quarter and then orchestrated a 10-point come-

123 yards and a score for the Saints (1-4), who avoid-

back in the second half as the New Orleans Saints

ed their first 0-5 start in 16 years. Philip Rivers went

downed the San Diego Chargers, 31-24, on Sunday.

27-for-42 through the air for 354 yards with two

Brees completed 29-of-45 passes for 370 yards with

touchdowns and an interception for San Diego (3-2),

four touchdowns and an interception. He has now

which was looking to go 3-0 on the road this season.

thrown a touchdown pass in 48 straight games,

Ryan Mathews carried the ball 12 times for 80 yards

snapping Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas’

and a score, and added 59 yards on six receptions in

mark of 47 that had held since 1960. “You really

defeat. The Saints received the ball to start the

couldn’t have written a better script for tonight,” Brees remarked. “To break the record, to get the win, in the fashion in which we won, it was really a complete effort all the way around. Marques Colston


the third quarter trailing 17-14, but Quentin Jammer was able to intercept a tipped Brees pass on the third play from scrimmage and return it to the New Orleans 25, resulting in Mathews’ 13- yard touchdown run off the left side. San Diego seemed to have increased its lead late in the third when Demorrio Williams intercepted a Brees pass and returned it for a touchdown, but Melvin Ingram was called for a roughing the passer penalty on the play to give the ball back to New Orleans. The Saints took the ball back at their own 10-yard line following a San Diego three-and-out, and Brees led a 9-play drive that saw just one third down to take the lead, connecting with Colston on a 5-yard jump ball on the left side of the end zone with 8:50 remaining in the game. Faced with a 3rd-and-18 at their own 41-yard line on the Chargers ensuing drive, Roman Harper settled under a deflected Rivers pass and returned it 41 yards down to the San Diego 23. New Orleans would manage just one first down, though, and were held to a 26- yard field goal by Garrett Hartley to keep it a one-possession game with 2:56 left. The Chargers quickly moved the ball past midfield on their next possession before a sack and a couple of offensive holding penalties put the team in a 2nd-and-37 hole. The Saints bailed San Diego out with an illegal use of hands penalty that resulted in a fresh set of downs, and Rivers connected

on four straight passes to move the ball to the New Orleans 33-yard line. But Rivers then had the ball slapped out of his hands during a sack by Martez Wilson, who recovered the ball with 14 seconds left to seal the victory. “They are outstanding offensively and they made plays when they had to,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said of the Saints. “We had a couple errors on our penalties that cost us obviously a great deal late in the game. You can’t make those kinds of errors and we’ll learn from them.” The Chargers struck first on their second possession of the game as Rivers twice found Malcom Floyd down the right sideline for gains of 39 and 32 yards to move the ball deep into Saints’ territory before Robert Meachem stole the ball away from a defender during a 15-yard touchdown grab on the left side of the end zone. New Orleans answered with Brees’ record-breaking score to knot the game at 7-7.


dssds

Tom Benson bought New Orleans Honets


Native New Orleanian Tom Benson is officially new owner of Honets...

Tom Benson Makes Deal NBA SALE OF NEW ORLEANS HORNETS TO TOM BENSON IS FINALIZED Native New Orleanian Tom Benson is officially new owner June 15, 2012 The purchase of the New Orleans Hornets by Tom Benson was completed today after having been approved by the National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors. Per league policy, the terms of the transaction were not released. Tom Benson is now officially the new owner of the New Orleans Hornets. In conjunction with the finalization of the ownership transaction, the Hornets’ lease extension with the State has been approved by Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana legislature. The extension will keep the Hornets in New Orleans long term, as well as provide funding for upgrades to the New Orleans Arena. The agreement also included the elimination of all exit options, attendance benchmarks, and financial inducements. The announcement of the finalization of the sale comes on the heels of the Hornets receiving the #1 pick, as well as the #10 pick, in the 2012 NBA Draft on June 28. In April, it was announced that New Orleans will be the host city for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

Hornets,” Benson said. “There is a lot of excitement in the region about the franchise, especially after winning the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. We have been successful with the Saints and I know we can translate that success to our NBA team as well. We have the best, most dedicated fans in the world and will need them along the way as we work as an organization to make them proud. Championship performance is tied to fan support and the passion of the New Orleans sports fan is second to none. We look forward to joining up with all of our valued current fans and also introducing this great team game to many more residents of our city and region. After agreeing to purchase the New Orleans Hornets back in April, Tom Benson officially became the team’s new owner on Friday, June 15. The NBA board of governors approved of David Stern’s decision to sell the Hornets to Benson. The $338 million sale also came with money for New Orleans Arena improvements and a lease extension through 2024.

Tom Benson Now that he owns the Hornets and the New Orleans Saints, Tom Benson has become the most powerful sports figure in the city’s history. In the past, Benson also owned our arena team the Voodoo and even a now-defunct minor league hockey team known as the Brass. By the way, if Benson does change the Hornets team name, look for them to become the Brass. NBA Draft Lottery

One of my chief pleasures as a Yahoo! Contributor Network writer is seeing how good news for New Orleans aggravates the city’s detractors who live elsewhere. Never was this more in evidence than when the Hornets won the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery. Instantly, commenters lit up Yahoo! Sports articles with claims of foul play because the NBA still technically owned the Hornets.

The fact that the team with the most ping pong balls in the hopper almost never wins the NBA Draft Lottery didn’t stop conspiracy theorists from making ridiculous claims. If you look at the odds, the first place and fourth place teams are only separated by about 12 percentage points. I’ll never forget that night, seeing Tom Benson come on stage as I was jumping up and down celebrating. Hornets staying in New Orleans The best news about Tom Benson purchasing the Hornets is that they will be in New Orleans long term. Now maybe the national media will stop staying the Hornets should move to Seattle. If nothing else, I’ll get to hear Colin Cowherd whine about coming to New Orleans in 2014 for NBA All-Star Weekend. Final note

By: Vince Beiser

“I’m thrilled to have become the owner of the

504 MAGAZINE 48


Barkley: LeBron better than Jordan? NEW YORK -- Charles Barkley thinks LeBron

mentators. They include Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie

James can be better than Michael Jordan. Jordan is

Miller, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith, Chris Webber,

considered by many the best player in NBA his-

Steve Kerr and Ernie Johnson. James won his first

tory, but Barkley believes his teammate with the

NBA title and third MVP award last season, join-

Dream Team can be surpassed by James. “I do

ing Jordan as the only players to win the NBA

think he can be better than Michael,” Barkley said.

title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and

“I thought I would never compare somebody to

Olympic gold medal in the same year. Jordan won

Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he

six championships during his Hall of Fame career.

does everything well. Michael did everything well.

“Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey

LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That’s

is off his back, he is going to be compared to two

the only difference. ”Barkley makes his comments

people: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan,” O’Neal

on the first episode of NBA TV’s “Open Court,” to

said. “So now the question is how many champion-

debut Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET. The series features a

ships can he get? We all know he is a competitor.”

round-table discussion of NBA TV and TNT com-


Scouting Report, Analysis and Predictions for Hornets Rookie Austin Rivers Few players taken in the 2012 NBA Draft are as

lacking the athleticism to be a force on the wing.

polarizing as Austin Rivers. Fans seem to pile

He is praised for shot creation, yet also criticized

up on either side of the love/hate spectrum with

for hogging the ball, particularly among those who

regard to Rivers, be it because he went to Duke,

have him pegged for the point as a pro. However

because he plays with a demonstrable swagger or

Rivers moves the needle going forward, the New

simply because he has what some would consider

Orleans Hornets can only hope that he does so in a

a punchable face.

positive direction.

The basketball world appears to be similarly di-

Chances are, they wouldn’t have made him the

vided with regard to Rivers’ pro potential. Rivers is

10th pick in the draft, and the presumptive “Side-

at times lauded for his ball-handling and shooting

kick of the Future” for rookie sensation Anthony

skills and at others derided for being too small or

Davis, if they didn’t think he would.


Welcome to New Orleans 504mag.com


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