New Orleans-- The Hornets scored their regular season home opener win over the Boston Celtics in front of a sold out crowd of 17,802 people Wednesday.
The New Orleans Arena was all a buzz with fans from both teams. "I'm very excited. I've been waiting on this since the season was on lockdown. Now I'm ready," said Hornets fan Johnny Boyd.
While the line to get in the game stretched from the arena to the dome, fans were treated to BuzzFest, a pre-tipoff party outside the Hive.
The band Brassaholics entertained the crowd while the Buzz Patrol entertained kids with interactive games.
Entertainment outside the arena was only half the fun. Inside the Hive, Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse Revue played court side and featured musician, Glen David Andrews. "We gonna show em what a jazz funeral all about when we get to bury the Celtics," said Andrews. The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra has partnered with the bees to bring live jazz music to every home game. "It's the first time that a team has taken on a house band in a structured form," said Hornets President Hugh Weber.
Weber explained the players the team gained in the Chris Paul trade deal are young talent and have a lot of heart and hustle. "We've got an all-star in Chris Kaman who came in the trade, and also on the cusp in doing that with Eric Gordon plus the roster of guys we've had in the past," said Weber.
"I want to see who they are, what they can do, what they're all about, and who's gonna take Chris Paul's place," said Boyd. "They got a good deal for them I think. But to lose a guy of that caliber (Paul), it's gonna hurt," said Celtics fan Phil King, who drove in town with his family from Shreveport.
Although the Hornets and NBA are off to a late start after an uncomfortably long lockout, fans say it's better late than never.
The Hornets will be back at the Hive Friday, December 30th. Tip-off for their rematch with the Phoenix Suns is set for 7 p.m.