Final Play: Fred Hickman's Final Word - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Final Play: Fred Hickman's Final Word

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I want to give some love to the New Orleans Hornets and, especially, Head Coach Monty Williams.

It's a club that is owned by the NBA itself, first in history, probably the last. It is waiting for new local ownership, which Owner-Commisioner David Stern promises us will happen this spring.

It traded superstar Chris Paul away just before the season started...a season featuring a truncated training camp and pre-season. Its best shooting player, Eric Gordon, has appeared in two games, hampered by a knee injury. These guys needed nametags the first few days of the season.

It is a team which will be dealing Chris Kaman before the March 15th deadline, and will probably have other facelifts before next season rolls around.

Yet, for you ten thousand fans who ponied up for season tickets before the basketball year began, I can claim with a surity that you are getting your money's worth.

This team busts its chops every single night, and doesn't get blown out. It plays defense, and never quits. Jarrett Jack brings it every single night. Emeka Okafor is learning how to shoot, etcetra.

Did you see Jason Smith rock the rim Friday night in the win over Superman? Let's face facts. This is a tough season for every club in the league because of what the NBA did to itself with the labor dispute. Also, the Hornets have had it worse than anyone. But, my hat's off to Coach Monty Williams for staying the course and being true to his plan and his players...and, to General Manager Dell Demps for sticking with the program and supporting his coach.

I'm confident that the 'wait til next year' slogan fully applies to this team, but it's doing the absolute best with what it has right now. As for me, I'm still in.

That's my final word.

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