With Jordan out for the rest of the season and the Hornets
trying to move to New Orleans, there were almost 9,000 no-shows at
a game that sold out during the preseason.
Hornets captain David Wesley, who with five seasons has the
longest tenure in Charlotte, was irritated by the apathy from the
city -- especially since the Hornets are in the thick of the playoff
"For them not to be more down about us not staying here, it's
going to be the biggest mistake Charlotte's made," said Wesley,
the first player to speak out either way on the relocation issue.
"If we go to the NBA Finals and this team moves, it's going to be
a smack in the face to Charlotte."
It's plausible for the Hornets to go deep into the playoffs.
After hovering in the race while fighting through injuries most
of the season, they've now moved into sole possession of fifth
place in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte also pulled within one
game of fourth-place Orlando, which lost to the New Jersey Nets.
But their run could be their last in Charlotte if the NBA
approves the move, which ownership says it needs to survive.
Charlotte has pledged to build a new arena for the Hornets, but the
deal New Orleans has offered is better.
"I don't know who's in charge or who's supposed to make those
types of decisions, but from everybody that I talked to, it doesn't
even seem like (Charlotte's) in the race," Wesley said. "I was
told Charlotte wouldn't get in a bidding war, well why not?
"It's a situation where if the Hornets leave, an NBA team can't
come here. They won't get the Orlando Magic.... a lot of people
don't know that. They need to know we're not going to have another
team here if we leave."
Washington, which has lost both of its games since Jordan went
on the injured list Wednesday with a swollen right knee, fell to
8-21 since the All-Star break.
But coach Doug Collins took solace in a fourth-quarter rally
that pulled the Wizards out of a 17-point hole and made the final
"I was pleased in the fourth quarter with the way the guys
played," Collins said. "Our guys played tough and I think it was
the first time in four games that they played 12 full minutes of
Charlotte led almost the whole way, a stark contrast to the last
meeting in December when Jordan humiliated the Hornets by scoring a
season-high 51 points -- a franchise-record 34 in the first half --
in Washington's 107-90 win.
But Charlotte didn't have to deal with Jordan -- or many of the
rest of the Wizards.
Campbell came on strong one day after coach Paul Silas said he
wasn't sure if Campbell would get his starting spot back.
Campbell missed five games, the first with a hamstring injury
and the others because he left the team following a death in his
family, and backup Jamaal Magloire averaged 16.7 points and 8.7
rebounds while filling in.
But Campbell was aggressive against Washington, forcing his way
inside often to draw fouls. He went 15-of-17 at the line and played
Magloire had eight points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. Brown
had 13 rebounds and Baron Davis had 12 assists.
Silas praised rookie Kirk Haston, saying the first-round
draft pick has improved dramatically over the season. Haston, who
left Indiana after his junior season, has appeared in only 15
games, but Silas is confident he'll be a contributor next season.
... Magloire was called for a technical in the third quarter for
taunting after he and White got tied up going after a rebound.