Can J.R. save the Hornets?

Updated: July 15, 2004, 6:06 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Yawn . . .

That's about the most passionate reaction you're going to hear from anyone about the New Orleans Hornets.

The Hornets ranked second to last in attendance last season despite being a playoff team playing in a new city.

Why? The Hornets may be technically sound as a basketball team, but they elicit little passion or emotion.

Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn are good to great players when they're healthy (which isn't very often). Jamaal Magloire continues to develop into one of the best young centers in the league.

But the Hornets have no buzz, which is ironic for a team that has bug on its jersey. Now that they're stuck in the Western Conference, will the Hornets winning ways disappear along with their fan base?

Here's a look at what to expect as Insider continues its summer blueprint series.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer