Thursday, November 20, 2008

The story behind the Ju-Ju dance

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge julian huddle dance

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Photo by Jonathan Bachman

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Say what you will about the Hornets' inconsistent play in the early part of this season, but there's one thing that has been a constant: Julian Wright's pre-game dance.

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It started last year when Julian Wright was a rookie and his teammates basically made him dance for them while they huddled around him right after the starting lineup is introduced.

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"I don't care about dancing," Wright explained before last Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. "I just kept the role this year."

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(Video after the jump).

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That role, apparently, is dancing like a wild man while his teammates look on, sometimes laughing, sometimes genuinely getting pumped up. Wright said that he doesn't have any particular style ("There's no rhyme or reason to it," he insisted), that he didn't do anything like it back when he played at Kansas ("We were a lot more structured," he said of his alma mater) and, unlike another prominent pump-up man in New Orleans, he also doesn't say anything ("I just dance," he said). He does make some noise, however.

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"A lot of 'hey!'," Ryan Bowen said when asked what he hears. "A lot of yelling."

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In retrospect, it makes sense that a group of man-kids as silly as this Hornets team can be would have a such a silly tradition as having Julian Wright dance uncontrollably before tip-off. Just like it made sense when Wright said he'd like to get Hilton Armstrong into the dance, Armstrong had this to say: "I'd get in there and just do this" followed by him standing on one leg and posing in a position that can be best described as "yoga meets the Karate Kid".

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No word on whether the team's recent rash of losses will do anything to stymie this sort-of-silly ritual. I for one think that should be the last thing this team considers changing. Especially because Wright said that he's thinking about putting more time into choreographing his moves.

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