Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Hazards of Working for the New Orleans Hornets

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:49 AM

click to enlarge The dunk before the break

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Photographs by Jonathan Bachman

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The New Orleans Hornets, in this writer's opinion, lead the league in in-game entertainment. From the "Used to Bees" to Air Hugo and the fan contests, there's really no way anyone can go to a game and say there were bored when the players were off the court. Sometimes, though, things can backfire and that's to be expected — nothing can be perfect every single time.

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But after tonight, you have to think that the Hornets in-game promotions staff is going to seriously rethink the whole "dunking off trampolines" bits. The French Quarter Flyers are among the most popular in-game entertainment but, dating back to last season, they have not gone without incident. First there was the infamous flaming hoop incident which caused a 20-minute delay during the Hornets playoff game with the Spurs last season. Then there was French Quarter Flyer who got his leg stuck in the basket and then, in another game, hit face on the rim.

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None of those incidents, however, were as bad as what took place last night (Warning: Graphic pictures after the jump):

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Super Hugo came out in the third quarter to perform what looked like a routine dunk performance. That all changed, though, when Hugo switched places with the on-court camerman. The cameraman, who remains anonymous, missed badly on his first dunk. But with some urging from the crowd and the Hornets P.A. announcer, he tried one more dunk. The rest, as they say, is history. Words cannot really describe what happened, so I'll just let these pictures tell the story.

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click to enlarge OW

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click to enlarge OWW

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click to enlarge OWWW

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Ouch. I mean - holy crap. Reportedly, the poor guy suffered a broken AND dislocated ankle. Trooper that he was, though, he actually was smiling and took a picture after he got up. As he was carried off the court, though, it was clear that something was wrong. After the games, a lot of the talk among the Hornets players in the locker room was about the incident (it occurred right in front of the Hornets bench). A couple of the players said they thought it was an act but they soon realized that it wasn't. Antonio Daniels even said that he and Chris Paul were watching the cameraman practice before the game and that he missed three-straight dunks before calling it quits.

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Reportedly he took the injury in stride and acted like it wasn't a big deal after he was taken in for treatment. That says a lot about a guy (lord knows I'd still be crying on the court) and we can only hope he makes a speedy recovery.

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