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September 29, 2014 Updates

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho said Monday the team felt compelled to react quickly to small forward Jeff Taylor’s arrest by separating him from all team activities. “We felt as an organization we it was important to react decisively and quickly. It was an organizational decision,” Cho said at a news conference. “We worked with the NBA throughout this whole process. “We take domestic violence as a vey serious matter.” Charlotte Observer

September 28, 2014 Updates

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Jason Maxiell. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. The training camp roster now stands at 18. The 6-7 Maxiell spent last season with the Orlando Magic, averaging 3.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 14.4 minutes in 34 games. Originally selected with the 26th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by Detroit, Maxiell spent his first eight seasons with the Pistons, appearing in 523 career games (175 starts), with averages of 6.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 19.1 minutes. NBA.com

Rick Bonnell: Hornets make it official that they've signed Jason Maxiell. Cho said Thursday it's a non-guaranteed contract. Objective: Big-man depth Twitter @rick_bonnell

But his love of basketball outweighs all, he says. Stephenson became one of the most improved players in basketball last season, and now he eyes an even bigger role with the Hornets, one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference. “I mean I ain’t going to say I’m on top, but I feel like I’m close,” said Stephenson, who will join teammates in Asheville this week for the start of training camp. “If I just keep working hard I can be past the top. I want to be one of the best players to play the game. It’s not just being nice and a good player. I want to be the best.” Charlotte Observer

His maturity still lagged far behind his basketball talents, though. “Because of who he was, he had been sheltered,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said. “He’s from a very close-knit family, and they tried to protect him, and rightfully so because of the hype he received at a young age. He hadn’t really been outside of his web, so to speak, where he had to meet new people and talk to new people. We spent a lot of time, just him growing up and meeting new people, trusting new people, talking to new people. “He’s been through a lot for a young guy, so he’s got a lot of safeguards up. He doesn’t trust a lot of people, which is a good thing nowadays as a pro athlete and you’re meeting people. He’s definitely layered when it comes to that. Because he was such a big name at such a young age and some of the things that have gone on and the accusations he’s had to deal with.” Charlotte Observer

Stephenson wants to do more than just play basketball. He wants to rap, as well. Two months before the season began, Stephenson released a rap song, called “Hot N---a,” a take on the rapper Bobby Shmurda’s song that spawned the popular “Shmoney Dance.” Stephenson took the beat to the song and says in four hours he came up with his lyrics. He stripped Shmurda’s lyrics of misogyny and gun violence and replaced them with rhymes about his basketball talents, endorsements for his And 1 shoe company, reminiscing about watching Allen Iverson, his excitement to play with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and more. “Brooklyn-bred now I’m out in N.C.,” the end of the song’s first verse goes. “Me and Kemba in the backcourt n---as as dead meat/Pops held me, down kept me out the streets/They wonder how the rose grew up out the concrete… “I’ve been ballin’ hard since like the fifth grade/Watching A.I. gettin’ 40 with the French braids/Love Indiana, I’m gonna miss some good days/Charlotte Hornet, M.J. that’s a new way.” Charlotte Observer

September 27, 2014 Updates

The Hornets issued a statement on Friday stating that they had removed Jeff Taylor, who is facing domestic violence charges, from team activities until the matter gets sorted out. “We have informed Jeffery Taylor that effective immediately he will not be participating in any team-related activities while the NBA is investigating his conduct in this matter,” the statement said. “As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution. We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position.” NBCSports.com

September 26, 2014 Updates

Rick Bonnell: Players union issues statement on Jeff Taylor situation: Says fine for him to be away from team if no "disciplinary" action taken. That sounds like union expects Hornets to continue paying Taylor's salary. I'm told Hornets already planned to do so. Twitter @rick_bonnell



There's no sugarcoating it: It's a bad list where star power is pretty much non-existent. Gerald Wallace, the only All-Star in franchise history, goes to No. 1.


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