Charlotte Hornets Rumors
Tania Ganguli: Some fun facts about Kuzma’s big first quarter from the Lakers. He’s the first Laker with 20 in the first since Kobe in 2011. Only six players have had multiple 20-point quarters this season: Steph Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Paul George, Kemba Walker and Kyle Kuzma
Rod Boone: Final: #Hornets 135, Suns 115: Hornets tie their season high in points and had 8 players in double figures. They match their season-high 3-game winning streak. Pacers are up next in Indianapolis tomorrow night, the first of a 3-game road trip with stops in Memphis and Milwaukee.
Rod Boone: Suns rookie Deandre Ayton on if he’s had flashbacks of Kemba these last two weeks: “I’ve been watching a lot of film on Kemba. So yeah, I’ve got a little something, we’ve got a little something on the defensive end in terms of how we are going to handle him and the team.”
A young Elie Okobo did not watch Saturday-morning cartoons before heading to his basketball games. He watched replays of San Antonio Spurs games broadcast from thousands of miles away, dazzled by fellow Frenchman and point guard Tony Parker. Less than two weeks ago, Okobo sat down at swanky Scottsdale seafood restaurant Ocean 44 to share a postgame dinner with Parker. The two had just guarded each other in Charlotte’s win at Phoenix. Parker’s teammate, Nic Batum, and former Suns and Spurs player Boris Diaw joined them. The meal epitomized the bond NBA players from France share, even when they are opponents on the floor or their playing careers have concluded. Okobo, aka “Young Frenchie,” is the latest to join that club, already contributing to the Suns as a rookie and occasionally matching up against his childhood idol. “I want to be this guy one day, the guy that the (French) kids look up to,” Okobo said. “I think I’m on my way. I gotta keep working.”
Okobo was most impressed with how Parker calmly used ball screens and surveyed the defense for large chunks of the shot clock. Parker, meanwhile, praised Okobo’s potential — and that his lefty handle and shot makes him “a pain in the butt to guard.” “He’s got all the tools to be a good point guard in this league …” Parker said. “Then, it’s all about getting opportunities and making sure he gets a coach who can trust him.”