Buzz City Beat: Where it went wrong for the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker nominated for Handle of the Year

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Kemba Walker /

Buzz City Beat is Swarm and Sting’s one stop for the latest news and stories from around the web about the Charlotte Hornets.

Former Charlotte Hornets‘ HC Steve Clifford is still in the running for the Phoenix Suns‘ head coaching job after Atlanta Hawks‘ head coach Mike Budenholzer withdrew his name from the running. (Woj) In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at where it all went wrong for the Queen City team, Kemba Walker being nominated for an NBA award and Stephen Silas as a top head coaching candidate.

Where it all went wrong for Charlotte (

"Instead of continuing to build on the foundation, they rented a bounce house, and instead of letting this bubbling pizza of potential cook together, they put pineapple on top. They did the NBA version of assisted suicide to playoff hopes: They traded for Dwight Howard. No team could come back from that."

The Hornets’ season got off on the wrong foot when Nicolas Batum suffered a major elbow injury during the preseason. Going back even further than that, Malik Monk was forced to miss the entire summer league because of an ankle injury. Luck wasn’t on Charlotte’s side this season as Nic Batum and Cody Zeller missed a combined 67 games.

Although there were a few high points for the team like the 61-point win over the Memphis Grizzlies, it was a season full of disappointment. Their best mark was when they were 5-3 eight games into the campaign. It was all downhill from there. I see both sides of the argument with Dwight Howard. While he did put up great numbers and was arguably their second-best player, the advanced stats don’t support him as a productive/efficient player.

Kemba Walker nominated for Handle of the Year (

"#HandleOfTheYear– Houston’s James Harden vs. Clippers– Boston’s Kyrie Irving vs. Bucks– Phoenix’s Josh Jackson vs. Raptors– Charlotte’s Kemba Walker vs. Lakers– Houston’s Chris Paul vs. Spurs"

The play that Kemba Walker was nominated for actually happened against the San Antonio Spurs. He hit Patty Mills with a sick crossover then Rudy Gay with an in-and-out dribble to get to the basket and finish with a reverse layup. The Hornets’ point guard is up against some stiff competition in this category and James Harden’s crossover against the Los Angeles Clippers where he made Wesley Johnson fall will most likely win.

The other award categories include Dunk of the Year, Clutch Shot of the Year, Assist of the Year, Block of the Year and Best Style. The winners will be announced during TNT’s coverage of the Western Conference Finals. Fans can vote for the nominees (including Kemba) on 

Stephen Silas is a top head coaching candidate (

"Hornets assistant Stephen Silas earns similar praise for his temperament, development approach and interpersonal skills with players. His interview for the Houston opening in 2016 made the race with Mike D’Antoni a strong two-way contest, and Silas now has two months under his belt as the Hornets’ interim head coach this season."

Not only did Stephen Silas almost get the Houston Rockets‘ head coaching gig in 2016 but he also interviewed for the Golden State Warriors‘ top assistant job and the Portland Trail Blazers were also interested in him for their top assistant role. He is considered one of the top assistant coaches in the NBA today and it’s only a matter of time before he gets a head coaching opportunity. With a vacancy in Charlotte, maybe it will be with the Hornets.

Next: Hornets' fans rooting guide for the playoffs

There’s a good chance that Charlotte will lose their associate head coach for the second straight season after Patrick Ewing left for Georgetown last year. If the Hornets hire a new HC, they may not want to keep Silas on their staff.