By Mark Rountree Commentary

Now that we're all fans, I guess it's time to make some comments and observations about the NBA in general and the New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets in particular.

In no particular order:

? Isn't it amazing how interested you can get in a team that, 12 months ago, you barely knew existed.

? Once he gets the offensive schemes down pat, former Oklahoma State star Desmond Mason will see his minutes go up.

? Do NBA teams even have offensive schemes?

? After covering Enid's own Oklahoma Storm for the last six years, it will be fun to check out NBA rosters to see how many United States Basketball League players have made it to The League.

? Giving $10 to watch an NBA game probably is the best bargain in sports. You're going to be sitting behind the goal and way up in the nose bleed section, but hey, you're in the building.

? NBA players are the greatest athletes on the planet. Name any other athlete who can take off from the free throw line, slam a windmill dunk, do chin-ups on the rim then slap the top of the backboard.

? The big question with the Hornets is this -- will the novelty of having the NBA in Oklahoma City wear off? I'm wondering how many fannies will be in the seats April 5 when the Hornets host Golden State on a Wednesday (church) night.

? Does it strike anybody else as kind of strange the team's mascot is Hugo? The Hornets had to flee their home base in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, which came 16 years after Hurricane Hugo devastated the Carolina coast.

? I think my favorite player is going to be Speedy Claxton. Aside from the cool nickname, Speedy probably is the best outside shooter on the team. And you have to like guys under 6-feet tall who play in the NBA.

Rountree is the News -- Eagle sports editor

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