The NBA free agent season begins tomorrow and this is a very important season this year for the Charlotte Hornets.
Charlotte returned to the playoffs last season and appear to be a franchise on the rise. However the Hornets have a lot of decisions to make this summer if they want to continue to build on that success as key players like Nicolas Batum, Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin, Courtney Lee and Marvin Williams will be free agents.

I think the biggest need the Hornets currently have is post defense. They need some form of protection around the rim to offset less than average defense from their guards.

preview-Charlotte_Hornets222F63016I would like to see them try and get Hassan Whiteside to come home to North Carolina? Sell him on the homecoming and playing for team owner Michael Jordan? It would be a big and splashy investment but Whiteside could be a nice fit in Charlotte.

I think the franchise needs to make a strong push to keep Batum. Offer him a max contract. It is not a coincidence that the team improved mightily once he joined the roster. Batum doesn’t put up big numbers but he is such a versatile player and is clearly a team leader. MJ should build this team around him and Kemba Walker.

The Fridge Is In Trouble
I read in Sport Illustrated this week that legendary Chicago Bear and Clemson Tiger great William “The Refrigerator” Perry is in dire health and financial shape.

Refrigerator PerryF63016

Perry, the Bears’ huge defensive lineman from 1985 until 1993, quickly became one of the most popular players in the league after bursting onto the scene during his rookie year on both offense (he scored three rushing touchdowns in his rookie year, including one in the Super Bowl) and defense. His life after football, though, has taken a drastic turn.
Perry, now 53, is reportedly an alcoholic who still consumes large quantities of alcohol, he’s at least 150 pounds overweight, he can barely hear but refuses to rely on hearing aids, he can’t feel anything from the shin down, his hands are numb, he deals with diabetes and his earnings from his NFL playing days don’t exist anymore. Apparently, he lives by himself in a retirement facility.

His younger brother, Michael Dean, says he believes that Perry has “traces of CTE,” a brain disease that the NFL recently admitted is tied to football.

Adrian Peterson Just Doesn’t Get It
I read some statements made by Adrian Peterson that many are calling the most idiotic sports quote of the week.
The Pro-Bowl runningback for the Vikings stated that he may quit playing pro football early because he doesn’t like the NFL offseason and training camp schedules.

Peterson adds that he gets tired from all of the practices, workouts and meetings.
OMG. Are we supposed to feel sorry for a player being paid $12 million this year to not only play in the regular season but also prepare for the upcoming season. And did you know that he also gets a workout bonus of  $250,000 for participation in the Vikings offseason program.

FILE - In this July 28, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson looks on during NFL football training camp in Mankato, Minn. Peterson acknowledges he struck his young son with a branch, but insists he did not commit a crime. That belief is to draw further attention this week when the case against the Vikings' star running back goes before a Texas judge.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

I wonder if fans who work construction jobs in the summer heat or people working at fast food restaurants for minimum wage would consider it a burden to run around on a practice field in no pads at OTAs? Or lift weights and prepare for the season ahead in training camp while being paid millions of dollars?

This is another example of how Peterson just doesn’t get it. The same guy who never truly understood the public outrage at his child abuse incident that caused him to miss the 2014 season.

Peterson’s attitude is an insult to fans, former players and current players who understand that this offseason and training camp prep work is part of the job description. And it’s extra insulting to come from a player who I read has not had a preseason carry in the last several years as the Vikings coaches protect their star from injury.
It’s a shame that the seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time league rushing champ continues to harm his image and legacy with his poorly thought out comments. As the old cliche goes, just shut up and play.