Welcome to the Hornets Nest
The Charlotte Hornets’ quest to make Queen City residents care about basketball during the summer continued this week with the franchise’s unveiling of its new playing surface at Time Warner Cable Arena. The court goes all-in on the new/old name, with the hard-maple flooring — made by Cincinnati-based Robbins Sports Surfaces — displaying a “cell pattern.” The result ends up looking a little more like a honeycomb than a hornet’s nest, but we get the idea.
More important, from a business perspective, is another new addition: The Novant Health logo in front of both benches (and subliminally inserted on the big screen in the photo circulated by the team). “As the official healthcare provider for the team, Novant Health is proud to have our brand on this new court to further connect our two organizations,” Novant Health Executive Vice President and Chief Consumer Officer Jesse Cureton said in a statement. “We’re as excited as the rest of the community that the Charlotte Hornets are back.”
Also from the announcement: “The floor is made up of more than 200 sectional panels, each of which are 4 feet by 8 feet and weigh approximately 175 pounds. It features a revolutionary locking system designed to speed up arena changeovers and provide a tight, monolithic appearance. The floor is designed to enhance the safety, comfort and performance of the players as it will absorb about 60% of a player’s impact energy. The intent is to provide a surface that allows for exciting play while at the same time reducing wear and tear on the players’ bodies.”
A few of those bodies will be decided tonight. The 2014 NBA Draft begins at 8 p.m., and it should be a big one for the Hornets. The team has the ninth pick and the 24th, as well as the 45th. This is being hailed as a talent-rich class, so here’s to hoping no Adam Morrison types get the privilege of Time Warner Cable’s cushy new floor.