The New Orleans Hornets will open the 2008-09 regular season on the road on Wednesday, Oct. 29, when they take on the Golden State Warriors. The Hornets will battle Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns on the road the following night on Thursday, Oct. 30 in a nationally televised game on TNT. The Hornets first home game comes on Saturday, Nov. 1 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“From the players to the coaches to the front office staff, our entire organization has set our sights on being a champion this season” said Owner George Shinn. “We are eager for the 2008-09 season to get underway and for our wonderful fans in New Orleans and the state of Louisiana to experience the thrilling, non-stop excitement of Hornets basketball in person at the New Orleans Arena”
After starting the season on a two-game road trip, the Hornets will play five of their next six games at home. Included in those matchups are games against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat on Saturday, Nov. 8 and MVP Kobe Bryant and the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Nov. 12.
“The schedule coming out creates a whole new excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season,” said Head Coach Byron Scott. “We look forward to carrying the momentum that began last season into the beginning of this season. The high hopes for this season will bring a wave of excitement and passion that even exceeds last year’s run.”
The Hornets will appear on national television a record 13 times this season, including a Thanksgiving night game on the road against Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 27 on TNT and a Christmas day battle on the road against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic on ESPN. Other national TV highlights include the Hornets first return back to Oklahoma City on Friday, Nov. 21 on ESPN, a road game against Kevin Garnett and the World Champion Boston Celtics on Friday, Dec. 12 on ESPN and a home game against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on ABC on Sunday, Apr. 12. Overall, the Hornets will appear on ESPN nine times, TNT three times and ABC once. The television schedule for NBATV will be announced at a later date.
The Hornets will play 18 of their 41 home games on Friday (7), Saturday (6) or Sunday (5) night. Their most frequent game night will be Wednesday (15).
All home games will tip off at 7:00 p.m. with the following exceptions: Wednesday, Dec. 17 vs. San Antonio; Monday, Jan. 19 vs. Indiana; Sunday, Jan. 30 vs. Golden State, Sunday, Feb. 8 vs. Minnesota, Friday, Feb. 27 vs. Milwaukee, Sunday, Mar. 22 vs. Golden State, Sunday, Apr. 5 vs. Utah and Sunday, Apr. 12 vs. Dallas. The Spurs and first Warriors game will tip off at 8:30 p.m., while the Timberwolves, Bucks, Warriors and Jazz games will tip off at 6:00 p.m. The Pacers will tip off at 2:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Day and the Mavericks game will tip off at 12:00 p.m.
The Hornets’ longest road trip will be two four-game swings, while the longest homestand is five games. The five-game homestand takes place Mar. 16-Mar. 25 (with games against Houston, Minnesota, Memphis, Golden State and Denver).
The Hornets will play Southwest Division rivals (Dallas, Houston, Memphis and San Antonio) four times each (twice at home/twice on the road). The same holds true for Pacific and Northwest Division teams, with the exception of LA Clippers (one home game on Jan. 9), Minnesota (one road game on Jan. 23), Phoenix (one road game on Oct. 30) and Utah (one home game on Apr. 5).
Season tickets are available by calling (504) 525-HOOP or by logging on to Hornets.com. The team’s preseason schedule, on-sale dates for individual game tickets for both preseason and regular season games and the Hornets’ local television schedule will be released at a later date.