Headbands the focus of Hornets-Bucks series
Updated: Saturday May 05, 2001 7:00 PM
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Get ready for the Battle of the Headbands.
The second-round playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets pits two throwback teams that enjoy the fast pace that their coaches, George Karl and Paul Silas, grew up on during the NBA's wild and crazy times in the 1970s.
And they even look like those teams, too, thanks to the retro-chic headband, although not the gaudy green kind that Slick Watts wore around his bald head.
The Hornets, whose semifinal series begins Sunday at Milwaukee, donned headbands throughout their first-round matchup with Miami as a show of team unity.
"I tried it earlier in the season just as a joke and I knew it wasn't me," Williams said. "Then I put it back and I had that career high night and I was feeling young and feisty again."
So, he keeps it even though he admits it makes him look goofy.
"There's power in the headbands," Charlotte guard Baron Davis said. "Some of the guys didn't want to do it at first and you'd see them swatting them off after they missed a shot in practice or something. Then we won a couple of games, so now they believe and they're stuck with them."
Davis and swingman Eddie Robinson, both of whom regularly wear headbands, came up with the idea before the series with the Heat. The Hornets wore black ones on the road and white ones at home.
"I feel a lot of love among this team right now," forward P.J. Brown said. "Did it start with the headbands? I don't know. But we're a close team right now and everyone's feeling it."
Williams, who ignited the Bucks' first-round success over Orlando with a 19-point, 16-rebound effort in Game 1, started wearing one of Thomas's black headbands last month and scored a career-high 24 points against Chicago.
"Guys told me that it looks awful on me, that I look like a roll-on antiperspirant," Williams said. "But if I can keep shooting like I've been shooting and getting those rebounds and helping our team win, I'm going to stick to it."
Williams forgot his headband at halftime once and said he felt like a fish flopping around on a boat deck.
"I got knocked to the floor, I missed a rebound," Williams said. "So I sent one of the equipment guys to get it out of my locker. As soon as I got the headband back, I immediately got the rebounds. So, there must be something to this."
Williams was impressed that the Hornets donned their headbands in unison.
"Maybe I need to get 15 more headbands and bring them to practice and see who likes using them," Williams said.
After all, these teams are so similar in just about every other way.
"From a national standpoint, Charlotte-Milwaukee doesn't have that past mystique like some matchups," the Hornets' Jamal Mashburn said. "But once the series gets going, people who understand basketball are going to get into it.
"Once everyone sees the skill level in this series, nobody will be complaining about anything."
Not even the headbands.