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Home sweet where?
New Hornets Jones, Campbell finally see Charlotte
Posted: Tuesday March 16, 1999 03:31 PM
"If I stick on that one street where the hotel is, I think I'll be OK," Jones said with a sheepish grin after the Charlotte Hornets held a late-morning team meeting at their suburban training center.
Campbell and Jones were shipped from the Lakers to the Hornets last Wednesday as part of a five-player trade that sent Glen Rice, J.R. Reid and B.J. Armstrong to Los Angeles. Because the Hornets had just begun a road trip at the time of the trade, Campbell and Jones both joined their new team during the swing and flew home with the Hornets after Monday night's game in Toronto.
The team's plane arrived shortly after 1 a.m. in Charlotte, where the Hornets play six of their next eight games, starting with Wednesday night's contest against Phoenix.
Campbell and Jones are both staying in a Charlotte hotel for the time being, but they plan to use the extended home stand to look for other housing and to acclimate themselves with their new teammates. The Hornets have lost their first two games with Campbell and Jones in the lineup.
"It will just take some time," Campbell said. "I think we have pretty good energy. We just don't really know each other yet."
One thing both players do know is that they are wanted in Charlotte, which wasn't necessarily the case in Los Angeles, where both struggled to get minutes with the Lakers.
Campbell, for example, was averaging about 18 minutes at center for the Lakers; with the Hornets, he can expect that number to basically double.
"This is a positive thing for me, this trade," Campbell said. "In L.A., did they really need me? Did I fit in there? I want to be somewhere where I'm wanted. I don't want to just be there taking up space."
Jones, a wing guard, was getting more playing time than Campbell, but he was finding it difficult to get his hands on the ball. That's unlikely to happen with the Hornets, who with Rice's departure will need someone to step up and provide consistent scoring.
That's fine with Jones, who said the past few days since the trade have given him a fresh outlook.
"When a guy feels wanted, he feels good about himself," he said. "I was in a hailstorm in Los Angeles. I just want to enjoy life, enjoy this game."
Jones said the Hornets want to use their upcoming extended home stand to work their way into playoff contention. As the midway point of the season approaches, Charlotte is eight games below .500, but the Hornets only have four teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
"You look at everybody's record and you realize we're not really out of it," Jones said. "If we could get to .500, I think then we can really focus in on who's in front of us."
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