Tricia “Mama Buzz” Kent’s letter to Michael Jordan
Dear Mr. Jordan,
I’m 50 years old. That makes us contemporaries in the same generation. I was graduating college and getting married just as you were hitting the big time. My husband and I moved to Charlotte in 1984 and had our oldest son the very year the Hornets first played. For years, our house was a sea of teal and purple punctuated by the occasional Bulls #23. The Hive was a celebration and late-night games on the radio a given. Birthdays and Christmas’ were all about the VHS of Space Jam, the latest Jordans or the video game. I watched our sons grow up loving the Hornets, following everything NBA, and looking up to you like some sort of superhero.
Please allow me tell you something about their generation that you and even your children might not realize in your insular world of super-stardom. The horror of 9/11 happened to them at the worst possible time. Our sons were 9 and 13 when suddenly all that was safe and predictable wasn’t. This is fact not melodrama. Hormone’s hit, grades dropped and they and many of their friends retreated into the security of sports and music. At the bottom of the pit of the worst parenting year I can remember – they lost the Hornets.
I am not the least bit surprised that our sons, Scotty and Evan, started Bring Back the Buzz. For ten years they bemoaned, and wished, and what-ifed about their Hornets until they were old enough to take matters into their own hands. They had to try. They had to give it their best shot in order for those wonderful memories from their childhood to be redeemable. It is the one wrong out of many that perhaps they can have a chance to help make right.
As a Charlottean I have worked for 28 years in and around the “history” community. I could spend many pages telling you about the American Revolution and the Hornets moniker. I could iterate the countless teams, both professional and amateur that bore the Hornets name. I will always have a deep seated resentment for any and all who allowed Shinn to slink out of town and pilfer this city’s identity.
You, Mr. Jordan by virtue of your power and your money have the ability to return to this town a piece of its rightful heritage. That alone would be worth years of PR and marketing. Still, I must confess, what I really want is for you to give back this bit of joy to our sons and their generation, to the parents who bought your gear and to the now young adults who worshiped you and still defend you. With this singular act, you will in turn gain their loyalty and that of their children.
It’s now clear that New Orleans will be doing their part.
I call on you, Michael Jordan to step forward and be the hero one more time.
Bring Back the Buzz!
Tricia (Mama Buzz) Kent