Josh Hart is All Heart, Pelicans Fans Love Him For It
New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart is all heart.
It's cliché. It's been said by many. But, it's true.
As a key reserve off the bench, Hart's motor is turned up every game.
His latest performance was his best yet.
In the Pelicans 29 point blowout win last night against the Houston Rockets, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram dealt with early foul trouble.
Hart came into the game, only hitting 1 of his first 6 field goal attempts.
Some players become despondent after a rough start shooting, but didn't damper Hart's performance at all, as he finished the night with 20 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and only 2 turnovers in 40 minutes of action.
He's now one of only a dozen guards in league history to put up a stat line of 20 points and 17 boards.
Winners of 4 straight, New Orleans is trending upwards.
On top of his play on the court, Hart embraced New Orleans and the Pelicans fanbase at a time they needed it. He was genuinely excited to be going to the Pelicans, a welcome change from what the fanbase has experienced in the past.
Only 1,900 fans were in the Smoothie King Center for last night's win due to COVID-19 protocols. Despite the small number, TV viewers could hear the booing when Rockets guard Eric Gordon was on the floor.
Gordon spent 5 seasons with the New Orleans organization. He never pretended like he wanted to be there. To this day, the fanbase takes it personally.
Hart is the antithesis of Gordon in the eyes and hearts of Pelican fans.
When Anthony Davis publicly requested a trade in January of 2019, after planning on doing so for several months, it began a messy 6-month long divorce. Feelings of rejection from the fanbase, coupled with trepidation about what a trade return would look like and whether the returning players would want to be there, loomed largely.
When rumored trade packages with the Los Angeles Lakers were discussed, Hart either wasn't part of the discussion or was the last name mentioned. An afterthought for many.
Shortly after the Pelicans traded Davis to the Lakers in exchange for a package that included Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and draft compensation, Hart began to interact with the fanbase, expressing excitement about leaving the Lakers organization, and asked Pelicans VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin not to trade him, as he wanted to be part of the franchise.
Hart had not spent much time in Louisiana prior to the trade but began to embrace the culture before he arrived. Suggesting nicknames like "Beignet Boys", and repping New Orleans gear days after he was traded, he went from an afterthought to a fan favorite before he even played a game.
Then he got on the court and played with a style that only endeared him more.
Josh Hart is all heart. And Pelicans fans love him for it.
10 Highest Paid NBA Players of All-Time
Top 10 Career Earners In NFL History
10 Highest Paid MLB Players of All-Time
10 Highest Paid NHL Players of All-Time