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Pops Mensah-Bonsu gets invite to Hornets camp

Sep 20, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for hornets_logo.gifVirtually every non-guaranteed contract given out right now for team training camp is for a guy with no chance to make the team.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu may be the exception. He has gotten an invite to Hornets camp, according to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. While the deal is not guaranteed this is a team with just 15 guys in camp (as of now), and a team that could use some depth along the front line.

Mensah-Bonsu was supposed to play in Spain this season but was released by Caja Laboral in a curious manor. Everyone knows Pops has had knee issues, but they have not slowed him lately. Yet the Spanish team said he did not pass the physical, which was almost certainly just an excuse to make a roster move.

That could be a break for the Hornets. Mensah-Bonsu at 6’9″ brings NBA level athleticism to the court, and some pretty good defense. He has been a D-League All-Star and dominated on that level. His shooting percentage in the NBA has never been good (under 50 percent at the rim, layups and dunks, last season), maybe that is the reason coaches never seem to give him a lot of run (sometimes it’s been roster crunch, sometimes it is something else).

This is a roster where after Emeka Okafor and David West your bigs are Craig Brackins, Aaron Gray, Darryl Watkins and Darius Songaila. Mensah-Bonsu should be able to compete and add something to that front line. He may must stick and get some minutes.

  1. Michael Warren - Sep 20, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Happy for my man Pops. Finally, somebody notices this guy. Congratulations man! I wish his contract was guaranteed though. I’m not trippin, but he’s going to work hard and make the team. I believe in him and wish him well. Thank you New Orleans Hornets, for signing this guy.

  2. G.O.A.T - Sep 20, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    Great to have someone who worked so hard to make the NBA finally make it. One of those hard workers. Self-made and great passion for the game. Lots of intensity, enthusiasm, and a tough natured individual. Might be the best back-up big for the Hornets as well. Great pick up. Hope he makes the team.

  3. tharealdeal - Sep 20, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Good moves by the Hornets so far. Talented new rookies, Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli, nice back-up point guards and 2 potential back-up bigs. Them signing Pops Mensah-Bonsu, gives them that toughness and that energy/hustle off the bench. They improved athletically too with Trevor Ariza and Pops. More alley-oops and easier baskets. Go Hornets!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Michael Warren - Sep 20, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Great person with a great story. Long road to the NBA. He was undrafted, played in the D-leaugue and overseas. His mother cried when he was undrafted. Pops was hurt by that and uses that as motivation. That’s one of the reasons why he plays so hard. He played a little bit in the NBA but has stuck yet. Hopefully this can be a place where he can stick and have the opportunity to bring back that fire to the city of New Orleans. Very happy for him and, hopefully, he makes the team.

  5. LovemeorHateme - Sep 20, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Pops Mensah-Bonsu is a game changing player. The intensity, tougness, energy, hustle, agressiveness, nastiness and passion he plays with can completely change the game. His energy gets the fans involved and gets the team going. That’s the type of player every team needs. He doesn’t demand the ball or care about touches. He just does what ever it takes to win. Think of what Tony Allen was for the Boston Celtics. Think of Mario West (former Atlanta Hawk.

  6. fade - Sep 20, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    Tnanks to the New Orleans for signing one of my favorite players, Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Kind of was looking for a guaranteed deal. Regardless. He’s been down this road before and will earn every $ (dollar).

  7. royce b - Sep 20, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Pops Mensah-Bonsu aka THE BRITISH BULLDOG is coming to the New Orleans Hornets! He said he’s like A MAN POSSESSED, and he sure plays like it. I absolutely love his game. Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Emeka Okafor playing alongside each other might not be a good offensive combo, but defensively, they will be great. Those two together will lead to lots of blocks, rebounds and havoc on the defensive end.

  8. jodie - Sep 20, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    theMan@Possessed21 is back. Absolutely happy for him and the New Orleans Hornets. They’re going to get a great person and a very good player. He’s animal on the court. Hopefully he has his contract guaranteed. No one ever gave him nothing and he’s going to earn one of the spots and he’s going to keep proving everyone that he’s an NBA player. He’s already proved he can that with the opportunity he got with the Toronto Raptors. A fearless player and a player who will die for his team. No pun intended. He does all the right things and has a the qualities you would want in a professional basketball player. Happy he’s got that chance and hopefully he can make the team and stick.

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