Charlotte Hornets

Guess who’s back ... Why Eminem showed up at the Hornets’ season opener

Rapper Eminem fires up the crowd before the Detroit Pistons’ season opener against the Charlotte Hornets. The Pistons were playing their first regular season game in Detroit since 1978.
Rapper Eminem fires up the crowd before the Detroit Pistons’ season opener against the Charlotte Hornets. The Pistons were playing their first regular season game in Detroit since 1978. AP

The Charlotte Hornets not only faced a tough opponent that beat them in their NBA season opener on Wednesday night, a famous rapper was on the Detroit Pistons’ side giving a boisterous “Let’s go!”

In a video that’s been all over social media, Eminem is shown firing up the crowd for his hometown team in their new Little Caesars Arena.

“Welcoming back, for the first time in almost 40 years to our city, my city, your city, make some noise for the Detroit Pistons,” the 45-year-old rapper shouts over the public address system to loud cheers from the crowd. “Let’s go!”

The Pistons have played their home games outside the Motor City since the 1978-79 season, in suburban Oakland County – for 10 seasons at the Pontiac Silverdome and then The Palace of Auburn Hills.

It’s not a stretch for Hornets fans watching the game to relate to Eminem’s excitement about seeing his favorite team playing in his hometown again.

The original Hornets, who led the NBA in attendance in eight of 13 seasons, moved to New Orleans in 2002. The Charlotte Bobcats, their replacement, played from 2004 to 2014. Beginning with the 2014-15 seaon, the city’s NBA team was able to rebrand with the Charlotte Hornets name in hopes of bringing back the buzz that the first team with that name generated.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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