CHARLOTTE, N.C. (THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER) - Saturday Night Live writers did enough research for their latest Weekend Update segment to make Charlotteans cringe.
During a sketch on SNL’s weekly news desk, LaVar Ball (played by Kenan Thompson) showed up to brag about his son LaMelo Ball and how well he’s playing for “the most storied franchise in all of basketball, the Charlotte Hornets!”
That’s when LaVar goes on to give Charlotte two new nicknames, one of which the chamber of commerce may want to ignore.
- “Charlotte, North Carolina: The regional bacon capital of the world,” and
- “Gateway to Gastonia.”
As much as that slogan may sting, SNL directed a bigger spotlight on Charlotte, our “no mountains, no oceans” city, and the Hornets in 3 minutes, 43 seconds than most national media has in a long time.
Hornets rookie Ball, drafted No. 3 overall last November, is the NBA frontrunner for rookie of the year, averaging 15 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists entering Sunday’s 10 p.m. game at Sacramento. He also became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double Jan. 9 vs. Atlanta.
LaVar went on to mention how LaMelo has all the awards locked up, including rookie of the year, Most Valuable Player and “prettiest hog at the Mecklenburg County Fair.” After LaMelo wins MVP, his caricatured father says, he’s going to unite North Carolina and South Carolina to create a Super Carolina called “Carolithis,” a monster of the South who may or may not be appearing in the upcoming Warner Bros. film Godzilla vs. Kong.