Hornets play with dolls

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 12:21 PM ET

There are no half measures when it comes to the New Orleans Hornets keeping their rookies in line.

In an extension of the NBA practice where teams demand rookies carry pink knapsacks -- the Raptors' Jamario Moon has to carry a pink High School Musical bag with them as a form of initiation when they are on the road -- the Hornets have gone one better with their rookies for home games.

Adam Haluska and Julian Wright have to bring their own Cabbage Patch doll to the game in a pink stroller.

Veteran guard Morris Peterson pointed it out for a few media types following the shootaround yesterday morning.

Wright was on his way home and down the hall when Peterson had him stop and turn the stroller around so the scribes could get a look at the doll.

"It teaches them responsibility," Peterson said smiling.

"We haven't told them but the more times they forget to bring the stroller the longer they'll be pushing it this year."

KATRINA A FACTOR

Peterson experienced Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 much like most Toronto residents, via television.

But more than two years later, Peterson is experiencing the after-effects of that tragedy first-hand. Peterson and a bunch of the Hornets recently visited the hardest hit area of New Orleans, the lower Ninth Ward, handing out Christmas presents

"I've never seen anything like that," Peterson said.

"Driving through the lower Ninth Ward and seeing every house abandoned. They say water was up to the roofs. I can't even imagine."

Peterson says only about 60% of the locals have returned after the storm forced all but a very few out of the city.


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