The Charlotte Hornets are an NBA team who play in the Eastern Conference out of Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was formed in 1988, previously having been known as the Hornets, but that team moved to New Orleans in 2002. Two years after the Hornets moved to New Orleans, a new Charlotte team joined the market as the Bobcats. Once New Orleans decided to scrap the Hornets name for the Pelicans in 2014, Charlotte took the name back once again!
Here is the basic information on the Charlotte Hornets before we dive a little deeper:
- Founding Date: 1988
- City: Charlotte, NC
- Conference: NBA Eastern
- Number of NBA Championships: 0
- Mascot: Hugo the Hornet
- Owner: Michael Jordan
- General Manager: Michael Jordan
- Head Coach: James Borrego
- Stadium: Spectrum Center
The Original Charlotte Hornets' History
In the original Charlotte Hornets' operating seasons from 1988-89 to 2001-02, the team made the playoffs seven times in fourteen seasons. The team never reached the NBA Championship, but did lose in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals of four occasions. These seasons included NBA greats like Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues. Though the team never found the NBA Championship it desired, the arena was consistently filled, with games sold out consecutively for almost nine seasons.
These attendance figures dwindled by the end of the franchise's run in Charlotte and with the city refusing to build the team a new arena, the Hornets moved to New Orleans with NBA approval. The league did promise to bring a new franchise to Charlotte, which would come in 2004.
Charlotte Bobcats (2004-2014)
When a franchise returned to Charlotte in 2004, basketball fans in the area were excited about having a new team to cheer for. Their inaugural 2004-05 season did not go as well as the team hoped for, as they finished the season with a record of 18-64-0. The only bright spot was rookie Emeka Okafor, who was named NBA Rookie of the Year. Gerald Wallace was another shining light for the franchise, though he never led them to a championship. In those ten seasons, the team reached the postseason only twice, though they lost in the first round of the playoffs in both appearances. The 2011-12 Bobcats still hold the record for the worst season ever, with a 7-59-0 record (less games were played due to the NBA Lockout).
Return of the Charlotte Hornets (2014-Present)
Before the 2014-15 season began, the team officially rebranded themselves as the Charlotte Hornets once more. Returning as 'Buzz City' once more, the team returned with another below .500 record, which it would do 3 more times in the next 4 years. The team returned to the postseason in the 2015-16 season, but again lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat. Despite the team's lack of success in their modern era, Kemba Walker has emerged as a star in the league after playing with the team from the 2011-12 season on. In the 2019 offseason he was traded to the Boston Celtics, leaving the Hornets without another superstar to lead them to success.