The Charlotte Hornets basketball team is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as members of the Southeast Division in the league's Eastern Conference. Legendary NBA basketball star Michael Jordan has had a controlling interest in the team since 2010. The Hornets play their home games at Time Warner Cable Arena in center-city Charlotte.
The original Charlotte Hornets franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team but relocated to New Orleans following the 2001–02 season, to become the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004 the NBA established, what was regarded at the time as a new expansion team in Charlotte, the Charlotte Bobcats. In 2013, the New Orleans franchise announced it would rebrand itself the New Orleans Pelicans, ultimately returning the Hornets name, records, and official history from 1988 to 2002 to Charlotte. The Bobcats were officially renamed the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 NBA season.
How did the Hornets name originate? Originally, the new team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but a name-the-team contest yielded "Hornets" as the winning choice. The name was derived from the city's fierce resistance to the British occupation during the Revolutionary War, which prompted the British commander, Lord Cornwallis, to refer to it as "a veritable hornet's nest of rebellion". Sadly the team to date has not enjoyed conference or division titles much less any Stanley Cups to place on its boardroom shelves. Nevertheless the fans of the Hornets are delighted to see the team’s improvement under Michael Jordan and are cheered by the return of the original Hornets name.
Let’s look at some of the players who have wowed the fans by their on-court prowess over the years. Glen Rice made an immediate impact in Charlotte; he was the team’s top scorer in his three seasons there and made 3 All-Star Games. He had his best season in 1996-1997, as he averaged 26.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, shooting over 47% from the field. He was a nightmare for opposing teams from behind the arc, shooting 47% that season.
After an exceedingly successful collegiate career, Larry Johnson came to Charlotte with a good reputation , and in his first season Johnson averaged 19.2 points, 11 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, shooting a slightly under 50% from the field. He won the Rookie of the Year Award, though the team failed to make the playoffs. The potential was there, however. The following season, he averaged 22.1 points per game, and the Hornets made the playoffs.
Kelly Tripucka joined the inaugural Hornets in the final years of his career. He was the Hornets’ biggest offensive threat during their inaugural season, as he averaged 22.6 points and 3.6 assists per game, shooting over 46% from the field.
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