Charlotte Hornets Details
Although the Hornets joined the NBA fairly recently—they were a 1988 expansion team—there have actually been two different franchises called the Charlotte Hornets. The first franchise played in Charlotte, North Carolina’s gigantic Charlotte Colosseum until 2002. The first Charlotte Hornets franchise then moved to New Orleans, initially keeping the Hornets’ name.
Just two years later, a second NBA expansion team began playing in Charlotte. The Charlotte Bobcats formed in 2004 and played their first season in the Hornets’ old home at the Colosseum before their current arena, the Spectrum Center, opened. The original franchise, still playing in Louisiana, dropped the Hornets’ name in 2014, and the Bobcats reclaimed the name the same year. In addition to the name, the current Charlotte Hornets have also reclaimed the original franchise’s history and records during its time in Charlotte.
The team is owned by Michael Jordan, who is from North Carolina and played college basketball for the University of North Carolina.
As a relatively new team, the Hornets are still seeking their first NBA Championship and conference title. They have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs three times. Their last appearance in the second round was in 2002, just before the original franchise relocated. Among the original Hornets’ most successful players were Muggsy Bogues—who, at 5 feet 3 inches is the shortest player to play in the NBA—and their 1991 first overall pick Larry Johnson.
The Hornets missed the playoffs last season, finishing 11th in the East. The team has made some intriguing additions in the offseason and figures to be back in the playoff hunt last year. They traded for Dwight Howard, an eight-time all-star, during the offseason. They also added former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, and they’ll look for point guard Kemba Walker to build on his first all-star season.