When the original Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002, the NBA promised Charlotte leaders that the city would be granted an NBA expansion team for the 2004 – 2005 season. On December 18, 2002, a group led by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson was awarded the franchise, allowing him to become the first majority African American owner in U.S. major professional sports.
In June 2003, the team was named the Bobcats. The Charlotte Regional Sports Commission aided with the “Help Name The Team” effort that drew over 1,250 suggestions.
A new arena to host the Bobcats at uptown Charlotte begun its construction on July 2003, and the team would play its home games at the Coliseum until the new building was ready. Despite failed attempts at the ballot box to fully fund the arena, city politicians decided to implement a hotel and leisure tax in Charlotte to help pay for it.
Time Warner Cable Arena originally Charlotte Bobcats Arena and commonly The Hive, Time Warner Arena, or The Cable Box, is an entertainment and sports venue, located in center city Charlotte, North Carolina. It is owned by the city of Charlotte, and operated by the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. It made its grand opening in October 2005 as the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, hosted its first Bobcats game on November 5, 2005.
In February 2010, it was reported that Jordan was seeking majority ownership of the Bobcats. As February wore on, it emerged that the leading contenders for the team were Jordan and former Houston Rockets president George Postolos. On February 27, the Bobcats announced that Johnson had reached an agreement with Jordan and his group, MJ Basketball Holdings, to buy the team pending NBA approval. On March 17, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved Jordan’s purchase, making him the first former player ever to become the majority owner of an NBA team. It also made him the league’s only African-American majority owner.
In the lockout-shortened season the Bobcats struggled and posted an NBA worst record of 7-59, losing their last 23 games of the season. In a nationally televised game against the New York Knicks the Bobcats recorded yet another loss as their win percentage dropped to .106, setting a new record for the worst season by an NBA team in history. As this season had been shortened by the lockout, the 1972 – 1973 Philadelphia 76ers still hold the record for most losses in a season, with 73.
All of the Carolina were a buzz, as the Charlotte Hornets were back. A decade after the birth of the Charlotte Bobcats, and much negotiation, things were back to normal as the franchise reclaimed the Hornets’ history and colors from New Orleans who became the Pelicans. Coming off a playoff appearance, their second since 2004’s expansion team to the court the Hornets began the season with a thrilling 108-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the hive.
In 2002, Shinn’s franchise relocated to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004 the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, which was regarded as a new expansion team at the time. In 2013, the New Orleans franchise announced it would rebrand itself the New Orleans Pelicans, ultimately returning the Hornets name, records, and official history (spanning 1988 – 2002) to Charlotte. The Bobcats were officially renamed the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014 – 2015 NBA season.
2004 – Present / National Basketball Association
2014 – Present / Charlotte Hornets
2004 – 2013 / Charlotte Bobcats
Bobcats – The three finalists in the name-the-team contest for Charlotte’s 2004 expansion franchise were Bobcats, Dragons, and Flight. Bobcats CEO Ed Tapscott: “I think the athleticism of the feline species plays well with the NBA concept,” he said. “Bobcats are indigenous to western North Carolina. It has not been used in a pro-sports environment.”
NBA Championships 0
2017 – Present / Spectrum Center
2008 – 2016 / Time Warner Cable Arena
2005 – 2008 / Charlotte Bobcats Arena
2004 – 2005 / Charlotte Coliseum
2010 – Present / Michael Jordan
2004 – 2010 / Robert L. Johnson
13 Bobby Phills
*Blue is this team’s history