After the NBA’s growth in popularity, expansion was only natural, and the city of Charlotte was only a natural site for one of the four new teams that would begin play over a two year period. Carolina had once been home to a popular ABA team known as the Cougars, and a hotbed for College talent with four major universities ...
With the first pick in the 1991 NBA draft, the Hornets drafted power forward Larry Johnson from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Johnson had an impact season, finishing among the league leaders in points and rebounds, and winning the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Additionally, Guard Kendall Gill led the club in scoring, averaging over 20 points ...
The Hornets’ popularity with the city of Charlotte began to wane during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Many attributed this lapse in popularity to the team’s owner, George Shinn, who was slowly becoming despised by the people of the city. In 1997, a Charlotte woman claimed that Shinn had raped her, and the resulting trial severely tarnished his reputation ...
History of the Hornets
In 1985, the NBA, then at 23 teams, was planning to expand by four teams by the 1988–1989 season. George Shinn, an entrepreneur from Kannapolis, North Carolina, wanted to bring an NBA team to the Charlotte area, and he assembled a group of prominent local businessmen to head the prospective franchisee. The Charlotte area had long been a hotbed for college basketball. Charlotte was also one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States and was previously one of the three in-state regional homes to the American Basketball Association’s Carolina Cougars from 1969 to 1974.
While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger other owners as it could set a precedent. The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to request a move to New Orleans—a move which would eventually return the NBA to that city for the first time since the Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the move. As part of a deal, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years later as the Charlotte Bobcats.
Charlotte – New Orleans
1988 – Present / National Basketball Association
2013 – Present / New Orleans Pelicans
2007 – 2013 / New Orleans Hornets
2005 – 2007 / New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
2002 – 2005 / New Orleans Hornets
1988 – 2002 / Charlotte Hornets
Hornets – In 1987, George Shinn and his ownership group announced that Spirit would be the nickname of Charlotte's prospective expansion franchise. Most fans voiced their displeasure, and it didn't help that some fans associated the nickname with the PTL Club, a Charlotte-based evangelical Christian television program that was the subject of an investigative report by the newspaper Charlotte Observer for its fundraising activities. Shinn decided to sponsor a name-the-team contest and had fans vote on six finalists. More than 9000 ballots were cast and Hornets won by a landslide, beating out Knights, Cougars, Spirit, Crowns, and Stars. Afterward, Shinn noted that the nickname had some historical significance; during the Revolutionary War, a British commander, Lord Cornwallis, reportedly referred to the area around Charlotte as a "hornet’s nest of rebellion."
NBA Championships 0
2014 – Present / Smoothie King Center
2002 – 2013 / New Orleans Arena
2005 – 2007 / Ford Center
2006 / Lloyd Noble Center
2005 / Pete Maravich Assembly Center
1988 – 2002 / Charlotte Coliseum
2018 – Present / Gayle Benson
2012 – 2018 / Tom Benson
2010 – 2012 / National Basketball Association
2007 – 2010 / Shinn and Gary Chouest
1988 – 2007 / George Shinn
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
7 / “Pistol” Pete Maravich
13 / Bobby Phills
*Blue is this team’s history