Originally to be named the Charlotte Spirit, the team was renamed the Charlotte Hornets after the objection of the local fans.  During the revolutionary war, Brtitsh General Cornwallis remarked about the resistance met in North Carolina "There's a rebel behind every bush, it's a veritable nest of hornets."

Historical Moments:

1988/89: 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 news 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 that had made the Final Four within a few seasons. The Hornets would play their first game on November 4th losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers 133-93 at the Charlotte Coliseum. The Hornets would earn their first win four days later when the beat the Los Angeles Clippers at home 117-105. Wins would not come often for the Hornets who finished last in the Atlantic Division with a 20-62 record. One of the bright spots was the strong play of Kelly Tripuka who led the team with 22.6 ppg, highlighted by three games in which he scored 40 points.   

In their second season the Hornets would take a step backwards as lost their first five games on the way to finishing in last place in the Midwest Division with a 19-63 record that was worse then the first year Minnesota Timberwolves, as the Hornets posted a 3-31 record from early January to mid March.

The Hornets finish in last place for the third straight year in their third different Division as they now settled in the permanent home n the Central Division. However despite the poor 25-56 record their were several bright spots as Kendall Gill had a solid rookie season while 5'3" Muggsy Bouges continued to prove there was a place for short people in the NBA by being among the league leaders in steals.

With the top overall pick in the NBA draft the Hornets select UNLV Forward Larry Johnson. The Hornets would get off to a slow start as LJ learned the ropes in the NBA. However, as the season went on the Hornets would get stronger as they ran off a nine game winning streak in March on the way to finishing in a tie for sixth place with a 31-51 record, as Larry Johnson took home rookie of the year honors with 19.2 ppg and 11.0 rebounds per game. 

The Hornets would luck out in the draft lottery again landing the second overall pick, which they used to select Georgetown Center Alonzo Mourning. With Mourning and Larry Johnson in the front court and Kendall Gill and Muggsy Bouges in the backcourt the Hornets were suddenly a strong playoff contender, as they closed the season out by winning nine of their last 12 games to finish in third place with a solid 44-38 record. In their first playoff appearance the Hornets were matched up against the Boston Celtics who had more playoff success then any other team in NBA history with 16 Championships. After losing Game 1 in Boston 112-101, the Hornets would rebound to take Game 2 in double overtime 99-98. After taking Game 3 by 30 points the Hornets completed the upset on a dramatic buzzer beating shot by Alonzo Mourning in Game 4 that sent the Charlotte Coliseum into a frenzy. In the second round the Hornets would come back to reality as they were beaten by the New York Knicks in five games. 

Coming off their first playoff appearance the Hornets would be bitten hard by the injury bug as Larry Johnson severely injured hi back on December 28th. A few weeks alter Alonzo Mourning would be lost to a severely sprained ankle, and torn calf muscle. With Zo and LJ on the shelf the Hornets struggled winning just five of 21 games. When both player returned the Hornets returned to form closing the season out by winning 18 of their last 26 games. However, it would not be enough to make it back to the playoffs as they fell one game short with a 41-41 record.  

With Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning back in the lineup for a full season the Hornets would challenge for the Central Division all season falling two games short while posting their first 50-win season at 50-32. However, in the playoffs the Hornets would be knocked off by the Chicago Bulls in four games losing a fourth game heartbreaker on the road by one point.

The hive more resembled a revolving door as Alonzo Mourning is traded to the Miami Heat along with Pete Myers and Leron Ellison an early season blockbuster trade Glen Rice, Khalid Reeves, Matt Geiger. Rice would prove to be a solid pick with his long-range ability from beyond the arch. As the season drew on the Hornets would acquire Kenny Anderson from the New Jersey Nets. However, it would not be enough as Larry Johnson still suffering the lingering effects of an injured back was venerable on defense as the Hornets fell one game short of the playoffs with a 41-41 record, as they lost three of their final four games. The changes would continue in the off-season as Johnson was traded to the New York Knicks for Anthony Mason. However, it would be another trade on draft day following the season that the Hornets made a trade that they would be kicking themselves for a long time to come, as they sent the draft rights of Kobe Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac.   

In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year under new Coach Dave Cowens the Hornets emerged as a playoff contender as Glenn Rice had a break out year leading the Hornets with 26.8 ppg. Rice would even notch 26 points in the All-Star Game taking home MVP honors while setting a record for points in a quarter with 20. The Hornets would go on to finish in fourth place with a solid 54-28 record. However, in the playoffs the Hornets would suffer a major let down as they are swept by the New York Knicks in three games, as former Hornet Larry Johnson comes back to sting his old team.

The Hornets have a changing of the guard as original Hornet Muggsy Bouges is traded to the Golden State Warriors to make room for free agent signees Bobby Phills and David Wesley. Both would average more then 10 points per game as Glenn Rice again led the way with 22.3 ppg as the Hornets finished in third place with a 51-31 record. In the playoffs the Hornets would continue to play solid basketball as they beat the Atlanta Hawks in four games to reach the second round for the second time in franchise history.  However, the Hornets would be beaten by the Chicago Bulls on the way to their sixth NBA title in eight years in five games. Although the Hornets would throw a scare into the Champions by winning Game 2 in Chicago 78-76.  

After a four month lockout which wiped out half the season ended in February the Hornets began the season in a state of turmoil as Owner George Shinn was on trail for sexual abuse, and several players including Glenn Rice who was on the shelf with an injured elbow were demanding a trade. In addition Anthony Mason was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered in practice a few days before the start of the season. Through out the first month the Hornets stumbled along with a 4-11 record as Coach Dave Cowens resigned and was replaced by Paul Silas. A few days later Rice would be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell. The trade would work out good as the Hornets finished the season strong peeking above .500 with a record of 26-24. However, they would fall one game short of the playoffs. 

The Hornets would get off to the best start in franchise history at 16-7 thanks impart to the stellar play of guard Bobby Phills, who had become a popular player on the young Hornets. However, the Hornets would go into a tailspin losing two of 11 games . None of that would prepare the Hornets for the tragedy that struck on the morning of January 12th, when Bobby Phills was killed near the Charlotte Coliseum heading home after morning shoot around, racing a teammate home. However, instead of plugging further the Hornets would regroup thanks to the leadership of Coach Paul Silas to win six of their next seven games. The Hornets would retire Phills' number 13 on February 9th, as they would go on to make the playoffs with a 49-33 record. However, in the playoffs the Hornets had a tough time handling Allen Iverson as they were beaten by the Philadelphia 76ers in four games.   

2000/01: Young players such as Baron Davis, Eddie Robinson and Jamaal Magloire merged with newcomers Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown, and established Hornets veterans David Wesley and Elden Campbell, to form a strong defensive-oriented team that still had the potential to run and finish in high-flying transition on the way to finishing in third place with a 46-36 record. In the playoffs the Hornets would get off to a flying start as they blew out the Miami Heat twice by 26 points on the road before completing the three game sweep in convincing fashion 94-79 at home. After losing the first two games on the road to the Milwaukee Bucks the Hornets came back stinging to take the next three games. However, with a chance to close out the series at home in Game 6 the Hornets stumbled losing 104-97, as the Bucks took the series in seven games. 

A dark cloud surrounded the Hornets all season as plans for a move to New Orleans following the season were arranged, after the city of Charlotte refused to give funding to a new arena unless scandalous Owner George Shinn sold the team, Shinn who despite being found not guilty of sexual assault a few years ago had become a pariah in the town of Charlotte as fans and media both ostracized him, as the Charlotte Coliseum which once was buzzing with a sell out every night had turned into an empty morgue. However, the Hornets who would play strong basketball on the road persevered making the playoffs with a 44-38 record. In the playoffs thing would only get tougher as leading scorer Jamal Mashburn left Game 1 against the Orlando Magic with dizziness. However, Baron Davis would take up the slack and help the Hornets beat the Magic in four games. In the second round the Hornets would be forced to play without Mashburn who had been diagnosed with vertigo. However, there would be no saving the Hornets this time as they were beaten by the New Jersey Nets in five games.  

Immediately after the Hornets left for New Orleans the NBA granted the city of Charlotte a new expansion team named the Bobcats, which began play in November of 2004, and was owned by BET founder Robert Johnson, the first black majority owner in major professional team sports.
First Game Played November 4, 1988
Final Game Played May 15, 2002
Moved to New Orleans in 2002
Coaches: (5)
Dick Harter 1988/89-1989/90
Gene Littles 1989/90-1990/91
Allan Bristow 1991/92-1995/96
Dave Cowens 1996/97-1998/99
Paul Silas 1998/99-2001/02

Arenas: (1)
Charlotte Coliseum 1988/89-2001/02
NBA Champions:

NBA Finals:

Confrence Finals:

Division Champions:

Playoff Appearences: (7)
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002
Hall of Famers: (2)
Alonzo Mourning C 1992-1995
Robert Parrish C 1994-1996
NBA All-Star Games Hosted: (1)

NBA All-Star Game MVP
: (1)
1997 Glen Rice F
NBA Coach of the Year:

NBA Most Improved Player

NBA Rookie of the Year
: (1)
1992 Larry Johnson F

NBA 6th Man
: (1)
1994 Dell Curry G

NBA Def. Player of the Year


NBA Finals MVP:
Best Season:
1996/97 (54-28)

Worst Season
1989/90 (19-63)
Hugo the Hornet

The Honeybees
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©MMXIV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association.  This site is not affiliated with the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA.  This site is maintained for research purposes only.  All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on May 10, 2003. Last updated on May 4, 2014 at 11:25 pm ET.

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