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."
Charlotte Hornets 1988/89-2001/02
Charlotte Bobcats 2004/05-2013/14
Charlotte Hornets 2014/15-Present
Reclaimed name & history in 2014
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.
1989/90: 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.
1990/91: 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.
1991/92: 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.
1992/93: 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.
1993/94: 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.
1994/95: 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.
1995/96: 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.
1996/97: 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.
1997/98: 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.
1998/99: 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.
1999/00: 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.
2001/02: 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.
2002-2004: 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.
2004/05: Immediately after the Hornets left for New Orleans in 2002 the NBA granted Charlotte an expansion team to begin play in 2004. Before the team even hit the floor it made history as it would be owned by Robert Johnson the founder of Black Entertainment Television and the first Majority Black owner in Major Professional sports, as the team got its nickname from their owner. The Bobcats would get one major player to build around in the draft as with the second overall pick they would select UConn star Emeka Okafor who had just come off leading the Huskies to a National Championship. The first game for the Bobcats would come on November 4th at the Charlotte Coliseum as they waited for the completion of their new state of the art arena; the first points would be scored by Primoz Brazec, as the Bobcats lost to the Washington Wizards 103-96. The Bobcats first win would come two nights later when they beat the Orlando Magic 111-100 at home. After losing their next seven games the Bobcats stunned the defending champion Detroit Pistons 91-89, proving though an expansion team they would not be pushovers. On December 14th the Bobcats really gave their fans something to roar about beating the New Orleans Hornets 94-93 in overtime in the team's first trip to Charlotte after the move. The Bobcats would go on to post an 18-64 record finishing in 4th place, while Rookie Emeka Okafor captured Rookie of the Year honors with 15.1 ppg and 10.9 rpg.
2005/06: In the Bobcats second season there was even more excitement as they opened their new Charlotte Bobcats Arena, in addition they drafted two players off the UNC National Championship team Raymond Felton and Sean May. There first game at the new arena was a successful one as they beat the Boston Celtics in overtime 107-105. Through the first two months the Bobcats continued to be competitive for a second year team at 10-20. However, an ankle injury would see Emeka Okafor sidelined for the rest of the season as they struggled through a terrible 1-15 January. The Bobcats would also struggle in February and March, before finishing up with four wins in their last five games as they posted a 26-56 record. Following the season the Bobcats would get another high profile investor as Michael Jordan became a minority owner.
2006/07: With Michael Jordan now part of the franchise, many thought the Bobcats future was secure, even though on the court the team still looked like an expansion team as they got off to a slow start posting a 4-11 record in November. However, they were not a team to take lightly as they beat both the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs, the two teams that would end up in the NBA Finals. Around the New Year the Bobcats started playing better, posting a winning record in January, as they completed an impressive season sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, winning both games in overtime. However, the road to becoming a true contender was still a long one as the Bobcats ended the season in fourth place with a record of 33-49. As the season came to an end, it was announced that Coach Bernie Bickerstaff would be fired, as Jordan started to put his own mark on the team.
2007/08: Year four of the Bobcats began with a new coach as Sam Vincent took over from Bernie Bickerstaff. Hoping to improve the team the Bobcats acquired Jason Richardson from the Golden State Warriors in a sign and trade deal, while locking up leading scorer Gerald Wallace to a six year contract. Early on the Bobcats showed good signs as they won six of their first ten games. However, a six game losing streak would quickly erase the solid start. After a terrible December, the Bobcats started the New Year in a hole with an 11-18 record. The Bobcats would play slightly better in January posting a 7-10 record, including a road win over the Boston Celtics on January 9th, in which Jason Richardson scored 34 points. However, often cruelest month is February, and the only thing colder then the weather in Charlotte was the Bobcats who posted a 1-11 record. The Bobcats would go on to finish the season with a disappointing 32-50 record. When the dust settled Coach Sam Vincent was gone, as Hall of Famer Larry Brown, was named his replacement.
2008/09: Under new Coach Larry Brown the Bobcats continued to struggle, as they got off to a 7-18 start. Hoping to get a jump start the Bobcats engineered a deal with the Phoenix Suns to acquire Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley. Shortly after the deal the Bobcats showed some signs of life by winning four of five games. However, they still entered 2009 with an 11-21 record. After posting a winning record in January, the Bobcats continued to make roster changes sending Adam Morrison to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vladimir Radmanovic. The deal was more addition by subtraction, as Morrison fell out of favor with Coach Larry Brown. At 22-35 on February 24th the playoffs were a longshot for the Bobcats, but not entirely out of reach as they went on the best run in franchise history winning 12 of their next 17 games, which concluded with a 94-84 win over the Lakers, allowing the Bobcats to earn a season sweep of the eventual NBA Champions. However, April would bring nothing but pain as the Bobcats won just one of their final eight games, finishing the season with a 35-47 record, that had them four games short of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Following the season the Bobcats continued to make changes trading Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets for Center Tyson Chandler.
2009/10: In their sixth season the Bobcats would get a new owner as Michael Jordan officially took over from Bob Johnson. Changes were made on the floor as well as the Bobcats sent Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets for Tyson Chandler. Shortly after the season began the Bobcats were dealing again acquiring Stephen Jackson along with Acie Law from the Golden State Warriors for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic on November 16th. When the deal was made the Bobcats were struggling with a record of 3-7. However, after losing their first two games with Jackson they soon began to show signs of improvement by winning six of eight, highlighted by a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite entering the New Year with a record of 12-18 there were signs the Bobcats were about to turn things around. As January arrived so did the Bobcats as they won nine of their first ten games in 2010, including a road win over the Cavs, while Stephen Jackson scored a career high 43 points against the Houston Rockets on January 12th. Meanwhile Gerald Wallace who averaged 18.2 points and 10 rebounds per game was became the first Bobcat to make the All-Star team. The win streak enabled the Bobcats to climb over .500 as they entered February with a 24-22 record. In February the Bobcats to a step back and fell below .500 by losing seven of ten games. Hoping to get things back in the right direction the Bobcats were busy at the trade deadline; landing Theo Ratliff from the San Antonio Spurs and Tyrus Thomas from the Chicago Bulls. The deals would be just the spark the Bobcats needed as they finished the season strong and nabbed their first playoff berth with a record of 44-38 as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs the Bobcats would face the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately it would not go well as they would be swept in four straight games as their offense sputtered throughout, while they were unable to contain Magic Guard Jameer Nelson who twice scored 32 points. Following the season the Bobcats would suffer to losses to free agency as PG Raymond Felton signed with the New York Knicks, while Theo Raliff signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. They would also deal away Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks.
2010/11: After their all too brief playoff appearance the Bobcats looked to take another step forward, in Michael Jordan's first full season as the team's owner. The Bobcats would get off to a sluggish start, dropping six of their first seven games. Early in the season Stephen Jackson would make team history, as he recorded the Bobcats first triple double in a 123-105 win over the Phoenix Suns on November 20th. However, the struggles continued as the Bobcats held a 9-19 record on December 22nd, when Coach Larry Brown announced his resignation. Paul Silas would take over and lead the Bobcats to a 105-100 win over the Detroit Pistons in his first game on the bench. The coaching change seemed to spark the Bobcats, as they won six of their first eight games with Silas, including a solid 96-91 win over the Chicago Bulls. However, it would not last as the Bobcats were still out of the playoff race by the All-Star Break, with a record of 24-32. At the trade deadline, the Bobcats would begin focusing on the future as Gerald Wallace was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers for Dante Cunningham, Joel Przybilla and Sean Marks and two first round draft picks. The Bobcats would remain on the fringe of the playoff race all season, as they ended the year with a disappointing record of 34-48.
2011/12: Draft day saw a flurry of activity for the Bobcats, who under new General Manager Rich Cho began remaking the team with the hopes of finally becoming a competitive force in the NBA. In the draft, the Bobcats selected Kemba Walker and acquired Bismack Biyombo in a three team draft day deal that also saw the Bobcats acquire Corey Maggette, while Stephen Jackson and Shaun Livingston went to the Milwaukee Bucks in return. Other players who left included Kwame Brown and Joel Przybilla, while Reggie Williams and Ben Uzoh were among the free agents who signed in Charlotte. To say the Bobcats struggled would be an understatement, though they did manage to start the season after a two month lockout with a 96-95 win against the Milwaukee Bucks, as D.J. Augustine had a game high 19 points. The Bobcats would not have many wins after that as they won just twice on January and once in February as they went into the All-Star Break with a miserable record of 4-28 enduring a 16 game losing streak along the way. The struggles were all around the club, as there were rumors that Michael Jordan would sell the team as his management style came under fire. With rookie Kemba Walker, who scored 12.1 ppg and Bismack Biyombo with a team high 5.8 rebounds per game, the Bobcats played better at the start of March, getting the third win of the month on March 17th against the Toronto Raptors. However, that would be all she wrote for the Bobcats, because it would mark their final win of the season as they lost their final 23 games to finish the season with an embarrassing record of 7-59. There winning percentage of .106 was the worst in NBA history, as just two of their seven wins came against teams that made the playoffs. On bright spot was the play of Gerald Henderson who had a breakout season, leading the team with 15.1 ppg. However, only Corey Maggette also topped 15.0 ppg as the Bobcats were just miserable all around. Following the season Paul Silas would be relived of his coaching duties, as the Bobcats only could take solace in the fact there was only one place to go and that was up.
2012/13: Following one of the worst seasons in NBA history the Bobcats now coached by Mike Dunlap hoped to quickly erase the bad memories of the previous season as they drafted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second overall pick. They also add Ramon Sessions from the Los Angeles Lakers and Brendan Haywood from the Dallas Mavericks with the hopes of getting some more competitive on the court. The season started well for the Bobcats as they beat the Indiana Pacers 90-89 in their season opener, with Kemba Walker leading the way with 30 points. After losing their next three games, the Bobcats began stringing some wins together as they won six of their next eight games as they equaled their previous season win total of seven in their first 12 games. However, the good start would quickly evaporate as the Bobcats lost their next 15 games before upsetting the Chicago Bulls on the road 91-81 on New Year's Eve. Wins continued to be rare for the Bobcats as they won just three games in January, and two in February as they suffered another ten game losing streak. The Bobcats would once again top 60 losses, despite winning their last three games to escape last place with a record of 21-61 as Coach Mike Dunlap was fired after just one season.
2013/14: Charlotte was all abuzz as the season began for the Bobcats as a deal was made for them to get back the name Hornets and get the Charlotte Hornets history pre the move to New Orleans back. In their final season playing as the Bobcats they had a new coach named Steve Clifford. After starting the season with a 93-86 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Bobcats beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 90-84 in their home opener. In the early part of the season the Bobcats managed to stay near .500 which kept them right in the thick of the playoff chase in the Eastern Conference. As the New Year began the Bobcats began to slip, suffering a five game losing streak thanks to a Western road trip. After finishing January with a record of 21-27 the Bobcats would begin inching back to the playoff hunt thanks to a 6-4 record in February. Looking to make a run at the playoffs the Bobcats would acquire Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour from the Milwaukee Bucks for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien. The Bobcats continued to surge toward the playoffs in March as they won seven of nine at the Time Warner Cable Arena. The Bobcats would finish the season strong as they broke the .500 mark and made the playoffs for the second time as the Bobcats with a record of 43-39. The unquestioned MVP for Charlotte was Al Jefferson who, was signed a Free Agent in the off-season and averaged a team best 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Kemba Walker was also key leading the team in assists with 6.1 per games, while scoring 17.7 points per game.
2014 Playoffs: Unfortunately for the Bobcats they would face the Miami Heat in the first round, who swept Charlotte in the regular season. In Game 1, the Bobcats suffered 99-88 loss, with Al Jefferson injuring his foot in the process. Jefferson would play the remainder of the series with a plantar fascia strain. The Bobcats would remain competitive in Game 2, but a late Dwyane Wade steal sealed the win for the Heat 101-97. However, as the series shifted to Charlotte the Bobcats could not do much, better losing both games at the Time Warner Cable Arena as the Heat won the series in four straight, ending the name Charlotte Bobcats with zero wins in two playoff cameos. As the team officially became the Charlotte Hornets once again.
First Game Played November 4, 1988
Expansion Bobcats first game November 4, 2004
Resurected Hornets name and history 2014
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
Bernie Bickerstaff 2004/05-2006/07
Sam Vincent 2007/08
Larry Brown 2008/09-2010/11
Paul Silas 2010/11-2011/12
Mike Dunlap 2012/13
Steve Clifford 2013/14-Present
Charlotte Coliseum 1988/89-2001/02
Charlotte Coliseum 2004/05
Time Warner Cable Arena* 2005-P
*-Known as Charlotte Bobcats Arena 2005-2008
Playoff Appearences: (9)
1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2014
Hall of Famers: (3)
Larry Brown Coach 2008-2011
Alonzo Mourning C 1992-1995
Robert Parrish C 1994-1996
13 Bobby Phills G 1997/98-1999/00
NBA All-Star Games Hosted: (1)
NBA All-Star Game MVP: (1)
1997 Glen Rice F
Coach of the Year:
Most Improved Player:
Rookie of the Year: (2)
1992 Larry Johnson F
2005 Emeka Okafor F
6th Man: (1)
1994 Dell Curry G
Defensive Player of the Year:
NBA Finals MVP:
Hugo T. Hornet
Visit our Sponsors
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties
©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 December 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm ET.
Back to NBA Main
Eastern Conference Index
Steve Clifford 2013/14-
Time Warner Cable Arena 2005/06-
333 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: (704) 424-4120
On the Air:
WFNZ (610 AM)
Dell Curry and Steve Martin-TV; Scott Lauer-Radio
Fort Wayne Mad Ants