By Tank Spencer
In honor of the final regular season game of the Charlotte Bobcats, I figured I’d do some digging to show you once again how thrilled I am the Hornets are coming back! I am so proud we can wipe our memories of the Bobcats and get back to sporting the teal and purple (which I look so damn good in).
Little Tank and coach Allan Bristow at the Asheville Civic Center
10/20/1992 when the Hornets played the Orlando Magic in a
preseason exhibition. Hornets won 117-112.
Little Tank sportin' the 'Zo jersey in Charleston.
The Bobcats closing the regular season and preparing for the a playoff appearance, however brief it may be, hopefully closes the chapters of embarrassment that are North Carolina’s NBA history. The timeline looks like this…
1988… The Charlotte Hornets are born.
1991… Hornets take Larry Johnson #1 in the draft.
1992… Hornets take Alonzo Mourning #2 in the draft.
1993… Hornets made their first playoff appearance. They upset the Celtics in Round 1 3-1.
1995… The team won 50 games and were beaten by the Bulls in the playoffs.
1995… The Hornets traded Alonzo Mourning to the Miami Heat. They missed the playoffs.
1996… The Hornets sent Larry Johnson to the New York Knicks.
1996… The Hornets drafted Kobe Bryant only to trade him to the Lakers. They also drafted Tony Delk, passing on Jermaine O’Neal and Derek Fisher.
1997… Charlotte did make the playoffs, but were swept in the playoffs by Larry Johnson and the Knicks.
1998… A lockout killed half of the season and the owner George Shinn was on trial for sexual assault.
1999… The Hornets trade Glenn Rice to the Lakers.
1999… Ray Woolridge buys 35% of the team.
2000… Bobby Phills is killed in a car wreck.
2000… Woolridge pushes Charlotte for a new arena.
2000… The Hornets play the Lakers in New Orleans in front of a capacity crowd.
2001… The team drafts Kirk Haston #16 overall. They whiffed on guys like Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas.
2002… The arena dispute with the city comes to a head and the plans to move to New Orleans come to fruition.
2002… NBA awards Charlotte a new franchise with Bob Johnson, BET CEO, as owner.
2005… The Bobcats ended the 1st season winning just 18 games.
2005… The Cats drafted Sean May, who would be a huge bust.
2006… The Cats drafted Adam Morrison, another huge bust.
2008… The Cats drafted D.J. Augustin AND Alexis Ajinca. They could have had: Brook Lopez, Brandon Rush, Kosta Koufos, Serge Ibaka, George Hill or Nicolas Batum.
2010… Michael Jordan takes majority ownership.
2010… The Bobcats made the playoffs for the 1st time, but were swept by the Orlando Magic.
THE NOT SO BETTER/ HORRIFFIC:
2011… Gerald Wallace was traded to Portland and the team missed the playoffs.
2011… In a draft day trade Stephen Jackson was sent to Milwaukee. On the bright side, the team did aquire Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo that day.
2012… In a lockout shortened season, the Bobcats would earn statistically the worst season in NBA history. They won just 7 games and had a .106 win percentage.
2013… The only season for coach Mike Dunlap ended with just 21 wins.
2013… Steve Clifford is hired as head coach.
2013… The Bobcats sign Al Jefferson.
2014… The Bobcats close with a 20-9 stretch and finish with a playoff berth and a winning record.
2014… The Charlotte Hornets return!