The Charlotte Hornets

23 Cool Facts About The Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are true mainstays of the NBA and are regarded as some of the most popular underdogs in basketball history. However, they’ve endured plenty of controversies over the years.

Believe it or not, the Hornets have never won an NBA Championship – it’s just one of many odd facts about this team that might just serve you well in the next sports quiz!

But don’t get us wrong. Just because the team is not known for any NBA championships does not mean that it does not have a fascinating and impressive list of accolades. Here are some interesting facts about the Charlotte Hornets that might just convert you into becoming a courtside fan – who knows?

1. The Hornets is an NBA side that’s been around since the late 80s.

If you came here looking for insects, you’ll likely be disappointed. The Hornets, also known as the Charlotte Hornets, is a basketball team officially based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The team was originally founded in 1988 as an expansion franchise in the NBA. Therefore, the Hornets played their first NBA season from 1988 to 1989, and the team’s home games were played at the Charlotte Coliseum from 1988 to 2002.

2. The team was named after the town.

The name “The Hornets” was not chosen at random. It was chosen because Charlotte was known as the “hornet’s nest” during the American Revolutionary War.

The team’s logo is, therefore, a blue hornet with white wings, white eyes, and a very sharp white stinger. The team’s colors are teal, purple, and white, all of which feature on the logo.

However, we will come to see that the logo, jerseys and even names of the team have not always been the same!

3. They were once owned by one man – George Shinn.

The team’s original owner was George Shinn, a businessman from North Carolina. However, as is the way with many sports teams, the side is now split between multiple owners.

So, today, the team is owned by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin as lead owners – though the side has changed hands many times over the years. In fact, the Hornets were once part-owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan, who eventually sold his majority stake in 2023.

4. They were in the playoffs in the 90s, partly thanks to Larry Johnson.

Although the team was founded in the late 1980s, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that the Charlotte Hornets made their first playoff appearance, which took place during the 1992-1993 season.

In 1992, their new player Larry Johnson, who the team recruited from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, won the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year Award – quite the accolade!

Charlotte Hornets playoff history

5. The team moved to New Orleans.

Yes, believe it or not, despite the name connecting the team to Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets were no more from the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons as the team moved to New Orleans.

The move came due to poor attendance at the games and the team not being very popular in their hometown – controversies regarding ownership, allegedly, helped to fuel the fire.

Although they were now based in New Orleans, the team continued to play as a Charlotte side – only changing their name in 2013 to the New Orleans Pelicans.

6. The team name has changed a lot over the years.

The side isn’t just known as Hornets or Pelicans—it’s been known as Bobcats, too! In 2003, the Charlotte Hornets officially changed their name and hired Bernie Bickerstaff as the first-ever head coach and general manager in the sport’s history.

Following the new name, a new area was being built for the team in 2003. The team, therefore, played at the Coliseum until construction finished.

7. And yet, the Hornets came back.

Despite all the changes to their location, name, and brand, the Charlotte Hornets eventually came home to their roots.

The team officially rebranded itself as the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014-2015 NBA season shortly after the Pelicans debacle – and, in so doing, they brought back the original name and colors, which turned out to be a real treat for fans.

The team’s return home also turned out to be the best move for them, as the hometown fans have proven to be dedicated and loyal despite the team’s difficult past.

8. The team has hosted some incredible players.

The Charlotte Hornets have been known to train and play some of the best players in the NBA. Some of the most notable players the team has produced include Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, and Muggsy Bogues.

That said, the team is one of the few in the league to have never made the conference finals. In fact, throughout its history, it has only ever made the Conference Semifinals four times! What’s more, the team has not even made the semifinals since 2002. Spare a thought for the plucky underdogs, won’t you?

9. They have, however, hosted the All-Star game.

The ever-gracious Hornets have hosted the NBA All-Star Game twice, in 1991 and 2019.
In 1991, the game was held at the team’s previous home arena, the Coliseum.

The 2019 game was played at the Spectrum Center, the team’s home arena since 2005.

In fact, the team was supposed to host the 2017 All-Star Game. However, it had to be moved to New Orleans due to controversy surrounding North Carolina.

10. The team has two retired jersey numbers.

The Charlotte Hornets currently have two retired jersey numbers: 6 for their player, Bill Russell, and 13 for Bobby Phills.

As strange as it may sound, NBA fans know what an honor it is to have your jersey number retired. It is a tribute that suggests no other player can wear that number on the team, a moment to reflect the player’s efforts and achievements during their time on the team. Very few players throughout the NBA have ever had their jersey numbers retired.
Other key players who have had their jersey numbers retired in the NBA include Magic Johnson, Michael Horned, and Moses Malone.

11. They are affiliated with the Greensboro Swarm.

The Hornets’ NBA G League affiliate is the Greensboro Swarm. The team is based over in Greensboro, North Carolina.

For those who do not know, players chosen to be affiliated by an NBA team are automatically chosen to be in the team’s NBA G League affiliates. That is, of course, as long as they choose to sign the contract that’s associated. Complex legal stuff!

12. The team has done a lot for its community.

One of the most famous things about the Charlotte Hornets is that the team cares for its community. It has participated in community outreach programs, including youth basketball clinics and charitable initiatives.

The Charlotte Hornets Foundation, in particular, is a philanthropic foundation dedicated to building a better community.

The foundation is focused on helping with issues related to education, hunger, wellness, community engagement, and even military care.

Charlotte Hornets Foundation

13. The Hornets even have a dance team!

The Charlotte Hornets do indeed have a dance team, the Honey Bees. The team performs at the Hornets’ home games.

Despite their difficult history in the sport, the Hornets have a loyal fan base known for their passion and enthusiasm. The fan base is often referred to as “Buzz City.”

14. The Hornets are yet to be champions.

The Charlotte Hornets are also known, sadly, for being a team that loses. They have never won any NBA championships to date – but who knows what might happen in the future?

That said, in fact, the Charlotte Hornets have won over 1,100 games, total. They’re capable of winning games – they just need to convert these triumphs into championships!

15. The team has some serious rivals.

Although the team may not be at the top of the sport, they still have some serious competition.

The most notable rivals of the Charlotte Hornets include the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Atlanta Hawks.

Only time will tell what the Hornets do with their rivals and whether or not they will be stung during the upcoming seasons!

16. The team isn’t big with celebrities.

Although NBA teams are known for attracting the attention of various celebrities, including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, and more, the Charlotte Hornets are a little less popular among the rich and famous.

That said, Michael Jordan must have been a fan to an extent at some point – as he only sold his majority stake in the team in 2023!

Charlotte Hornets x Michael Jordan

17. The team has had a total of 12 coaches so far.

Believe it or not, the Charlotte Hornets have had 12 coaches so far in the team’s relatively short history!

The team has been coached in order by Dick Harter, Gene Littles, Allan Bristow, Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, Bernie Bickerstaff, Sam Vincent, Larry Brown, Paul Silas, Mike Dunlap, and Steve Clifford, James Borrego, and Steve Clifford again!

That’s the case at the time of writing – right now, the side is looking for its 13th coach. Who could it be?

18. The team has hosted multiple all-star players.

The Charlotte Hornets may not have produced champions, but it has produced multiple all-star players!

Some of the team’s most famous all-star players include Larry Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Eddie Jones, Glen Rice, Kemba Walker, Baron Davis, and LaMelo Ball. All of these players were selected to play in an All-Star Game at one point in their careers.

19. Lots of people attend Hornets games.

Again, although the team may not always sound very exciting based on its championship prowess (or lack thereof), that does not stop many people from going to their games!

In fact, reportedly, an average of around 17,000 people attended their games during the 2022-2023 season! Hopefully, those numbers will only rise – the Hornets deserve to build up a nest.

20. The team was the third in the league to bring a Mexican player to the court.

The Charlotte Hornets have always been known for doing things their way, and in 2011, the team brought in a new player who set an interesting record – Gustavo Ayon.

Believe it or not, he was only the third Mexican-born player to ever play in the NBA! He followed Horacio Llamas and Eduardo Najera in the league.

Gustavo Ayón

Gustavo Ayón

21. The team has hosted multiple international players, too.

The Hornets’ international recruitment didn’t end with Ayon. In fact, the team has had multiple international players, including Grieves Vasquez, from Venezuela, who played for the team when they were the New Orleans Hornets from 2011 to 2013, Marco Bellinelli, from Italy, who played for them in the 2016-2017, season, and Peja Stojakovic, from Serbia, who also played for them when they were the New Orleans Hornets from 2006 to 2010.

22. The Hornets are one of the youngest sides in the NBA.

Believe it or not, the Charlotte Hornets are actually among the youngest teams in the NBA!
The team has only been around since the late 1980s, as mentioned earlier.

Teams younger than the Hornets include the Utah Jazz, the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the San Antonio Spurs, the youngest team in the league.

By comparison, the NBA’s oldest team is the Sacramento Kings, which dates back to 1923! That just goes to show just how young the Charlotte Hornets are. Hopefully, the team has a long NBA career ahead of it!

23. The team was Charlotte’s first professional sports team.

Yes, believe it or not, the Hornets genuinely led the way for sport in the city of Charlotte – and even stranger, it’s thought that initial critics of the team being set up thought the city wouldn’t be able to support the franchise.

Thankfully, more than three decades later, those critics have been pretty much silenced!

The team was even the first to wear pinstripe uniforms in the NBA – they’re no strangers to being the first at things, even if they’re yet to win a championship!


Charlotte Hornets

FAQs About the Charlotte Hornets

Why are the Charlotte Hornets so popular?

The Charlotte Hornets' popularity is due in part to their stylish jerseys, but mostly to their community-centered values, fascinating history, and efforts to produce great NBA players.

Fans still hold out hope that the team will eventually bring home an NBA championship!

Did the Bobcats have the worst NBA record in history?

The Charlotte Hornets, also known as the Bobcats, once held the NBA’s worst record. The team did not manage to beat its 34-48 record from the previous season.

However, returning to Charlotte, the team’s roots, and the team’s original name (the Charlotte Hornets) certainly helped as they eventually got out of that rut and entered a better stage of the team’s career.

Why did Michael Jordan choose to buy the Charlotte Hornets?

There are a few reasons why Michael Jordan chose to invest in and become part owner of the Charlotte Hornets. Although he was known for being a champion player, and the Hornets are definitely not a winning team, the former NBA star chose to invest in the team mostly because he, too, is from North Carolina.

He is also an avid basketball fan, and investing in the team enabled him to keep an important place within the NBA.

Do you know any fun facts about the Charlotte Hornets? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 15, 2024. Suggest an edit

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