Charlotte North Carolina Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets want to take the next step after the playoff exit and win another playoff series. Charlotte continued its momentum as they begin the month with a seven-game winning streak that has allowed them a 1-0 record in their first three games of the season. The Hornets have flown under the radar as supposed championship contenders in the Eastern Conference, but they have landed in Jacksonville, Florida to play the new Jacksonville Express. In their first two games against the Express, they are 1-for-2 from the field and 0-for-1 from 3-point range.
The next sports team to claim the name "Charlotte Hornets" is the Charlotte Winds of the World Football League (WFL). The Winds went on to win the final game, but their momentum came to a halt after the Hornets won their WFL season. There was a brief success in 2002 when the original team moved to New Orleans and then back to Charlotte.
In 2014, after a decade in the Hornets city, the Bobcats were officially renamed the Charlotte Hornets. The team that is now the Pelicans started out as the Charlotte Hornets in 1988 and stayed there until 2002, when they moved to New Orleans. After the 2004-05 season, they were renamed the New Orleans Pelicans for the first time in their history in honor of former team owner Al Davis.
Only two years passed and Charlotte had the Bobcats for another time, but things were back to normal as the franchise reclaimed its history and colors after New Orleans became the Pelicans. The Hornets returned to the league for the second time in 2014, this time as a member of the NBA's Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Hornets.
The nickname "Charlotte" dates back to the Revolutionary War, when British General Charles Cornwallis compared the resistance in Charlotte during the Battle of Charlotte, during which he stayed for only sixteen days, to a wasps "nest, but later called Charlotte" the hornet's nest of rebellion. "
Charlotte agreed to name the Hornets as the team, along with the Knights, Cougars, Spirit, Crowns and Stars. It was later added that former New Orleans Pelicans guard Brian Reid was the first player to play for both the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets while playing for them. When Reid came to Charlotte, he was one of the team's top scorers, averaging 23 points per game. This time it was the golden age for basketball in Charlotte, as high-profile figures like John Havlicek, George Gervin and Bill Russell joined the Hornets.
The Charlotte 49ers and Davidson Wildcats also played for the Hornets' Nest Trophy each year in the NCAA tournament. The Charlotte Hornets, along with the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans, have a long history of strong ties with Charlotte's local sports teams.
One game that underscored the Hornets' strong March was how they saw the San Antonio Spurs take a 29-point lead in the first round of the playoffs.
The Hornets would lead the NBA for the first time in franchise history with an average of 1.5 million fans per game. The Hornets sold more than 80,000 tickets at the Coliseum, compared with the 2.3 million at the Charlotte Coliseum. Faced with complaints from fans that the museum was too big, the Hornets were an outlier up top and led the NBA in ticket sales, a feat they would accomplish seven more times in Charlotte. With fans claiming the Coliseum was "too big," the Pacers were the runaway leaders, leading the NHL and NBA with 3.6 million tickets, which they would still achieve nine more times and accomplish the feat seven more times for Charlotte, as well as the Hornets' first playoff appearance in 13 years.
But those on the South Carolina side of Charlotte County who had watched games in the Coliseum were still let down by the lack of access and high ticket prices.
Critics questioned whether Charlotte, then best known for its banking operations, could support an NBA team, and a columnist for the Sacramento Bee joked: "Charlotte has the only franchise. One of the Golden Arches was the site of one of Charlotte's most famous landmarks, the Colosseum. Team owner Upton Bell tried to expand the Hornets' fan base by scheduling games in Charlotte. Meanwhile, Charlotte Hornets chairman Michael Jordan expressed excitement that the city would soon have the opportunity to host an All-Star game. The Hornets played their first game on March 1, 1997, losing 133-93 to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Charlottesville Coliseum, but not before the team's first victory over the Sacramento Kings.
This season, the Bobcats announced a deal with the Charlotte Hornets' new owner, Michael Jordan, to buy a minority stake in the team, which became the second-largest shareholder. This season, the Bobcats "owners, the Sacramento Kings" Mike D'Antoni and Larry Bird, announced they would buy minority stakes in both teams, and Jordan's father Jordan Jr. and father-in-law Bob became second-largest shareholders.