- NBA Championships: 0
- Last NBA Championship: N/A
- Claim to Fame: The Hornets are the only team in the NBA whose owner could also double as their best player.
- Claim to Shame: Charlotte won just seven games during 2011-12’s strike-shortened season.
The Charlotte Hornets are the NBA’s new kid on the block. The team sprung into existence in 2004 and was originally christened the Bobcats in a playful nod to the team’s majority owner, Robert Johnson.
The name was cute, but the team’s play wasn’t. Charlotte stumbled out of the gates and enjoyed just one winning season in its first nine years in the Association. The club’s low-water mark came during the strike-shortened 2011-12 season when the Bobcats eked out seven wins and finished 39 games behind the division-leading Miami Heat.
Charlotte reclaimed its Hornets moniker in 2014, and briefly showed signs of progress the following season when it won 48 games and claimed the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, that result proved to be an aberration rather than a trend and Charlotte won just 36 games in each of the following two seasons.
2017-18 was particularly disheartening as the Hornets missed the playoffs for the second straight year and finished 16th in defensive rating and 17th in plus/minus. The club fired head coach Steve Clifford and general manager Rich Cho and sent starting center Dwight Howard to the Nets for pennies on the dollar.
Charlotte enters 2018-19 with a new coach and GM, but largely the same roster full of aging veterans and dramatically overpaid role players. Their one “big” free agent signing was former Spurs point guard Tony Parker, whose scoring average has decreased sharply in each of his last six years.
Don’t be surprised if the Hornets trade scoring leader Kemba Walker by the All-Star Break and enter a full-on rebuild by April.