The Charlotte Bobcats: A 10-Year Look Back At The Franchise
The Charlotte Bobcats are now unpacking their lockers as they were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs last night. The last game seen as a “BOBCAT” player ended with a standing ovation and embrace from team owner Michael Jordan. Now the era of the “HORNETS” is upon us. But let’s not forget that the Hornets would not be back if the Bobcats hadn’t been here and set the table for a dramatic return. History if always a part of the future.
With that said lets take a stroll through some of the Bobcats’ franchise memories.
The month was December, the year was 2002 and the NBA granted owner Bob Johnson a franchise. This day many people licked the wounds of the Hornets being void in Charlotte. Others continued to boil over with hatred towards (the Hornets, NBA and the new guy).
In June 2003, the team was given its name: the Bobcats. The Charlotte area and Sports Commission helped with the naming of the team; suggestions and polls were released and The Charlotte Flight came out on top, but was disregarded by owner Bob Johnson. Later during a street festival the name Bobcats was released as the official team name. Another name that was listed high in the poll was the Charlotte Dragons.
The Charlotte Bobcats select: Emeka Okafor, center from UCONN. This dawned the era of the draft for the Charlotte Bobcats. Also in the 2004 NBA Draft the Bobcats’ selected Bernard Robinson in the second round out of Michigan. Not all the draft picks left people smiling. The Bobcats went on to draft players that many consider a BUST like: Sean May, Adam Morrison, Derrick Brown, Alexis Ajinca and others throughout the years. The NBA Draft was often seen as a weak link for the Bobcats organization.
In 2008 Larry Brown joined the organization and had the team headed towards the playoffs for the first time but finished four games out of the eighth spot with a 35-47 record. In 2010 the Jordan era began; with the purchase of the team from Bob Johnson. Later in April of that year the Bobcats clinched their first playoff berth and a winning season also their first, with a 44-38 record. This was short lived as the Orlando Magic swept the Bobcats quickly ending the excitement.
Following a successful season saw the Bobcats lose their head coach after just 28 games. Veteran coach Paul Silas was hired and remained head coach until 2012. The Bobcats have had their fill of head coaches with 6 in franchise history.
The “lockout season” was a forgettable time for Bobcats’ fans. The team struggled and amassed a league worst record of 7-59, losing the last 23 games of the dismal season.
Now to a more emotional memory on May 21, 2013 Jordan announced the team had officially submitted an application for a name change. This was later granted and the HORNETS were on their way back to Charlotte.
On January 16, 2014 the Bobcats revealed the “LOGO” for the new Hornets.
You may not like the history of the Bobcats’ franchise from the owner to the team colors. I mean really if there has been a negative comment about this organization it has been publicize. But without history you can’t have a future; the future is the warm embrace of the fans that grew up with the Hornets. But never forget what once was and what help build what you have. This years Bobcats’ team scratched and clawed for everything they got; this is a trait all fans want to continue to see in the purple and teal.