Charlotte Hornets – Part of the NBA expansion in the late 1980’s, Charlotte joined the league along with the Miami Heat. Like its divisional dancing partner, and most expansion franchises in general, Charlotte struggled to find success in its early years.
The Hornets averaged just 24 wins per season from 1988 to 1992, but the arrival of Larry Johnson in 1991 and Alonzo Mourning the following year helped spark a number of playoff runs over the course of the next decade.
While Johnson and Mourning were only on board for two of those playoff appearances, both players were used to acquire pieces that helped the club secure five postseason trips between 1997 and 2002.
Unfortunately, the franchise bolted for New Orleans following three year stretch that saw it win 139 games. It built on its late accomplishments in Charlotte its first two seasons in the Bayou, posting a total of 88 wins while garnering playoff berths in 2003 and 2004.
The franchise returned to North Carolina in 2004, but the Hornets moniker stayed in New Orleans, giving rise to the Charlotte Bobcats.
The club held that name till the conclusion of the 2014 season, ending a forgettable era of basketball with a commendable 43-39 record and first round playoff elimination.
Michael Jordan, who acquired the team in 2009, returned the franchise its original name prior to the start of the 2014-2015 NBA season.
While Johnson and Mourning are, arguably, the two most notable faces to don the Hornets uniform, Dell Curry and Muggsy Bogues made their mark on the team as well. Curry remains the franchise leader in games played with 701 while Bogues in its all-time leading assist and steals man with 5557 and 1067, respectively.
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