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The Charlotte Bobcats are a professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolinamarker. The team is part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association. The Bobcats were established in 2004 as an expansion team, two seasons after Charlotte's previous NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, relocated to New Orleansmarker and became the New Orleans Hornets. The Bobcats play their home games at Time Warner Cable Arenamarker in uptown Charlotte.

Charlotte's NBA Development League team is the Maine Red Claws. The Bobcats were also the brother team of the Charlotte Sting of the WNBA before the Sting folded on January 3, 2007.

The Bobcats are currently for sale by majority owner Robert Johnson. Johnson paid $300 million for the franchise in 2003. However, Forbes currently estimates the team's value at $284 million. Michael Jordan, a minority owner and head of basketball operations, has shown interest in putting together a group to purchase majority control in the team.

Franchise history

Creating the Bobcats

When the Hornets relocated to New Orleansmarker for the 2002–03 season, the NBA promised Charlotte leaders that the city would be granted an NBA expansion team for the 2004–05 season. Several ownership groups, including one led by former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, made bids for the team. On December 18, 2002, a group led by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson was awarded the franchise, becoming one of the first prominent African American owners in U.S.marker professional sports. On June 15, 2006 it was announced that NBA legend and North Carolina native Michael Jordan would become the second largest shareholder in the Bobcats. As part of the deal, Jordan became head of basketball operations. Another notable co-owner is the rapper Nelly.

In June 2003, the new team was named the Bobcats. Bobcats, along with Charlotte Flight and Charlotte Dragons were the top three choices as voted by fans. The Charlotte Regional Sports Commission aided with the "Help Name The Team" effort that drew over 1,250 suggestions. The bobcat, an expert at survival according to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, is athletic, fierce and an indigenous predator to the Carolinas. Charlotte, already being home to the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, made the cat-related name a natural choice for the area's new basketball team.

Despite failed attempts at the ballot box to fully fund a new uptown arena, city politicians decided to go ahead with plans and implemented a hotel and leisure tax in Charlotte to help pay for it. George Shinn, owner of the Hornets, also wanted the city to pay for a new arena, and subsequently left town for New Orleans when it failed to do so.

2004–2006: Beginnings of a franchise

The Bobcats held their expansion draft on June 22, 2004, picking up such seasoned players as Predrag Drobnjak and talented youngsters such as Sacramento Kings forward Gerald Wallace. They also traded with the Los Angeles Clippers to acquire the second pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, which they used to select Emeka Okafor, a center from Connecticut. Okafor went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2005.

The Bobcats first game of the 2004–05 season took place on November 4 and was a 103–96 loss to the Washington Wizards. Two days later they won their first game in franchise history over the Orlando Magic, 111–100. On December 14, the Bobcats really gave their fans something to roar about, beating the New Orleans Hornets 94–93 in overtime in the team's first trip to Charlotte after the move. The Bobcats would go on to post an 18–64 record finishing in 4th place in their division. In the 2005 NBA Draft, the Bobcats drafted two North Carolina players: Raymond Felton and Sean May. With these two players, in addition to Okafor, the Bobcats hoped to build a young, solid foundation for future success. The 2005–06 season saw the Bobcats finish with a record of 26–56, a slight improvement over the previous year. Adam Morrison, from Gonzaga, was selected with the third pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. The Bobcats again improved on their record from the previous two seasons, finishing the 2006–07 season with a 33–49 record.

On March 13, 2007, Jordan announced that head coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who had guided the team for its first three seasons, would not return to coach the 2007–08 season. Jordan stated that Bickerstaff would finish the rest of the current season and that he remained an integral part of the organization. Candidates interviewing for the head coaching position included Stan Van Gundy, Paul Silas, Herb Williams, and Mike Fratello. Two months later the team announced that Sam Vincent, a former assistant with the Dallas Mavericks, would be the second coach in franchise history.

2007: A year to forget

The front office was a key issue for the Bobcats during the 2007 offseason. Rod Higgins was hired as general manager, assuming the same role he filled with the Golden State Warriors. Phil Ford was added to the coaching staff over the summer, and another position was filled when Buzz Peterson was hired from Coastal Carolina Universitymarker, where he served as head basketball coach, to become director of player personnel.

Brandan Wright was selected with the eighth pick by the Bobcats in the 2007 NBA Draft. He was subsequently traded to Golden State in a deal that included Jason Richardson being sent to Charlotte. Gerald Wallace, the team's leading scorer for the 2006–07 season, was resigned to a reported six-year contract. Unfortunately, the Bobcats were unable to capitalize on offseason moves, finishing the 2007–08 season with a disappointing 32–50 record. The team, which felt confident the season would end with its first playoff berth, struggled amid rumors of players clashing with the coach. Only lasting a year, in which he struggled with personnel decisions, Sam Vincent was fired as head coach on April 26, 2008.

2008–present: The Larry Brown era

On April 29, 2008 the Bobcats reached an agreement to hire Larry Brown as the third head coach in franchise history. Brown, a member of the Basketball Hall of Famemarker, had over twenty years of experience coaching teams in college, the American Basketball Association and NBA.

The 2008 NBA Draft saw the Bobcats select D. J. Augustin from Texas with the ninth selection in the first round. During the offseason an agreement with the teams first ever draft pick, Emeka Okafor, was reached on a six-year $72 million dollar contract extension. On December 10, 2008, the team traded Jason Richardson to the Phoenix Suns along with Jared Dudley and a 2010 second-round draft pick for Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary. Adam Morrison, who had struggled in Charlotte and fallen out of favor with Brown, was involved in a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers for forward Vladimir Radmanović on February 7, 2009. The Bobcats came very close to reaching the franchise's first playoff berth during the 2008–09 season, but finished just four games out of eighth place with a team record 35 wins. Members of the team voiced their frustration at management for hosting the Charlotte Jumper Classic, a horse event, at the end of the season. The scheduling conflict forced the Bobcats to play their final four games on the road, virtually ending any playoff hopes.

Gerald Henderson from Duke was chosen with the 12th pick by the Bobcats in the 2009 NBA Draft. Xavier's Derrick Brown was also selected.

On July 28, 2009, the Bobcats traded Emeka Okafor for New Orleans Hornets center Tyson Chandler.

On November 16, 2009, the Bobcats traded Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson and Acie Law.

Seasons

Personnel

Current roster

Head coaches

Charlotte Bobcats head coaches


Franchise records and awards

Honors

Rookie of the Year

NBA All-Rookie First Team

NBA All-Rookie Second Team

Logos and arenas

Logos

Alternate logo (2004–07)
Alternate logo (2008–present)


The alternate logo features an orange bobcat head on a blue and silver basketball. It was changed in 2008 and features the face of the orange and blue bobcat head with part of a silver basketball on the right corner. This is currently the center court logo at Time Warner Cable Arenamarker.

Since their creation, home jerseys have been white reading "Bobcats" in orange with blue and black trimming. The primary away jersey is orange reading "Charlotte" in white with blue and black trimming. In the 2006 offseason, the Bobcats announced a new alternate away jersey which debuted during the 2006–07 season. The alternate jersey is blue and read reads "Bobcats" in white on a with black, orange and white trimming. Racing Day blue alternates used to honor Charlotte's NASCAR fanbase.For the 2009-10 season, the Bobcats redesigned their uniforms. It will be a mix of the old Charlotte Hornets and the Bobcats colors. Home uniform is white and features the arched "Bobcats" in blue with orange and white trim. Road uniform is blue and features the arched "Charlotte" in white with blue and orange trim. Both designs feature silver pinstripes, similar to what the Hornets have worn for most of their existence.
Image:Charlottebobcatshomeuni.gif|Home jerseyImage:Charlottebobcatsawayuni.gif|Away jerseyImage:CharlotteBobcatsRacingDayUniforms.gif|Racing Day alternate jersey


Arenas

The Charlotte Bobcats first played their games at the Charlotte Coliseummarker as a new replacement, Charlotte Bobcats Arena, was being built. The city closed the Coliseum in the offseason of 2005, and opened the new arena with a Rolling Stones concert shortly before the new 2005–06 season.



In April 2008, the Bobcats reached a naming rights deal with Time Warner Cable, the Charlotte area's largest cable television provider. In exchange for the naming rights, Time Warner agreed to tear up the cable television deal that had limited the Bobcats' exposure over the team's first four years.

Media coverage

For the Bobcats' first season, Johnson partnered with Time Warner to create Carolinas Sports Entertainment Television (C-SET), a regional sports network. It aired 60 Bobcats games that also shown on Comporium Cable in the South Carolinamarker portion of the Charlotte market. However, Time Warner placed C-SET on its digital package as an incentive to try to get customers to switch to its digital service, leaving analog customers in the dark. It also refused to allow DirecTV or Dish Network to pick up the network on their local feeds. As a result, most of the western Carolinas and those without digital cable were left to rely on radio coverage.

C-SET folded on the day of the 2005 NBA Draft, and most games then moved to News 14 Carolina, a cable news channel available on Time Warner Cable's systems in Charlotte, the Triad and The Research Triangle. However, this left viewers in most of South Carolina (except for the South Carolina side of the Charlotte area, which saw games on Comporium) as well as eastern and western North Carolina, out in the cold. News 14 was also not available on satellite.

As part of the Time Warner Cable Arena deal, the Bobcats signed over broadcasting rights to Fox Sports South. The last five games of the 2007–08 season, and 70 games during the 2008–09 season, will be shown on Fox Sports South and sister network SportSouth in North and South Carolina. The deal is believed to be the first simultaneous naming rights/broadcast rights deal in the history of North American professional sports. Games now air on the new channel Fox Sports Carolinas but only in North Carolina. Restrictions still prohibit games from airing in South Carolina.

Select games also air on a network of over-the-air stations across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, fronted by WMYT-TVmarker in Charlotte.

The flagship station for radio coverage is WFNZ, a station based in Charlotte whose frequency is 610 AM. WFNZ is Charlotte's sports radio station and also broadcasts UNC Basketball, NC State basketball, and Charlotte Knights baseball. This replaced WOLS for the 2009-2010 season. WOLS switched its non-sports programming from Oldies to Spanish language on January 1, 2009, making Bobcats and Duke basketball the station's only non-Spanish language programming.

References



External links




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