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The New Orleans Hornets is a professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisianamarker. It plays in the Southwest Division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began play during the 1988–89 NBA season as the Charlotte Hornets, based in Charlotte, North Carolinamarker, where it was located until the end of the 2001–02 NBA season.

Franchise history


1985–1987: Birth of the Charlotte Hornets

In 1985, the NBA announced plans to expand by four teams. George Shinn, an entrepreneur from Charlotte, North Carolinamarker, announced plans to bring an NBA team to the Charlotte area. He assembled a group of prominent local businessmen to head the prospective franchise.

Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg Countymarker had long been a hotbed for college basketball. The four North Carolina schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, in addition to three local college teams (the Charlotte 49ers, Davidson Wildcats, and the Johnson C.marker Smith Bullsmarker), have large and loyal fan bases in the city. Charlotte was also one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It had also previously been one of the three in-state regional homes to the American Basketball Association's Carolina Cougars, from 1969 to 1974.

Nevertheless, some critics doubted that Charlotte could support an NBA team. In fact, one Sacramento Bee columnist joked, "The only franchise Charlotte is going to get is one with golden arches." However, Shinn's ace in the hole was the Charlotte Coliseummarker, a state-of-the-art arena under construction that would seat almost 24,000 spectators – the largest basketball-specific arena ever to serve as a full-time home for an NBA team. On April 5, 1987, NBA Commissioner David Stern called Shinn to tell him that his group had been awarded the 24th franchise of the NBA, to begin play in 1988. Franchises were also granted to Miamimarker (the Heat), Minneapolis-Saint Paulmarker (the Timberwolves), and Orlandomarker (the Magic).

Originally, the new team was to be named the Charlotte Spirit, but another name-the-team contest yielded "Hornets" as the winning choice. The name derived from the city's fierce resistance to British occupation during the Revolutionary War, which prompted Lord General Cornwallis to refer to it as "a veritable nest of hornets." The name had been used for Charlotte teams before; the city's minor league baseball teams had been called the Hornets from 1901 to 1972; there was a short-lived team in the short-lived World Football League; and NCAA basketball's Charlotte 49ers and Davidson Wildcats play annually for the Hornets' Nest Trophy.

The team received a lot of attention when they chose teal as their primary color, setting off a fashion craze in sports in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The San Jose Sharks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Florida Marlins, and other pro and amateur clubs soon followed with similar colors. The Memphis Grizzlies also used it as their primary color during their days in Vancouvermarker, and even the Detroit Pistons briefly switched to teal, away from their traditional blue and red, in the mid-1990s. Additionally, the Hornets were the first NBA team to popularize the use of pinstripes on its uniforms, inspiring similar designs from the Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers. (It should be noted, however, that the Bulls only use pinstripes on their alternate black jerseys; the regular home white and away red uniforms do not feature them.) Recently, the Charlotte Bobcats have also added pinstripes to their uniforms, presumably as a tribute to the Hornets' tenure in Charlotte.

Despite some concerns that the new Coliseum was too big, Shinn thought that the area's long-standing support of college basketball would easily transfer to the Hornets. These hopes were more than validated as the city and region fell in a state of unbridled love with the team. After initially selling 15,000 season tickets, sales exploded and the team eventually capped the season ticket base at 21,000. Hornets tickets were among the toughest tickets in North America; for example, they once sold out 358 consecutive games, the equivalent of almost nine consecutive seasons.

Shinn hired Carl Scheer, a longtime NBA executive, as general manager. Scheer decided to put together a roster of veteran players in hopes of putting together a competitive team as soon as possible, with a view toward making the playoffs in five years. Former college coach and veteran NBA assistant Dick Harter was tapped as the team's first head coach.

1988–1992: Growing pains

The 1988–89 team was led by ex-Pistons guard Kelly Tripucka, who provided instant offense and was Charlotte's top scorer for the franchise's first two seasons. The team also had sharpshooting rookie – and first-ever draft choice – Rex Chapman, who was a long-distance scoring threat. The team's floor general was Muggsy Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history. However, as is typical for most NBA expansion teams, the Hornets struggled, finishing with a 20–62 record and never winning more than two games in a row.

The 1989–90 season was a struggle from start to finish. Harter was fired in January after the players rebelled against his defense-oriented style. He was replaced by assistant Gene Littles. A 3–31 stretch from January through March ended any hopes for the Hornets, who finished 19–63.

For the 1990–91 season, the team picked up guard Kendall Gill in the NBA Draft and got slightly better, but still managed to win the draft lottery and the rights to the number-one overall pick in the following year's draft. The Hornets also hosted the All-Star Game. Littles was fired at the end of the season and replaced by general manager Allan Bristow.

For the 1991–92 season, the Hornets drafted power forward Larry Johnson from UNLVmarker with the number-one overall pick. Johnson had an impact season, finishing among the league leaders in points and rebounds, and winning the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Gill led the club in scoring, with over 20 points per game. The team stayed in contention for a playoff spot until March.

1992–1999: Rise to prominence

In 1992–93, the team won the second pick in the draft, using it to select Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning. The Hornets now had two 20–10 threats in Johnson and Mourning, who with Gill formed perhaps the league's top young trio. It was good enough for the team's first-ever winning record, at 44–38, and the first playoff berth in franchise history. They finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and upset the Boston Celtics in the first round. Mourning won the series with a 20-footer in game four. However, they lacked the experience and depth to defeat the New York Knicks, falling to them in five games in the second round.

The next few years were marked by injuries to Johnson and Mourning, though the Hornets did get back to the playoffs in 1994–95, notching the first 50-win season in franchise history. However, the Chicago Bulls bounced Charlotte from the playoffs three games to one in the first round.

In the offseason the team dealt Mourning to the Miami Heat for guard Glen Rice and center Matt Geiger and guard Khalid Reeves. Geiger and Johnson tied for the team lead in rebounds, while Johnson and Rice provided balanced but high-powered scoring and All-Star guard Kenny Anderson ran the point for the injured Muggsy Bogues. Despite the changes, the Hornets failed to qualify for the playoffs during the 1995–96 season. Bristow resigned at the end of the season and was replaced by NBA legend Dave Cowens.

The offseason was again marked by vast changes: Anderson declined to re-sign, Johnson was shipped to the Knicks for power forward Anthony Mason, and center Vlade Divac was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers for future superstar Kobe Bryant, who was picked 13th in the draft by the Hornets. The new-look Hornets were apparently even better, with Divac and Geiger providing the center combination, Mason averaging a double-double and all-NBA third team honors, Bogues back at the point, and Rice having the finest season of his career, finishing third in the league in scoring and earning all-NBA second team honors. Rice was also the All-Star Game MVP, setting several scoring records. The team also sported the second-best season in their history to date (54 victories), making it back to the playoffs. However, they went down rather meekly to the Knicks in three straight games.

1997–98 was also successful. The team picked up a new free-agent backcourt in point guard David Wesley and shooting guard Bobby Phills. With Wesley, Phills, Rice, Mason and Divac, the Hornets romped through the regular season, with Rice finishing sixth in scoring and earning all-NBA third team honors and the team making it all the way to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in franchise history, only to again be stopped by the Bulls. 1998–99 was also turbulent, with Rice being traded to the Lakers for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell. Cowens resigned midway through the lockout-shortened season, and was replaced by former Celtics teammate Paul Silas.

1999–2002: New era

1999–2000 was a return to prominence, with the addition of free agent Derrick Coleman and point guard Baron Davis, the third overall draft pick. The lineup of Wesley, Jones, Mason, Coleman, and Campbell tore through much of the season, but on January 12, 2000 Bobby Phills was killed in an automobile accident. His number was retired on February 9. The team returned to the playoffs, where they succumbed to the Philadelphia 76ers. Jones led the league in steals, but in the offseason he and Mason were shipped to the Heat in exchange for Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown.

The season, however, was overshadowed by events off the court. The team's popularity had begun to sag due to fan discontent with Shinn's personnel moves; he had reportedly traded Mourning and several other stars out of an unwillingness to pay them market value. Michael Jordan, a North Carolina native, began negotiations to become part-owner of the team, but talks collapsed when Shinn refused to grant Jordan total control over the basketball side of the operation.

The event that generated the most headlines came when a woman claimed that Shinn had raped her in 1997. While he was able to fend off a civil suit, the trial severely tarnished his reputation in the city. The team's attendance dropped off even further and never recovered; the consensus was that while Charlotte was as basketball-crazy as ever, fans took out their anger at Shinn on the team.

In 2000–01 the Hornets, with the lineup of Davis, Wesley, Mashburn, Brown and Campbell made it back to the playoffs, where they upset the third-seeded Heat and made it to the conference semifinals for the third time in franchise history, before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. They returned the following season by beating the Orlando Magic in the first round, but were upended by the New Jersey Nets in five games in the Conference Semifinals. Many thought this was because of Jamal Mashburn missing the playoffs.

Leaving Charlotte

While the Hornets continued to put a competitive team on the court, the team's attendance fell dramatically, in large part because Shinn was now a pariah in the city. For much of the early part of the 21st century, the Hornets ranked at or near the bottom of the league in attendance, a marked contrast to their first years in the league.

Shinn had become increasingly discontented with the Coliseum, which had a limited number of luxury boxes. He finally issued an ultimatum: unless the city built a new arena at no cost to him, the Hornets would leave town. The city initially refused, leading Shinn to consider moving the team to either Norfolkmarker, Louisvillemarker, St. Louismarker, or Memphismarker (However Memphis earned the Grizzlies from Vancouvermarker a year earlier), of which only St. Louis is a larger media market than Charlotte.

Finally, a new arena in Uptown (what would eventually become the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, later the Time Warner Cable Arenamarker) was included in a non-binding referendum for a larger arts-related package, and Shinn withdrew his application to move the team. Polls showed the referendum on its way to passage. However, just days before the referendum, Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance. The veto prompted many of the city's black ministers to oppose the referendum; they felt it was immoral for the city to build a new arena when city employees could not afford to make a living.

After the failed referendum, city leaders then devised a way to build a new arena in a way that did not require voter support, but let it be known that they would not even consider building it unless Shinn sold the team. While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger owners. The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to seriously consider a move to New Orleans. Although New Orleans was a smaller television market, a deal was quickly made to play at the New Orleans Arenamarker, next door to the Louisiana Superdomemarker. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the deal. As part of a deal with the city, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years later as the Charlotte Bobcats.

In a 2008 interview with the Charlotte Observer, Shinn (who has not returned to Charlotte since the Hornets moved) admitted that the "bad judgment I made in my life" played a role in the Hornets' departure. He also said that if he had it to do all over again, he would not have withdrawn from the public after the sexual assault trial. Shinn emphasized how he was making amends by committing to New Orleans, going out and saying, "I've made enough mistakes in my life. I'm not going to make one here. This city needs us here. We're going to make this (New Orleans) thing work."

New Orleans (pre-Katrina)

2002–2004: NBA returns to the Big Easy

The Hornets opened their inaugural season in New Orleans on October 30, 2002, against the Utah Jazz, who were originally in New Orleans and called the New Orleans Jazz, with a 100–75 win; "Pistol" Pete Maravich had his number posthumously retired during halftime. It was the first regular season NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17 years (there were a few exhibition games played through the years including the then Charlotte Hornets in New Orleans in 2000). They qualified for the playoffs for the fourth straight year in 2002–03, but were beaten by Philadelphia again. Jamal Mashburn also missed most of these playoffs.

After the season, the team unexpectedly fired Silas. He was replaced by Tim Floyd. The Hornets got off to a 17–7 start, but sputtered at the end and finished 41–41, narrowly missing out on home court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They played the Miami Heat in the first round, but Dwyane Wade's last second shot sunk the Hornets in Game One of the series. The teams ended up winning all their respective home games after that, but Wade's shot was the difference as the Heat won 4–3.

2004–2005: Early struggles in the West

After the season, Floyd was fired and the team hired Byron Scott to be their head coach. Because of the expansion, the Hornets were now forced to play in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference which included four playoff teams in the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Memphis Grizzlies. The team was not expected to compete for a playoff spot with such tough competition. In a season marred by injury to the team's three all-stars (Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire, and Jamal Mashburn) an 0–8 start quickly became a 2–29 record (including a one-point loss in overtime to their replacements, the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, in the team's first game back in Charlotte since relocating). This started a watch of how bad their record could get, threatening the Philadelphia 76ers' record of a 9–73 season. The team performed better in January and February with the emerging play of fan favorite Dan Dickau, but the season was essentially over before it started with the horrendous start. As a result of the lack of success, the team's roster was reshaped, with older veterans Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn traded to facilitate a rebuilding process. The team found stronger support for their younger, scrappier players than they did the previous year. They also acquired Jimmy Jackson from the Houston Rockets, but Jackson never reported to the team (which surprisingly was supported by leading NBA analysts on radio shows and TV networks) and was traded again, this time to the Phoenix Suns for Maciej Lampe, Casey Jacobsen, and Jackson Vroman, none of whom made a significant impact. The Hornets finished 18-64--tied for the second-worst record in the league, and the franchise's first losing season in 15 years. With the fourth pick in the NBA draft lottery, the Hornets got future all-star, point guard Chris Paul.

Hurricane Katrina and relocation to Oklahoma City

Due to the catastrophic devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina upon the communities of southeastern Louisianamarker, the Hornets franchise temporarily relocated their base of operations to Oklahoma Citymarker in 2005–06 and 2006–07. During this time, the franchise was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. In these two seasons, the vast majority of home games were played at the Ford Centermarker in Oklahoma City, while a few remained at New Orleans Arenamarker. Their practice facility while in Oklahoma City was the Sawyer Centermarker on the campus of Southern Nazarene University marker. and the team held its 2006 training camp at their New Orleans practice facility, the Alario Center, in Westwego, Louisianamarker.

For the 2005–06 season, the team played 36 games in Oklahoma Citymarker, with one game taking place at the Lloyd Noble Centermarker on the campus of the University of Oklahomamarker due to a conflict at the Ford Center; three in New Orleans; and one at the Pete Maravich Assembly Centermarker on the campus of LSUmarker. The intent had been to play 5 games in all at Baton Rouge, but strong progress made on restoring the New Orleans Arenamarker made the return to New Orleansmarker a better option.

The Hornets started off the 2005–06 NBA season better than expected, but did not make the playoffs. Backup center Chris Andersen received a two-year ban due to a drug violation, it seemed to spark the Hornets to a hot streak, and shortly after the Hornets briefly held the sixth seed in the West. Eventually, however, the team went cold, losing 12 out of 13 games to drop out of the playoff race, setting an ignominious NBA record in the process when they scored 16 points in the second half of a game in Los Angeles versus the Clippers. The Hornets rebounded to make one final push at the end of the season for a playoff spot, but finished 38–44, 10th place in the Western Conference and 6 games out of a playoff spot.Despite the losing record, Chris Paul won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in a landslide, and several Hornets were also in contention for other individual awards.

On June 28, the Hornets selected Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft. They also selected Marcus Vinicius from Brazilmarker in the 2nd round.

The Hornets opted to keep their base of operations in Oklahoma City for the 2006–07 season due to the continued recovery efforts in New Orleans but promised to return to New Orleans full time, possibly as early as 2007.

The Hornets made major roster changes after the 2005–06 season in hopes of advancing to the Western Conference postseason for the first time ever. They traded J.R. Smith and P.J. Brown to the Chicago Bulls for Tyson Chandler. They let Speedy Claxton sign with the Atlanta Hawks, but filled their backup PG position with free agents Bobby Jackson and Jannero Pargo. They also inked Peja Stojakovic from the Indiana Pacers.

During the 2006–2007 season, the Hornets played 35 home games in Oklahoma City and 6 in New Orleans during the season. The team finished the regular season with a 39–43 record, one more win than the 2005–2006 season.

The team's successful operation in Oklahoma City arguably contributed to the city being named as the new home of the former Seattle SuperSonics franchise starting in the 2008–09 NBA season (see Oklahoma City Thunder).

New Orleans (post-Katrina)

2007–2008: Back to the Big Easy

The Hornets franchise returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–2008 season, with all 41 home games played in the New Orleans Arena. League officials had stressed from the beginning the desire for the franchise to return to New Orleans once it proved feasible and that they would make a good-faith effort to assist with the recovery. To that end, the 2008 NBA All-Star Game and its accompanying festivities were awarded to New Orleans and a serious marketing campaign was commenced in February 2007. Subsequently, various corporate sponsorship agreements were signed (under the umbrella of the Crescent City Champions), with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Capital One, and Cox Communications among them.

Attendance at the New Orleans Arenamarker, while tepid at first, picked up considerably in the months of March and April 2008 with the team registering sell-outs in 12 of its last 17 regular season home games, and the final 13 total games (including playoffs). The team has also publicly announced the sale of over 10,000 season tickets for the 2008–2009 season, a record total since the relocation from Charlotte.

The Hornets largely stood pat heading into the 2007–2008 season. They did, however, sign free agents Morris Peterson and Melvin Ely, while letting go of former first round draft pick Cedric Simmons. The club also extended the contract of reserve guard Jannero Pargo, and selected Kansas forward Julian Wright with the 13th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Healthier than previous seasons, the Hornets stormed to a 29–12 record at the halfway mark. Having the best record in the Western Conference on February 3 meant that Byron Scott would coach the 2008 Western Conference All-Stars at home in the New Orleans Arena. Scott was joined by two of his players, as both Chris Paul and David West were selected as All-Star reserves. Chris Paul was nominated for NBA MVP 2008 and placed 2nd in voting. On February 21 the Hornets made an in-season trade with the Houston Rockets acquiring swingman Bonzi Wells and backup point guard Mike James for veteran guard Bobby Jackson.

The Hornets completed the regular season with a record of 56–26, marking the season the most successful ever. The Hornets also won their first ever division title, winning the Southwest Division ahead of the San Antonio Spurs. Having clinched the 2nd overall seed for the Western Conference, the Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. The Hornets posted decisive wins against the 3rd seed San Antonio Spurs in the first two games of their first ever Western Conference Semi-finals since the move to New Orleans, but eventually lost to the defending champion Spurs 3 games to 4 in a tightly contested series.

In August 2008, the Hornets unveiled a modified logo and new uniforms with the colors of Creole blue, purple, and Mardi Gras gold, and after six seasons, the pinstripes were reinstated on the uniforms. The script was changed as an allusion to the wrought iron architecture of New Orleans. An additional third logo was introduced, with the "NOLA" abbreviation and a trumpet.

2008–2009: Great expectations

Having experienced the most successful season in franchise history, both in the regular season and the playoffs, the 2009 NBA season was viewed with great expectations for the Hornets franchise. Several pundits picked the Hornets to repeat as winners of the Southwest Division and as a potential Western Conference champion.

The core players from the previous season were all back for 2008–2009. Swingman James Posey was signed as a free agent from the Boston Celtics in July, while reserve guard Jannero Pargo opted for the Russian Basketball Super League. Prior to the 2008 NBA Draft the Portland Trail Blazers acquired the 27th pick in the draft from the Hornets for cash considerations.

In December the Hornets solidified the point guard position by acquiring Antonio Daniels in a three-team deal, giving up seldomly used guard Mike James and a future second-round draft pick. More notably, on February 18 it was announced that starting center Tyson Chandler had been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forwards Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox in what was generally perceived as a payroll-shedding move. However, within a day, the trade was rescinded due to concerns regarding Chandler's turf toe.

For the second year in a row the Hornets were represented with two players at the NBA All Star Game as Chris Paul was voted in by the fans as a starter, and David West was selected as a reserve by the NBA coaches.

The season in itself was up and down for the Hornets, and by April it was clear that the record-breaking 56–26 record of 2007–2008 was unattainable in 2008–2009. This can to some extent be attributed to injury problems, most notably to Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic. The Hornets finished the season with a disappointing 49–33 record, only good enough for 4th in the Southwest Division and 7th in the Western Conference. Paired up with the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, the Hornets commenced the post-season in a sour manner, losing both of the first two games decisively in Denver. Trailing 2–1, the next game proved brutal for the Hornets. The Hornets tied the worst loss in playoff history in a 121–63 beating. They shot 31.5% from the field with 13.3% 3-point shooting. The banged up Hornets were subsequently eliminated from the 2009 NBA playoffs in Game 5, beginning an off-season of speculation on the future construction of the team.

2009–2010: New direction

In the aftermath of a highly unsuccessful end to the 2009 NBA season and the in-season attempt to trade starting center Tyson Chandler for expiring contracts, the New Orleans Hornets were widely perceived to be looking to trim the payroll. Indeed, at the start of the NBA free agency period on July 1st, the Hornets had the highest payroll of all teams in the league, topping $77 Million. When the luxury tax level was set on July 7th, it left the Hornets in excess of $7 million in the tax zone.

Despite comments from the team owner- and leadership about the intention to compete and building a winner, it was still seen as quite surprising when on July 28th, the Hornets landed center Emeka Okafor from the Charlotte Bobcats for Tyson Chandler. While the move allowed the Hornets to shed $1.3 Million of the 2009-2010 payroll, they also took on the remainder of Okafors contract valued at just under $63 Million for 5 years. The day after, on July 29th, the frontcourt was bolstered further with the signing of free agent forward Ike Diogu. In addition, on August 27th the services of free agent forward/center Sean Marks was retained.

The backcourt was earlier strengthened via the draft. On June 25, 2009, the Hornets drafted Darren Collison at the 21st pick of the 2009 NBA Draft . Hornets also traded two future second round picks to the Miami Heat for the 43th pick Marcus Thornton. On August 12, 2009, the Hornets traded starter Rasual Butler to the Clippers for a 2016 second round draft pick, in an elaborate attempt to lower the payroll. Butler was slated to earn $3.9 Million for the season, but due to the Hornets being in the tax zone, those savings were effectively doubled. On September 9th, the Hornets traded guard Antonio Daniels to the Minnesota Timberwolves for guard Bobby Brown and forward Darius Songaila.

On November 12, 2009, the Hornets fired head coach Byron Scott after starting the season 3-6. Scott was replaced with General Manager Jeff Bower. The team also added former head coach Tim Floyd as an assistant coach.

On November 18, the Hornets unveiled brand new purple, green, and gold uniforms, exclusively during the Mardi Gras holiday games.

Team logos

Image:Charlotte Hornets.PNG|1988-2002, original Charlotte Hornets logoImage:New Orleans Hornets 2002-2008.svg|2002–2008, primary logoImage:New Orleans Hornets alternate logo 2002-2008.svg|2002–2008, secondary logoImage:New Orleans Hornets.svg|2008–present, primary logoImage:New Orleans Hornets alternate logo.svg|2007–present, secondary logo ("Fleur-de-bee")Image:NOLA.PNG|2008–present, tertiary logo (New Orleans, Louisianamarker abbreviation)

Season-by-season records

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Hornets. For the full season-by-season history, see List of New Orleans Hornets seasons.

League Champions Conference Champions Division Champions Playoff Berth

Season League Conference Division Regular season Post Season Results Awards
Finish Wins Losses Pct.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
2005–06 NBA Western Southwest 4th 38 44 .463 Chris Paul (ROY)
2006–07 NBA Western Southwest 4th 39 43 .476
New Orleans Hornets
2007–08 NBA Western Southwest 1st 56 26 .683 Won First Round (Dallas) 4–1

Lost Conference Semifinals (San Antonio) 3–4
Byron Scott (ASG Coach, COY)
2008–09 NBA Western Southwest 4th 49 33 .598 Lost First Round (Denver) 1–4
2009–10 NBA Western Southwest --- 7 9 .438
Playoffs 32 41 .438 Playoff series record: 5–11 (Charlotte, 4–7; New Orleans, 1–4)

Home arenas


Basketball Hall of Famersmarker

Individual awards

Rookie of the Year

Sixth Man of the Year

Coach of the Year

All-Star Game MVP

All-Star West Head Coach
  • Byron Scott – 2008

Executive of the Year

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

NBA All-Defensive First Team
  • Chris Paul – 2009

NBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • Anthony Mason – 1997
  • Eddie Jones – 1999, 2000
  • P.J. Brown – 2001
  • Chris Paul – 2008
NBA Rookie First Team

NBA Rookie Second Team

Retired numbers

Current roster

Head coaches

Name From To Regular Season Postseason Notes
Dick Harter 1988 1990 28 94 -- -- 8–32 for 1989–90 season; Final game on January 27, 1990
Gene Littles 1990 1991 37 87 -- -- 11–31 for 1989–90 season after firing of Dick Harter
Allan Bristow 1991 1996 207 203 5 8 Earned first playoff berth and playoff series win in franchise history
Dave Cowens 1996 1999 109 70 4 8 4–11 for 1998–99 season; Final game on March 5, 1999
Paul Silas 1999 2003 208 155 13 14 22–13 for 1998–99 season after firing of Dave Cowens
Tim Floyd 2003 2004 41 41 3 4
Byron Scott 2004 2009 203 216 7 5 3–6 for 2009–10 season; Final game on November 11, 2009
Jeff Bower 2009 present 4 3 -- --


  1. Montpelier - James Madison University Magazine
  2. ESPN - The Mourning After - Classic
  3. Charlotte Hornets (1988-2002)
  4. World Class City, Third World Paycheck. Creative Loafing, 2001-12-29
  5. - Council willing to amend 'new owner' statement
  6. Green, Ron Jr. Shinn: I messed up in Charlotte. Charlotte Observer, 2008-11-01.
  7. Eye for victory
  8. Sawyer Center
  9.{E4161849-E79C-4F0C-AD27-33DC07C3ED45}&sc=-1&ni=761&fr=news 1
  10. Hornets new uniforms and logos

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