Top 50 Charlotte Hornets
Entering the National Basketball Association as an expansion team in 1988, the Charlotte Hornets have had an interesting history, though not necessarily a successful one. Many speculated that the city could not support professional basketball, despite North Carolina being a haven for the college game.
The pundits were proven wrong as though they played like an expansion team, the attendance was huge and they led the NBA in that category during their inaugural season. Charlotte suffered through the aches and pains of being an expansion team, but finally, they made the playoffs and has a few good players which gave them national attention, though when they slipped back, the attendance wasn’t there and they fell to the bottom in that category and management moved the team to New Orleans following the end of the 2001/02 season.
While that might seem like it would doom professional basketball in Charlotte, the state had already shown it could support hockey (the Carolina Hurricanes) and football (the Carolina Panthers) the NBA wanted to give it another try and in 2004, the Charlotte Bobcats were born, though again feeling the pains of expansion.
Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, the team sought to come up with a team that reflected their own region. For the 2013-14 season, they were renamed the Pelicans, and the city of Charlotte looked to get back their old name, which after one year they had. This is where it becomes very interesting for our purposes.
The new Charlotte Hornets absorbed the history of the old Charlotte Hornets, which splits the career of many “Hornets” whose best years are divided between New Orleans and Charlotte for our Top 50s.
This list is up to the end of the 2020/21 season. Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.