Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Tuesday, April 29, the morning after the era of the Charlotte Bobcats ended with a 109-98 loss to the Miami Heat.
The Bobcats are going away now, to be replaced by the Charlotte Hornets next season in a return to a name of historical significance in the North Carolina city, not just for basketball reasons, either.
The Hornets, of course, played in Charlotte from 1988 until 2002, when then-owner George Shinn moved them to New Orleans. That franchise’s decision to rename itself the Pelicans this season opened the door for Charlotte’s NBA entry to take back the name that really was rightfully its.
But the hornet has much deeper roots in Charlotte, dating all the way to the Revolutionary War.
According to the Mecklenburg Historical Association, Lord Cornwallis—an officer in the British army—came to Charlotte in the fall of 1780 with plans on taking the city and destroying the Continental Army, but it didn’t work out that way.
Instead, Cornwallis left after 10 days and called Charlotte “a hornet’s nest of rebellion.”
So, yeah, a franchise nickname with more than 230 years of history on its side is good enough for me.
The Bobcats never really took root in Charlotte, in part because the name seemed like such an ego move by original owner Bob Johnson and because the product on the court just wasn’t very good.
In 10 seasons, the Bobcats were 293-511, a .364 winning percentage, and they were 0-8 in two playoff appearances.
Charlotte had just two winning seasons as the Bobcats. In 2009-10 under coach Larry Brown, the Bobcats were 44-38 before being swept by Orlando in the first round and this season, under coach Steve Clifford, Charlotte was 43-39 and was swept by Miami in the first round.
The Bobcats’ career scoring leader is none other than Gerald Wallace with 7,437 points. Wallace was the Bobcats’ first (and only) All-Star in 2010, although a better-than-fair argument could be made that Al Jefferson was worthy of a nod this season.
Farewell, Bobcats. Hello again, Hornets.
The Daily NBA Fix will do what it did all season long, deliver highlights, game capsules, the top and bottom five players and, yes, we’ll still be handing out the Goose Egg, Clean and Sober and Ironman awards. We’ll also have informational tidbits and a look at the daily lines for those who want to drop a buck or two on a wager.
Check out the highlights below from the night that was, then get into the game capsules (home teams in CAPS).