Charlotte are the ultimate nostalgia team for any die-hard NBA fan. The classic pin-stripe uniforms, fan favourite players and classic playoff moments in the 90s and early 2000s.
Despite being at the heart of elite college basketball, their professional team has never truly experienced any form of success.
Now, things are worse than ever.
Michael Jordan acquired the then Bobcats before the 2009-10 season.
Since Michael Jordan acquired the team, Charlotte have made the post-season just 3 times. In those 3 years, they have won a total of 3 games, all of which came against Miami in the 2015-16 season.
Since Michael Jordan acquired the team, Charlotte have had 8 draft lottery picks. The best of these lottery picks was Kemba Walker. Kemba made 3 All Star teams and 1 All-NBA Third Team during his 8 seasons with the Hornets before jetting off to Boston in the most recent free agency. Other lottery picks for the Hornets in that time include Frank Kaminsky, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller and Gerald Henderson. Whilst the jury is still out on Malik Monk and Miles Bridges, the Hornets do not have a good track record whatsoever.
No pressure, P.J. Washington.
Draft horror stories for the Hornets occur way too often for a professional franchise. Steve Clifford wanted Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 draft but was overruled and Malik Monk was drafted instead. Charlotte were offered three first-round picks by the Celtics in the 2015 draft for the #9 pick (Danny Ainge was in love with Justice Winslow), Michael Jordan turned it down to draft Frank Kaminsky. In the 2011 draft, despite having a successful pick in Kemba, Charlotte also traded Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the pick that would turn into Tobias Harris just to jump up the draft boards and pick Bismack Biyombo.
Since Michael Jordan acquired the team, Charlotte have had 2 All Stars. Gerald Wallace made the team in Jordan’s first season with the team, and Kemba Walker. Hardly able to take credit for the All-Star selection of Gerald Wallace, Jordan only has 1 All-Star to be proud of during his tenure.
Since Michael Jordan acquired the team, Charlotte’s players have not received any individual awards. No Rookie of the Year, no Defensive Player of the Year, No Sixth man of the year and certainly no Coach of the Year or Most Valuable Player.
Since Michael Jordan acquired the team, Charlotte have been completely stagnant. Accomplished nothing. Zero.
Of course, it is easy to criticise the way the Hornets have been run in hindsight, the beauty of seeing how things pan out makes it much simpler to condemn Jordan when looking back on decisions that have been made. Selecting Kidd-Gilchrist over Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard, Cody Zeller over Giannis and Frank Kaminsky over Devin Booker and Myles Turner.
Ultimately, however, it has been Jordan’s job to deliver success to a professional team that is situated in a hot bed for elite basketball, especially with a fan base which has never experienced any form of success in their entire history as a team.
Jordan has had a job to do as an owner, and he has whiffed completely.
The Hornets have handed out bad contracts seemingly at will, most notably being that of Nicolas Batum and Terry Rozier (yes, I’m already saying it’s a bad contract). Low-balling the only Star player that the team has seen in a decade is the perfect encapsulation of Jordan’s tenure with the Hornets.
The only notable record that Charlotte have obtained since being acquired by Michael Jordan was during the 2011-12 season when they went 7-41 during a lockout shortened year. The worst winning percentage by an NBA franchise in league history.
Jordan is a prime example that just because someone can be a star when they lace up their basketball shoes, making the decisions in the front office can be a completely different challenge altogether.
Until the Hornets make moves to achieve any form of relevancy in the league, the Hornets will dwell in mediocrity, the no man’s land of the NBA. North Carolina is a college ball state, and I do not see that changing any time soon.
Michael Jordan, sell the team.