Friday, November 8, 2013

Remembering the Charlotte Hornets 25 years later: The First Win

On selected days during this Charlotte Bobcats season, we are continuing our series looking back at some of the key moments during this, the 25th Anniversary of the Charlotte Hornets first season, and in this installment, we'll be talking about the night that the Hornets would finally notch its first win as a franchise, back on November 8, 1988.

A young team earns its first win in franchise history

The Charlotte Hornets were 0-2 entering that night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Charlotte Coliseum before a crowd of 18,865, and on the day of the game, Hornets owner George Shinn was addressing the media about a possible name change for the facility, since many of the media members were trying to figure out where in the world was Charlotte located at during his quest to bring an NBA team to the city. Some thought Charlotte was located in South Carolina, while others thought it was in Virginia, or West Virginia, but we all know that Charlotte is located right here in North Carolina.  

It was during that meeting with the media, that Shinn realized that his left arm was shaking, as Spencer Stolpen, the team's president at the time was checking on Shinn to see if he was okay when he came into the offices at 100 Hive Drive on the day of the game, as Stoplen realized that Shinn wasn't feeling good, and coincidentally, Stolpen had to take Shinn to the hospital, as he did not realize that he had a stroke, and many of the fans that were heading to the game that night were worried about the man who made it all happen for Charlotte to get an NBA team.

As for the game that night against the Los Angeles Clippers, it would see another first in Charlotte Hornets history, the first-ever Double-Double.  It would be recorded by Kurt Rambis, who would score 17 points on just 7-of-9 shooting from the field, to go along with 14 rebounds, while Kelly Tripucka would lead the way for Charlotte with 24 points to lift the Hornets to its first ever win in franchise history, with a 117-105 win over the L.A. Clippers at the Coliseum, sending the 18,865 fans home happy, and the players were indeed worried about George Shinn after he suffered a stroke earlier in the day, and when the game ended, they all signed a basketball and gave it to George in honor of the team's first win in franchise history.

The Hornets first win on November 8th, 1988 was another special moment in the history of the Charlotte Hornets during the 1988-89 campaign, as we continue to look back at the team's memorable moments from that first season in honor of the 25th Anniversary of their debut, and looking ahead to the long-awaited return of the Hornets to Charlotte in 2014-15.

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