Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hornets Extra: A history of Charlotte's NBA draft picks in the NBA Draft

In 2 days from now, the NBA Draft will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the draft will have a special significance for the Charlotte Hornets: It will be their first draft appearance in 13 years, as the team continues its transition from the Bobcats back to the Hornets moniker, which became official last month.

Since 1988, Charlotte's NBA teams have participated in the NBA Draft(except the 1997 and 2010 Drafts), and some of the players turned out to be strong players for the original Hornets franchise, and during the then-Bobcats era from 2004-2014, while others, well, let's just not get into this discussion, okay.  The Hornets come into the draft with the 9th and 24th picks in the first round, and the 45th pick in the second round, and we got the 9th pick from the Detroit Pistons back during the Draft Lottery on May 20th, the same day the "Hornets" name officially returned home to Charlotte, and by looking at some of the different mock drafts I've been checking out, the consensus of them have Charlotte taking Doug McDermott out of Creighton at number 9, and P.J. Hairston from the NBA Development League by way of the University of North Carolina at 24, while others have Charlotte taking Nik Stauskas from the University of Michigan, and many believe that some of the mock drafts could possibly hold up come draft night, but it's up to the general managers to decide which player could best fit the franchise.

And for us fans here in Charlotte, it's up to Michael Jordan, General Manager Rich Cho, and head coach Steve Clifford to look for a player that can take the Hornets into the next chapter in their history, after the then-Bobcats coming off a successful 2013-14 season that saw them finish the campaign with a 44-38 record, before being swept in 4 straight games by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.

Back to the story about the history of the Hornets/Bobcats picks in the NBA Draft.  The draft has produced a lot of top talent for the original Hornets franchise(1988-2002), and the Bobcats era from 2004-2014, and with the draft coming up in 2 days, this give us time to do a refresher on all of the draft picks that Charlotte's NBA teams have had in the NBA Draft dating back to the original Hornets first year in 1988.


1988 NBA Draft

First Round: Rex Chapman(8th overall pick, University of Kentucky)
Second Round: Tom Tolbert(34th overall pick, Arizona)
Third Round: Jeff Moore(58th overall, Auburn; Never played in NBA)

1989 NBA Draft

First Round: J.R. Reid(5th overall pick, University of North Carolina)
Second Round: Dyron Nix(29th overall pick, University of Tennessee)

1990 NBA Draft

First Round: Kendall Gill(5th overall pick, University of Illinois)
Second Round: Steve Scheffler(39th overall pick, Purdue University)

1991 NBA Draft

First Round: Larry Johnson(1st overall pick, UNLV; Rookie of the Year in 1991-92)
Second Round: Kevin Lynch(28th overall pick, Minnesota; Hornets acquired the selection from Denver)

1992 NBA Draft

First Round: Alonzo Mourning(2nd overall pick, Georgetown University)
Second Round: Tony Bennett(35th overall pick, Wisconsin-Green Bay; now head coach at the University of Virginia)

1993 NBA Draft

First Round: Greg Graham(17th overall pick, Indiana University); Scott Burrell(20th overall pick, UCONN)

1994 NBA Draft

Second Round: Darrin Hancock(38th overall pick, Kansas)

1995 NBA Draft

First Round: George Zidek(22nd overall pick, UCLA)

1996 NBA Draft

First Round: Kobe Bryant(13th overall pick, Lower Merion HS; traded to L.A. Lakers for Vlade Divac); Tony Delk(16th overall pick, University of Kentucky)
Second Round: Malik Rose(44th overall pick, Drexel University)

1997 NBA Draft: No picks

1998 NBA Draft

First Round: Ricky Davis(21st overall pick, Iowa)
Second Round: Andrew Betts, Long Beach State; Never played a game in the NBA)

1999 NBA Draft

First Round: Baron Davis(3rd overall pick, UCLA)
Second Round: Lee Nailon(43rd overall pick, TCU)

2000 NBA Draft

First Round: Jamaal Magloire(19th overall pick, University of Kentucky)

2001 NBA Draft

First Round: Kirk Haston(16th overall pick, Indiana University)

CHARLOTTE BOBCATS DRAFT HISTORY(2004-2014; BOLD denotes player is still with franchise)

2004 NBA Draft

First Round: Emeka Okafor(2nd overall pick, UCONN, 2004-05 Rookie of the Year)
Second Round: Bernard Robinson(46th overall pick, Michigan)

2005 NBA Draft

First Round: Raymond Felton(5th overall selection, University of North Carolina); Sean May(13th overall selection, University of North Carolina)

2006 NBA Draft

First Round: Adam Morrison(3rd overall selection, Gonzaga University)
Second Round: Ryan Hollins(50th overall selection, UCLA)

2007 NBA Draft

First Round: Brandan Wright(8th overall selection, University of North Carolina; Traded to Golden State in exchange for Jason Richardson); Jared Dudley(22nd overall selection, Boston College)

2008 NBA Draft

First Round: D.J. Augustin(8th overall selection, Texas); Alexis Ajinca(20th overall selection, France)
Second Round: Kyle Weaver(38th overall selection, Washington State)

2009 NBA Draft

First Round: GERALD HENDERSON(12th overall selection, Duke University)
Second Round: Derrick Brown(40th overall selection, Xavier University); Robert Vaden(54th overall selection, UAB; Never played in the regular season and playoffs)

2010 NBA Draft: No picks

2011 NBA Draft

First Round:BISMACK BIYOMBO(acquired from Sacramento with 7th overall pick, Congo); KEMBA WALKER(9th overall selection, UCONN); Tobias Harris(19th overall selection, Tennessee; traded to Milwaukee
Second Round: Jeremy Tyler(39th overall selection, Tokyo Apache; rights traded to Golden State)

2012 NBA Draft

First Round: MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST(2nd overall selection, University of Kentucky)
Second Round: JEFFERY TAYLOR(31st overall selection, Vanderbilt)

2013 NBA Draft

First Round: CODY ZELLER(4th overall selection, University of North Carolina; made the NBA All-Rookie third team in 2013-14 season)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hornets Extra: The evolution of the Charlotte Hornets uniform

There's a certain saying that goes "Clothes make the man", but when it comes to sports, there's an expression that goes like this: "Clothes make the team".  Many teams uniforms tell a story about a team's history, legacy, and tradition to a city where they call home, such as the New York Yankees and the iconic pinstripes, the Dallas Cowboys, with their legendary "Blue Star" logo, and the legendary teams of the NBA, including the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and the New York Knicks.  But no team in the NBA has a unique history, legacy, and tradition than that of the Charlotte Hornets.

Tomorrow morning, the Hornets will introduce their new uniforms the team will wear starting next season, and the uniforms will be slightly different than the ones we grew up seeing on the floor during the original Hornets era from 1988-2002, and the uniforms were hands down, one of the most popular jerseys in NBA history, and the connection to the uniforms was that they were designed by a native North Carolinian, Alexander Julian.  

Kelly Tripucka(left) models the Charlotte Hornets road jersey, designed by
Alexander Julian back in 1988.
He was the first fashion designer to design uniforms for an NBA team, and during the design process, he suggested that one of the colors would be pink, but then-owner George Shinn was not fond of that decision at the time he announced that Julian would be the one responsible to design the original Hornets uniforms.  So, with that being said, he would come up with a color we would never see before, and that would be the color teal.  He said "Teal was idea to use because it was fresh and new and exciting and looked good on every color of skin tone."  Julian said in an interview last year with Charlotte Magazine.  

Julian also realized that purple would be one of the team's colors as well, to match the team's "Dribbling Hornet" logo, designed by Jerrell Caskey of Hendrick Sportswear and unveiled on November 12, 1987, and he added in some Kelly Green and Carolina Blue to round out the unique pinstripe design for the Hornets uniforms, which made its debut on July 20th, 1988 in both, New York City and at the Belk location at SouthPark Mall here in Charlotte, with Kelly Tripucka modeling the uniforms, and the teal jerseys would also be historic as well for the Hornets, as they became the first team to wear that jersey on the road full time.

And what did Alexander Julian get in return for designing the uniforms? 5 pounds of North Carolina barbecue that Shinn sent to his home in Connecticut, according to Julian.

In 1994, the Hornets unveiled the purple alternate jersey, and in time for the team's 10th anniversary season, they would get updated jerseys for the remainder of the team's run in Charlotte as they would get two pinstripes on the jerseys to mark the team 10 years of existence in Charlotte.

Of course, Julian was not picked to design the new Hornets jerseys this time around, as the team decided to stick with Jordan Brand throughout the uniform design process, and many of us fans are hoping that the new designs that will be unveiled tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. would possibly be somewhat of a combination of honoring the team's past while looking ahead to the future, as the new uniforms will absolutely be fresh and new for the Hornets when they hit the court in 2014-15.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hornets Extra: Hornets to play preseason game in Greenville; Summer League schedule released

Hornets to play preseason game in Greenville on October 10th

Yesterday afternoon, the Charlotte Hornets announced that the team will play a preseason home game against the Washington Wizards on October 10th at 7:00 p.m. in Greenville, South Carolina at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena(formerly the Bi-Lo Center). This marks the first time that the team has played in Greenville since the franchise's founding in 2004 as the then-Charlotte Bobcats, while the original Hornets franchise played 2 preseason games in Greenville in 1999 and 2000 at the then-Bi-Lo Center.

Tickets will go on sale for the preseason game in Greenville tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and Time Warner Cable Arena box offices, online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 704-HORNETS(467-6387). 

Hornets Summer League schedule released

The NBA officially released its 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League schedule today, and the Hornets will open up their summer league schedule on July 11th at 8:30 p.m. against the Golden State Warriors, as the Charlotte Hornets will hit the floor for the first time since 2002.  The Hornets will also be taking on the Sacramento Kings on July 13th at 6:00 p.m. and the following night, they will square off against the New York Knicks on July 14th(4:00 p.m.)  The games on July 13th and 14th will be aired on NBA TV.

The 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League will have a tournament-style format again this year, with each team playing three-games apiece from July 11-15th, before they are seeded in the tournament round, beginning on July 16th and running up to the championship game on July 21st, with games taking place at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas

The schedule is listed as follows(all times are EDT):

  • July 11th: Charlotte vs. Golden State Warriors(8:30 p.m.)
  • July 13th: Charlotte vs. Sacramento Kings(6:00 p.m., NBA TV)
  • July 14th: Charlotte vs. New York Knicks(4:00 p.m., NBA TV)
  • July 16-21st: To be determined

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hornets Extra: Jefferson named to All-NBA third team; Hugo makes his triumphant return tomorrow

Earlier today, the NBA announced its 2013-14 All-NBA team, and among the recipients for the honor, Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson was on the list, making the All-NBA third team.  Jefferson received a total of 191 points, including four first-place votes by the media that covers the NBA on a daily basis.  The honor is the first for Jefferson, who averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds for the then-Bobcats this past season, helping them to a 43-38 mark this season and to the playoffs.  He finished the season being ranked eighth in the NBA in rebounding, 11th in scoring, 23rd in field goal percentage(.509), 29th in blocks(1.1), and was tied for 30th in minutes played with 35.0

Jefferson recorded 29 games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, which is the second-best single-season total in the history of Charlotte NBA basketball since Larry Johnson recorded 32 games in the 1992-93 season for the original Charlotte Hornets franchise, with a career-best seven consecutive games from April 2nd-14th, tying "Grandmama" for the longest streak in Charlotte NBA history.

He becomes only the fifth player to be named to the All-NBA team in franchise history(dating back to the original Hornets first season in 1988-89), joining Larry Johnson(1992-93, All-NBA second team), Glen Rice(1996-97 All-NBA second team and 1997-98 All-NBA Third team), Anthony Mason(1996-97 Third Team), and Eddie Jones(1999-2000 Third Team).  Jefferson was thrilled to receive the honor, and when he came here, he wanted to turn the franchise into a contender this past season, and he delivered on his promise. "When I signed here, I had a feeling that we had a chance to do something special - and we did." Jefferson quoted.  "Looking back, we've come a long way."

Hugo the Hornet makes his long awaited return to Charlotte tomorrow

After 12 years, one of the most popular and beloved mascots in all of sports, and in NBA history, will finally make his long awaited return back home starting bright and early tomorrow morning.  Hugo the Hornet will officially be reborn at 7:30 a.m. atop the roof Time Warner Cable Arena, a.k.a. "The Hive", to begin a busy day of appearances to mark his return to "Buzz City", and to greet Hornets fans throughout the city as a way to welcome him back home to Charlotte. His appearances will include the following:

  • 7:30 a.m. - On top of the Time Warner Cable Arena roof
  • 9:00 a.m. - Lynx Blue Line(from Bland Street to Carson Boulevard)
  • 9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. - Lowe's at 217 Iverson Way in South End
  • 10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m. - Charlotte Fire Department station 1(221 North Myers Street)
  • 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. - Hornets Social Tweet-up(The corner of Trade and Tryon Streets in Center City)
  • 1:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - CMPD Eastway Division(3505 Central Avenue)
  • 2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. - Rama Road Elementary(1035 Rama Road)
  • 3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital(200 Hawthorne Lane)
  • 6:30 p.m. - Hornets Open House at Time Warner Cable Arena