They did have some great teams, most notably the 1992-93 Hornets which beat the Celtics in the first round, and the 50-win team from 1994-95 that lost in the first round because it was playing the Chicago Bulls with a returning Michael Jordan.
However, while these teams are far in the past, Hornets fans today have a reason to be joyful about their future.
The current Hornets roster boasts some great talents. Right now, guys like LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Miles Bridges have great perspectives. Additionally, rookies James Bouknight and Kai Jones can also contribute to the great future of the franchise. Now, it is all about keeping them all together and making smart moves.
Here are three reasons why Hornets fans should be buzzing for the future!
Hornets future prospects
Coming into the league, there were serious doubts about the youngest Ball brother. He did not go to college, played for an array of teams basically set up for him, and had a doubtful attitude. However, when the Hornets got him into the squad, all the doubts were banished. He finished the season as the Rookie of the Year, and for good reason.
He scored 15.7 points per game, added 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists. All of this while also coming from an injury, which took him away from the court for 20 games. After the injury, he had 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists, adding 1.6 steals per game as well. Those are not big drop-offs and it should give the Hornets a lot of confidence for the future play of the youngster.
Additionally, he also seems humbler since arriving into the league. Due to his family and the publicity he had since his brother Lonzo Ball arrived at UCLA, there was an image of LaMelo that the media portrayed and he reiterated sometimes. That is somewhat understandable, as he got a signature shoe before even being eligible for college and being in the center of attention since he was a teenager. However, all reports coming out of Charlotte constantly said that he is willing to work and willing to learn and that he is very humble when it comes to his more experienced teammates. Those are great signs for the future and LaMelo will carry this team into a better tomorrow.
Current roster, apart from LaMelo
The Hornets roster is now in a better place than it was for the last decade. While there were some good teams around former star Kemba Walker, the Hornets are finally gearing up for the future in the proper way. Apart from Ball, some prospects on the team should actively excite all Hornets fans around the globe. Two can be outlined here as guys who should be the building blocks – PJ Washington and Miles Bridges.
Starting with Bridges, he is the type of player that would walk into the rotation of every team in the NBA. He might not have the team success like his brother Mikel in Phoenix, but he has all the potential to be a great wing for this Hornets team. After a slower first season, he has been averaging around 12.8 points per game in his last two seasons, shooting 46% from the field and 36.4% from behind the arc. Bridges is the perfect complementary player to a star like LaMelo, as he will do his job without commanding much of the offense.
PJ Washington is similar to Bridges in a few senses. Both are not stars but have the potential to be great complimentary pieces. Both are also not commanding a huge part of the offense, but are reliable when the trust to sink a shot is put in them. Washington is, again, a complementary piece who will be a key starter for the future of the Hornets. He is a power forward with a sweet shooting stroke and someone who benefits a lot from playing with a gifted passer like LaMelo. Ball can rely on Washington to be there when the pass comes and to hit the shot, which is a great thing for a young team like this.
The Michael Jordan effect
Jordan is one of the greatest players in the history of this league, but he does not have a great record as an owner. His Hornets teams were not great and some of his executive decisions were not helping. However, it is incredibly hard to imagine that he does not have an active role in this squad.
While Jordan is a mythic person for a lot of the NBA, these players get to see him involved with the team. While it can be debated whether Jordan is the greatest ever, his winning mentality cannot be questioned. His statements about winning and overall playing mentality are iconic in every way and now he has a squad of young players who are just starting their careers. If he can transfer some of that mentality to them while they are still in development, Hornets fans might be watching some basketball in April in the next few years.