By Cameron Lee
August 11, 2016
The Charlotte Hornets finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 48-34 record, the best since the franchise returned to the city in 2004 as the Bobcats, and the most wins in Charlotte’s professional basketball history since 1999. Charlotte’s basketball history, although short, compared to most major cities, has been compelling to say the least. From the rousing introduction of the franchise to the Queen City in 1988, to the buzzer-beating shot by Alonzo Mourning against the Celtics in their first playoff series victory, to the tragic death of Bobby Phills, and the ultimate departure of the team in 2002.
We’ve been through a lot over the years and, although the city was revitalized with the return of an NBA franchise in 2004 and a state-of-the-art arena in 2005 (which has also attracted some huge names in music) we can’t seem to avoid a little controversy. Recent North Carolina legislation caused the NBA to pull the All-Star game, which would’ve had an estimated $100 million plus economic impact on the city, similar to the DNC in 2012 which had an impact of $163 million.
As ever changing and unpredictable this city has become, we forget the pure joy and exhilaration we got from the Hornets’ name returning in 2013; dusting off our L.J and Zo jersey’s and polishing our Converse React Juice sneakers. Okay, very few people still have those shoes, but we felt a returned sense of pride. We now live in a rapidly growing and bustling city, where glossy new structures are replacing old landmarks, a city where less and less people remember the good old days at “The Hive” where the Hornets sold-out 364 consecutive games. We forget about seeing Muggsy in his convertible Mercedes cruising the streets in South Charlotte, running into Vlade Divac at the AMC movie theatre on South Blvd., and watching consistent clutch performances by Glen Rice, Eddie Jones, Dell Curry, and Rex Chapman.
This city may be changing fast, but we still have our beloved Hornets. I mean, the greatest basketball player of all time owns the team, lives in our city, and the NBA’s current two-time MVP is the son of one of our own.
The Hornets released their 2016-17, and despite losing Al Jefferson and Jeremy Lin in the off-season, there’s a lot to be excited about with the long-term extensions of former Tar Heel, Marvin Williams and versatile small forward, Nicolas Batum, along with the acquisition of Roy Hibbert and Ramon Sessions. In addition, 2012 #2 draft pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returns to the starting lineup healthy having only played 62 games in the past two seasons due to injuries. Head coach Steve Clifford begins his fourth season with the Hornets, having led the team to the NBA Playoffs in two of his first three seasons at the helm.
The Hornets 82-game schedule will feature 19 weekend home dates, which will include eight Fridays, ten Saturdays and one Sunday. The longest homestand is five games from January 18-25 and the longest road trip is six games over 10 days from February 23-March 4.
Notable home games will include the NBA Champions, Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, December 31 and March 24. Stephen Curry will return home with his Golden State Warriors alongside superstar, Kevin Durant on Wednesday, January 25, while Carmelo Anthony’s New York Knicks will be back in the Queen City with newly acquired guard, Derrick Rose on Saturday, November 29.
As we take a deeper look into the 2016-17 season and games we are most excited about, here’s a look back at the 2015-16 sellout games:
- November 27, 2015 Cleveland Cavaliers
- December 2, 2015 Golden State Warriors
- December 23, 2015 Boston Celtics
- December 26, 2015 Memphis Grizzlies
- December 28, 2015 L.A. Lakers
- December 30, 2015 L.A. Clippers
- January 2, 2016 Oklahoma City
- February 3, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
- February 5, 2016 Miami Heat
- March 4, 2016 Indiana Pacers
- March 12, 2016 Houston Rockets
- March 19, 2016 Denver Nuggets
- April 1, 2016 Philadelphia 76’ers
Here are our must-see home games in 2016-17:
- October 29, 2016 vs. Boston Celtics (Home Opener)
- November 11, 2016 vs. Toronto Raptors
- November 7, 2016 Indiana Pacers
- November 23, 2016 San Antonio Spurs
- November 26, 2016 New York Knicks
- December 23, 2016 Chicago Bulls
- December 29, 2016 Miami Heat
- December 31, 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers
- January 4, 2017 Oklahoma City Thunder
- January 20, 2017 Toronto Raptors
- January 25, 2017 Golden State Warriors
- February 11, 2017 L.A Clippers
- March 6, 2017 Indiana Pacers
- March 13, 2017 Chicago Bulls
- March 24, 2017 Cleveland Cavaliers
- April 5, 2017 Miami Heat
- April 8, 2017 Boston Celtics
Lower-level seating is in high demand, and will sell quickly. Last season, the Hornets finished with an impressive 30-11 record at home, averaging 17,485 fans per game, the highest attendance since the team returned to Charlotte in 2004. The 30 home wins ranked third-best in the Eastern Conference and marked the fifth time in franchise history the team posted 30-or-more wins on their home floor.
We’re looking forward to another strong 2016-17 season and bringing you some fun off-court and courtside coverage.
Check out the full Charlotte Hornets 2016-2017 Schedule.
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