Do you fly to distant cities? During its seasons since the start of the new millennium, the Hornets have racked up the most frequent-flyer miles, buzzing to a new home. Since 2002, the Hornets have flown from Charlotte, to New Orleans, to Oklahoma City, and then back to New Orleans. Here are some fascinating facts about the insect for which the NBA team was named:
Most hornet species are native to Asia’s tropical regions
Though huge and loud, hornets are not aggressive
The hornet’s sting is primarily for killing insects, rather than vertebrates
Hornets can sting more than one time, unlike bees, which die after singing
In some European countries, it is illegal to kill hornets or their nests
Why are the Hornets not the Bees or Wasps? Before they were the New Orleans Hornets, the Hornets played as an NBA expansion team in Charlotte, North Carolina, from 1988-2002. The original proposed name of the franchise was the Charlotte Spirit. However, the local fans preferred “Hornets” instead. During the American Revolution, British General George Cornwallis referred to the opposition in North Carolina as a “nest of hornets.”
How successful were they in Charlotte? Although the Hornets never won their division or advanced to the Conference Finals, they made seven playoff appearances during their tenure in the North Carolinian city.
Before the 2002-2003 season, nearly a quarter of a century after the Jazz transferred from New Orleans to Jazz, the Charlotte Hornets relocated to the Louisiana city. Ironically, the Hornets’ first game after representing a new city was against the Utah Jazz. The Hornets won that game, and ended the season with a winning record: 47-35. In the playoffs, they lost their first series to the Philadelphia 76ers (4-2).
The New Orleans Hornets would make back-to-back appearances in the playoffs, earning another spot during the 2003-2004 season. After finishing the regular season at an even 41-41 record, they faced the Miami Heat in the first round. They played valiantly against the Heat, but were burned in Game 7, 85-77.
After Hurricane Katrina had devastated southeastern Louisiana, the Hornets temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons. Throughout this period, the Hornets played the majority of their games in Oklahoma City.
During the 2007-2008 season, the Hornets returned to New Orleans and returned to the playoffs as well. They earned a record of 56-26, which was a franchise record. The Hornets quickly stung the Dallas Mavericks in the first round (4-1). In the next round, the Hornets played the defending San Antonio Spurs tightly, but ultimately lost the series (4-3). Prior to the start of the 2008-2009 series, the Hornets unveiled a new logo and new uniforms.
As a franchise, the Hornets have called Charlotte, Oklahoma City, and New Orleans their homes. Nevertheless, throughout the years, the Hornets have survived battles with Grizzlies, Bulls, Bucks, and even Mother Nature. Use New Orleans Hornets merchandise to cheer on the team as they buzz towards their first NBA Championship!
Rick Grantham is an avid sports fan. Most of Rick’s articles focus on new orleans hornets merchandise. Many articles are related to nba gifts and other sports related topics. Rick is a contributing author to BooYah Village.