Rare is the sort of unconditional love and undying devotion that was once the hallmark of the relationship between the city of Charlotte and her Hornets. Night after night, year after year, "The Hive" was alive; impassioned Beelievers wreaked a unique aural havoc upon all who dared to enter that hallowed hall. From the 20-win seasons of Rambis and Tripuka, to the genuine Eastern Conference contenders of the late 1990's, this city; this jewel of the New South; provided both the NBA and the nation at large a perfectly-executed blue print of the power of civic pride.
Then there were the lean years.
Our once beloved owner...let's just say he became somewhat less beloved. This was followed by the acrimonious arena issue. And in a matter of a few short seasons, the one constant in this city of flux, our beloved Hornets, was gone.
I defy any of you present for that final, crushing playoff loss to state that you didn't shed a tear as you filed into the parking lot.
But hope, as they say, springs eternal. B** Johnson managed to bring the NBA back to the Queen City in 2004. As my mother taught me to refrain from speaking of someone unless I had something complimentary to say, this will be the last I will mention of Mr. Johnson.
Let's cut to the chase. The B**Cats have been a PR disaster...the ownership has, in a round about way, admitted as much. Whether it was through their own doing (oh, I don't know...C-SET, anybody?!?) or factors outside of their control (the 'jilted-lover' scars of a fanbase done wrong), they've never taken hold in the city of Charlotte, much less on a national scale (stroll through the streets of any major city long enough, and you're bound to see a hip kid sporting throwback Charlotte Hornet gear. I don't think I've ever seen any B**Cats paraphernalia outside of the metro area...and not much inside the metro area). The Honorable Sir Airness himself vented his frustrations in a recent Charlotte Observer article:
"Number one for 10 years!" Jordan said, his voice rising. "The community supported it and at that time, the Hornets supported the city. I want to duplicate that. I want us to be No. 1 in attendance and No. 1 in the community.
"If we ask people to invest in us, we must invest in them."
Let's face the facts, Mike. The swiftest, savviest, most crowd pleasing way to convince this community to "invest in (you)"?
GIVE US BACK OUR HORNETS.
The current New Orleans Hornets franchise has been embroiled in an unparalleled period of strife. Left high and dry by George Shinn (sound familiar?), the team was purchased by the NBA in 2010. Recently, League Commissioner David Stern has made%2