Hornets to Celebrate 30th Anniversary of First Season

The Charlotte Hornets are getting set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first season of NBA basketball in their city.

Plans for the milestone season next year include a new “classic edition” uniform, the selection of the 30th anniversary team via fan voting, 1980s and 1990s music played throughout games, and of course the special 30th anniversary logo you see above.

“We are excited to begin preparing to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the inaugural Hornets season with our fans,” said Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield in the official team release. “When the Hornets took the court in 1988, the city of Charlotte and the Carolinas were changed forever, and it is important that we acknowledge that beginning and those who have been a part of Charlotte’s 30-year love affair with the NBA.”

The Hornets franchise history is a complicated one for anyone who didn’t live through it — the Hornets started off as an expansion franchise in 1988-89. Despite a series of wildly successful seasons at the gate, including leading the league in attendance in eight of their first nine seasons and 364 consecutive sellouts, the team relocated to New Orleans in 2002 where they were re-named the New Orleans Hornets. Shortly after, the City of Charlotte was awarded a new expansion team for 2004 and with the “Hornets” name now being used in New Orleans, the expansion club chose the name Bobcats. A decade later the New Orleans Hornets decided to adopt a new name for 2013 (Pelicans) the Bobcats decided to take Charlotte’s name back in 2014 and along with that the history of the original Charlotte Hornets.

Charlotte Hornets Unveil Uniforms 1988
Charlotte Hornets Unveil Original Team Uniforms in 1988

Officially the timelines go:
Franchise A:
Charlotte Hornets (1988-2002) -> Hiatus (2002-04) -> Charlotte Bobcats (2004-14) -> Charlotte Hornets (2015-).

Franchise B:
New Orleans* Hornets (2002-13) -> New Orleans Pelicans (2013-).

In reality the timeline went:
Franchise A:
Charlotte Hornets (1988-2002) -> New Orleans* Hornets (2002-13) -> New Orleans Pelicans (2013-)

Franchise B:
Charlotte Bobcats (2004-14) -> Charlotte Hornets (2014-).

(*-The New Orleans Hornets were temporarily renamed “NO/Oklahoma City Hornets from 2005-07)

The NFL did it with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens too; and I’m sure the NBA will do it again with Seattle and the SuperSonics someday.

Anyways, looking at the logo it’s definitely all about the Hornets despite the fact the Bobcats-era took up a third of those 30 years, I reached out to the team asking if they planned on celebrating the Charlotte Bobcats as well — the team said that they *would*.

Merchandise featuring the 30th anniversary logo is available now in Charlotte, the special anniversary season gets underway this October.