(Written By David Walters)
In Philadelphia on Wednesday night, for the first time in 4,530 days, the Charlotte Hornets will run on to the basketball court. By now, you may have seen the minute-long video released by the Hornets that thanks the fans for helping bring back the buzz. The Hornets marketing department must be having a field day with the slow teasing that they have given us leading up to this season. Personally, I get chills every time that I hear the buzz hit the speakers, being at a Hornets game and hearing it in person is going to be unreal.
It’s been a long 12+ years to bring us back to this point, back to being able to cheer for our Charlotte Hornets. After a bitter divorce from George Shinn and the Hornets in the spring of 2002, the fan base in Charlotte was reluctant to welcome a new NBA franchise with open arms. After some bad ownership moves and shoddy marketing schemes that didn’t pan out, the floundering franchise began to find their way back to relevance just in time for the teams rebranding. The team unveiled their new look in small increments last season; releasing logos, color schemes and bringing in Hornets legends like Muggsy Bogues, Kelly Tripuka and Dell Curry to help proclaim, “WE’RE BACK!”
Now, after over a decade, the fans are getting their Hornets back once again. The Hornets gained some momentum last season thanks to the hiring of Steve Clifford and the signing of Big Al Jefferson, going 43-39 and getting to the playoffs. Now, with the addition of free agents Marvin Williams and Lance Stephenson, and rookies Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston, the Hornets look to build on last season’s successful campaign. The unique teal and purple color scheme is back and fans have been gobbling up season tickets and snatching up the new merchandise while breaking out their throwback hats and old starter jackets. The enthusiasm for professional basketball in Charlotte is back and thriving and the excitement across the region is noticeable.
This is going to be a big year, not only for the Charlotte Hornets, but also for us fans that have been waiting to again hear the arena buzz with excitement. Eventually, the nostalgia that’s comes with a return to the Hornets name may wear off a little, but there is no doubt that this is the biggest step the franchise has made to make themselves relevant to their fans and community. It’s been a long wait and it’s only the preseason but, your team is home, the Buzz is Back! Stick with us at Bring Back the Buzz this season as we go back to the future with your Charlotte Hornets.