Charlotte Hornets: The time to win is now


It is almost that time.

Time for Charlotte HORNETS basketball!

For years people have been calling for the Charlotte Bobcats to one day change their name back to the Hornets, but were unable to because New Orleans still had the Hornet nickname.

In 2013, the New Orleans basketball franchise changed their name to the Pelicans, making the Hornets name available for Charlotte to use.

Once that happened, it was only a matter of time before Michael Jordan and the franchise would announce the switch from the Bobcats to the Hornets.

Oh how great of a move was that? Changing the team name was long overdue, it was time for a change.

The Charlotte Bobcats never had any success. They only made the playoffs twice in their existence, getting swept in both appearances.

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In 2011-2012, (lockout shortened season) Charlotte Bobcats set a NBA record for the lowest winning percentage in a season. To make matters worse, they didn’t even win the NBA Draft Lottery. They were the overwhelming favorites to win the number 1 overall pick, which was Anthony Davis. Instead, Charlotte settled for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Which so far hasn’t turned out to be a great pick, especially when you consider that they picked him over Bradley Beal. In defense of MKG, he still has plenty of time to develop and get better. I wouldn’t call him a bust right now, he’s still only 21 years old.

Now we are only 2 weeks away from seeing the debut of the new-look Charlotte Hornets. For everyone around the NBA, it is just a simple name change. But for the people of Charlotte, it is much more than that, it is a sign of hope.

For the first time in years, the Charlotte professional basketball franchise is heading into the season not only expecting to make the playoffs, but favorites to actually go deep into the playoffs.

Before the off-season started, owner Michael Jordan promised to “make a splash” and sign a big time free agent. For a while we thought that wouldn’t happen, but it did. He was able to persuade Lance Stephenson to become a Charlotte Hornet, and leave the Indiana Pacers, who he had lots of success with.

Put Lance Stephenson beside Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson, and you got a playoff team. A team that is expected to win.

The time to win is NOW. Enough of rebuilding and looking to the future. That’s all the Bobcats were trying to do, and they failed miserably at it. Enough is enough. Now is the time to win. The Bobcat days are over, we are starting the Hornets era now. Charlotte fans have seen enough of losing. That’s all they saw in the Bobcat era, let’s make the Hornets era different from that.

Not only does Charlotte have a better team this year, but they don’t have much competition. The Eastern Conference is weak, and WIDE OPEN this season. Aside from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the conference is up for grabs. We can all agree Cleveland will likely be the 1 seed, but after that it is a toss up.

Charlotte is not on Cleveland’s level, but they are contenders in the Eastern Conference right now. Some people believe they could possibly finish the season as high as the 3rd seed in the East. Even more people say they would be shocked to see the Hornets not make the playoffs. Right now the worst case scenario in my opinion is being the 7th seed like the Bobcats were last year.

Wow, think about this, just 3 years ago Charlotte was at the basement of the NBA, and they were the team everyone laughed at for being so bad. Now they are contenders in the Eastern Conference?  And were able to sign a star in free agency like Lance Stephenson? Hats off to Michael Jordan and the job he has done to improve this team.

As quick as Charlotte improved, they could easily be back at the bottom of the standings in a few years if they don’t win now.

If they don’t win now, players get frustrated. Lance’s contract is only for 3 years, if he feels the Hornets aren’t going in the right direction, you might as well say goodbye to him. Same with Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. You never know how long you will have a team of star players together. Just ask the Miami Heat.

The key to this year’s team is patience. They have yet to play an NBA regular season game together. It will take time for them to gel. On top of that, it is a very young team.

Right now the oldest player in the starting lineup is Al Jefferson, who is 29. Marvin Williams is 28, MKG is 21, and both Lance and Kemba are 24 years of age. Not only are they young, but like I said earlier, they have yet to play together. They might start off slow, but fear not, it is a long season.

In conclusion, the time to win is NOW. Charlotte has seen enough losing over the years. The Eastern Conference is up for grabs, and it won’t stay like that forever. The Charlotte Hornets have potential to go deeper into the NBA playoffs, and the team needs to do whatever it takes to accomplish that this season.