Anthony Davis won his first playoff series this past week. As the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery approaches, let’s speculate what the Charlotte Hornets would look like if the ping-pong balls would have gone their way in 2012.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012. A day that would soon live in infamy in Charlotte’s sports history. As time has come to pass, it’s become clear that the Charlotte Hornets lost out on a serious opportunity to become a playoff-contending team, solely due to the unfortunate luck of the NBA lottery ping-pong balls.
Charlotte basketball fans would not soon forget the feeling of a gut-wrenching, 7-59 season from their far-from-perfect, Charlotte Bobcats. Yet, the numerous unbearable losses almost seemed worth it to obtain the best odds at the top selection in the NBA Draft. Fans waited in anxiety-riddled anticipation as Adam Silver, then the assistant commissioner of the NBA would reveal the draft order.
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Slowly opening each envelope, seconds passed as if they were minutes, fans on the edge of their seats with every name called. With three teams remaining, the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, and New Orleans Hornets took center stage.
The Hornets and Bobcats survived to become the final two teams in contention for the top pick. With a palpable tension in the air, Adam Silver opened the final envelope for the #2 pick, “the Charlotte Bobcats”, nightmares quickly becoming a reality in Charlotte.
Considered by many to be the clear No. 1 pick, Anthony Davis was selected by the New Orleans Hornets. The Charlotte Bobcats, desperate for any kind of defensive or offensive help, then elected to draft Davis’s University of Kentucky teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Though selected close together on that fateful night, the two Wildcats could not be further apart when measuring their career success; MKG a defensive-focused player, who doesn’t offer much on the offensive end, and Davis, a 25+ point scoring, a defensive force on a night-in, night out basis.
What if the Charlotte Bobcats could’ve got their hands on Anthony Davis? What would Charlotte Hornets basketball look like today? Could a Kemba Walker-Anthony Davis duo tear-up the Eastern Conference? These are some of the wishful questions many avid Hornets’ fans end-up asking themselves when seeing the success Anthony Davis has brought the city of New Orleans.