Charlotte Hornets: 20 greatest player seasons in franchise history

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Baron Davis, Charlotte Hornets
Baron Davis, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory credit: Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images /

12. Baron Davis, 2001-02

  • NBA All-Star
  • 18.1 PPG, 8.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 SPG
  • 4.4 Offensive Win Shares, 3.8 Defensive Win Shares
  • 8.2 Win Shares, 5.2 Value Over Replacement Player

Baron Davis spent more than half of his 13-year NBA career playing for the Hornets, whether that be in Charlotte or later in New Orleans. Charlotte used the No. 3 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft to select the point guard out of UCLA.

Davis showed a ton of promise coming out of UCLA. However, injuries certainly took a toll on him, as his NBA career wasn’t as fruitful as the Hornets organization had hoped for. Still, he was a highly productive player for the Hornets, as well as the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers into his early 30s.

Davis in total spent his first 5.5 seasons with the Hornets organization. The first three years came while the team played in Charlotte. In what was sadly the last year for the original Hornets in Charlotte, Davis put together an incredible 2001-02 NBA season.

He made his first of two career trips to the NBA All-Star Game that winter. Davis averaged 18.1 points, 8.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game as the Hornets’ star point guard. He amassed 4.4 offensive win shares and 3.8 defensive win shares, bringing him to 8.2 on the year. His 5.2 value over replacement player tied his career-best, which was matched while in New Orleans in 2003-04.

The 2001-02 Hornets made the Eastern Conference Playoffs, winning a first-round series over the Orlando Magic before falling to the eventual conference champion in the then-New Jersey Nets in the conference semifinals.

Davis came to play in the postseason. He averaged 22.6 points, 7.9 assists, 7.9 rebounds and a playoff-best 3.6 steals per game. Charlotte would qualify for the Eastern Conference Playoffs all three years Davis played in the Queen City. However, it never resulted in a conference finals appearance.

After playing a few more years with the club in New Orleans, Davis was traded to Golden State in 2005 for Dale Davis and Speedy Claxton. Davis built on his legacy by leading the “We Believe” Warriors to a shocking first-round upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA Playoffs.

Davis last played for the New York Knicks in the 2011-12 NBA season. Injuries robbed him of his athleticism later in his career, but he certainly made a name for himself with three franchises. Davis’ 2001-02 was one of his best seasons, and definitely his best playing in Charlotte.