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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Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets
Glen Rice, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck /NBAE via Getty Images) /

11. Glen Rice, 1995-96

  • NBA All-Star
  • 21.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.2 SPG
  • 7.2 Offensive Win Shares, 1.2 Defensive Win Shares
  • 8.3 Win Shares, 3.0 Value Over Replacement Player

Glen Rice has to be one of the four players that would be on the Hornets/Bobcats Mount Rushmore. He only played three seasons in the Queen City, but all three came in the middle of this sharpshooter’s prime. His first year in Charlotte happened to be his breakout year in 1995-96.

Rice was a college superstar in the late 1980s, winning a national title at Michigan in 1989. He would be a No. 4 overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by Miami, where he would spend his first six NBA seasons. Though never an All-Star in Miami, he would be traded for one in 1996 when Charlotte felt the need to move off Alonzo Mourning due to chemistry issues with Larry Johnson.

Mourning might have become a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame player with the Heat, but Rice would become an All-Star while with the Hornets. In his first year with his new club in 1995-96, Rice averaged 21.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Charlotte may not have made the Eastern Conference Playoffs that season, but Rice emerged as one of the best shooters in the game in the mid-1990s. He shot 47.1 percent from the field, 42.4 percent from 3-point range and 83.7 percent from the charity stripe that season.

Overall, Rice’s game was very much that of a scorer, as he was certainly more of an offensive-minded player than a defensive-minded one while with the Hornets. This is illustrated by 7.2 of his 8.3 win shares coming when the Hornets were on offense in 1995-96.

This was not Rice’s best year with the Hornets. That being said, all three of his years with the club are top-10 caliber in the history of Charlotte professional hoops. We’ll get to his two other years with the Hornets in a bit, but we can’t overlook the terrific start to his NBA prime coming in 1995-96 in Charlotte uniform.