The Charlotte Hornets have had some great threads since the team’s inception in 1988.
The slick pinstripes donned by the likes of Larry Johnson and Dell Curry, the sharp orange accents on the Bobcats’ uniforms, and the modern grey tint of the city edition jerseys introduced this season, the Charlotte Hornets are among the very best in the league when it comes to apparel.
Of course, there are a few singlets that stand above the rest, and like any collection, there have been a couple of admittedly stinkers. The more gaudy pieces are just as fun to cringe at as the best admirable, so we’ll start with the former.
Note: Due to image licensing issues, there are no images available for some of the jerseys, but a quick Google should be able to retrieve them.
Charlotte Hornets’ Worst Jerseys
2019-2020 City Edition Jerseys
Yeah, yeah maybe this an unpopular opinion, but these are in contention for the most boring jerseys that have been seen on a Charlotte player. When these were launched, team pr made a big deal out of the new color. Maybe they even succeeded in tricking fans into thinking it was cool to add a grey jersey to a team that already had multiple white jerseys. The best thing about the Hornet’s jerseys is their vibrant colors. The team should never have squandered an opportunity to incorporate the iconic teal or beautiful purple, and instead, put this mind-numbing grey. Maybe these aren’t the worst, but they sure are unimaginative.
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2009-2011 Pinstripes and Racing Checkers Alternate Jerseys
These could be described as either the best or the worst jerseys in franchise history, depending on who you ask. For two seasons the then Charlotte Bobcats flaunted these pinstripe unis with checkers down each side. In honor of the city’s history with the sport of Nascar, these abominations robed the likes of Gerald Wallace and all the other great Hornets from that era. Like the team that wore them, these jerseys mark a time in the team’s history that many fans would like to forget.
2012 Throwback Carolina Cougars Jersey
Another piece of Bobcats’ history, these jerseys were worn for just one season. The jerseys were worn as a tribute to the Carolina Cougars, and ABA team based out of Greensboro in the late 60s and early 70s. The thing about throwback jerseys is that they should either 1. capitalize on nostalgia or 2. bring back an aesthetic or at least unique design. The Carolina Cougars jerseys fail on both fronts. When they were released it had been nearly 40 years since the Cougars had played, and even when they did play, the team did not exactly have a huge fan base. By the 2012 season, there were very few people who these jerseys would evoke any nostalgia within. To the second point, these are the most generic uniforms in this entire article. They make use of the generic red, white and blue color scheme that can be found on far too many jerseys pre-1980. Even worse, white was chosen as the predominant color. Instead of using the throwback to showcase something special, the team instead got the chance to look like the poor man’s Knicks or Clippers.
2012-2013 Bobcats Away Jersey
The best thing I can say about these pieces is that they bridged the gap between the swanky retrofits of the early 2000s Bobcats and the crisp modern cuts the Hornets would wear upon their return to Charlotte. The blue and orange combo looks like a prototype for the jerseys of today’s Oklahoma City Thunder, a team whose uniforms are at best polarizing and at worst some of the very worst in the league. There’s not too much to criticize about these jerseys, only because of how comically boring they are. On the bright side, this redesign was only around for one season until the Bobcats became the Hornets again.