Stage 5: Acceptance
The Charlotte Hornets are currently 10-41 and hold the 13th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. That should be the motto of every Hornets fan from now until the end of t̶i̶m̶e̶ the season. A valiant comeback win against the current #1 seed Minnesota Timberwolves allowed us to escape from reality for a night, only to be pulled back to Earth with an ongoing eight-game losing streak and yet another LaMelo Ball injury.
Don't let the disappointment of this season weigh you down any longer. When people ask you what's wrong the morning after another Hornets defeat, force a smile and reply: "Everything's fine!" Nobody has to know that "fine" really means that the Hornets gave up 130 points for the third game in a row, and there's still no injury update on Mark Williams.
It's time to shift your perspective when tuning in to watch a Charlotte Hornets game. Instead of basing your happiness on wins and losses, look for small victories within each matchup. Celebrate when Brandon Miller takes over a fourth quarter with the confidence of a seasoned veteran or when Nick Smith Jr. gets hot from behind the arc. Define the season with memorable moments that make you think, "Hey, in a couple of years, this young core could really make some noise in the East." Trust me, it's the only way to maintain your sanity.
We've now arrived at the fifth and final stage of grief: acceptance. With 31 games remaining in the regular season, the fate of the 2023-24 Charlotte Hornets has been sealed. Enjoy these last two months of Hornets basketball because, believe it or not, you'll soon be counting down the days until it returns. Why? Because that's what fans do. No matter how much pain, anguish, or grief your favorite franchise may cause you, you'll be right back here next season with a brand-new sense of optimism. Now it's time to create some mock drafts, pray for draft lottery luck, and manifest that next year's playoffs will once again include the Charlotte Hornets.