Charlotte Hornets Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the Charlotte Hornets.
The Charlotte Hornets are a franchise that has endured some ups and downs in their brief history. They have had incredible young talent, but they have not been able to have a great deal of success. The team has only been out of the 1st round of the playoffs twice in their history, but they have had some interesting, fun, and talented players. Let's get to their Mount Rushmore.
Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues
Larry Johnson came into the league as the number one pick in 1991 from UNLV and had the most ridiculous and awesome nickname, Grandmama. Johnson was one of the most popular players in the NBA thanks to his awesome Converse commercials and his amazing play, putting up a 19 and 11 as a rookie. He followed that up by making the All-Star team in his second year in the league. This was the first All-Star selection for the franchise. Johnson was an absolute beast and his jersey was a popular one that can be seen these days being worn by DaBaby in his BOP on Broadway video. Johnson is second all-time for the franchise in rebounds and fourth in points.
Muggsy Bogues on the other hand, came into the league as a first round draft pick in 1987. He joined the Hornets in his second season and became a fan favorite because of his small stature. Bogues is still the shortest player in NBA history. He was always listed at 5'3. Despite his size, Bogues was integral to the success of those early Hornet teams.
He became extremely popular because he was able to succeed in the land of the giants. Bogues played 10 seasons with the Hornets and goes down as the franchise leader in assists and steals. Bogues is a player that was extremely unique and belongs on the Mount Rushmore for the Hornets.
Kemba Walker was a great player for the Charlotte Hornets from 2011 to his departure from the team in 2019. He became the franchise's all-time leading scorer during that time and helped the Hornets get to the playoffs twice in three seasons. To put that in perspective, the Hornets made the playoffs just once without him from 2004-2019. Walker's departure from Charlotte was devastating for fans because of his amazing play, but also because of his leadership and the respect that he brought to the franchise. Walker is seen around the league as a great teammate and person. His departure was a tough blow for this franchise, but he goes down as one of their best.
This pick was very personal for me because I love Glen Rice. I loved his game and thought that he was the key player for some really fun Hornet teams that featured Anthony Mason and Vlade Divac in the frontcourt alongside Rice. Rice only played three years in Charlotte, but he was an All-Star in each of those three seasons and was on two teams that won more than 50 games, which was done only one other time in franchise history. The 1996-97 team was led by Rice, who put up 27 points per game. That team won a franchise-record 54 games and Rice won the All-Star Game MVP Award. Rice played a short time with the Hornets, but those were some of the best seasons in franchise history.