Power Rankings: The 10 Greatest Hornets to Wear the Teal and Purple

Matt RavidaCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2010

Power Rankings: The 10 Greatest Hornets to Wear the Teal and Purple

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    The Charlotte Hornets were founded back in 1988. They struggled at first, like many expansion teams do.

    Starting through the drafts is the way for any expansion team to improve: the Hornets had the fifth overall pick in 1990, the first overall pick in 1991, and the second overall pick in 1992

    They used those three picks to draft Kendall Gill, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. The team looked very promising with those three players on the roster, plus already having Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry on the roster.

    But, like nowadays, expansion teams and low market teams do not not go hand in hand with top notch players.

    So what happened?

    Those three left or were traded after a few season of success. And in came a new crop of players: Glen Rice and Vlade Divac to name a few.

    Then in the late 1990s and early 2000s another new crop of players came along. Baron Davis, Derrick Coleman, P.J. Brown and Jamal Mashburn all made their Hornets debuts.

    Then once again those payers became all-stars and they were again packing their bags and off in a new direction.

    The Hornets were left with nothing, and decided a change of scenery was a must. So the Hornets moved to New Orleans, where they now reside.

    Now, yet another new crop of players are here: Chris Paul, David West, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza—all trying to rebuild the playoff success the Hornets once had.

    So, with that brief history of Hornets basketball, I am going to give you a list compiling the greatest players to have had the privilege of putting on that Hornets uniform. 

    The list ranges from scoring machines, to three point specialists, to turn over creators, to players that came out ever night and just gave it their all for the Hornets.

Hornets Who Just Missed The Cut

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    1. Jamal Mashburn

    (2001-2004)

    Mashburn played four seasons for the Hornets and was a great player for the team, averaging 21 points and six rebounds a game. He even made one All-Star appearance as a Hornet in 2003.

     

    2. Jamal Magloire

    (2001-2005)

    Magloire was a great center for the Hornets. His best seasons were playing as a Hornet, then he left and made stupid decision after stupid decision. Magloire averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and one block a game. He also made an All-Star appearance in 2004.

     

    3. P.J. Brown

    (2001-2006)

    Brown was a good power forward in this league. He went out there and got the job done. It was not the flashiest thing out there, but he played great defense and chipped in on the offensive side.

     

    4. David Wesley

    (1998-2004)

    David Wesley was a great shooting guard, and savvy veteran for the Hornets. Wesley and Davis created one of the best back courts in their young days.

     

    5. Vlade Divac

    (1997-1998)

    Divac was known for being the player we got in return for Kobe Bryant on draft night. Overall he did play decent for the Hornets—no Kobe Bryant, but decent enough in his two seasons.

     

    6. Derrick Coleman

    (1999-2001)

    Coleman, who cam over during the 1998-1999 season, was a big body down low for the Hornets. He averaged double digits in points, grabbed monster boards, blocked shots, and was a force in the paint that not many could move over.

     

    7. Robert Parish

    (1994-1996)

    Yes, in Robert Parish's 21 year NBA career he did play for the Charlotte Hornets. 

     

    8. Anthony Mason

    (1997-2000)

    Mason's first season as a Hornet was his best season. He averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds. Mason was also a great defensive player for the team. He was selected to the 1997 All-NBA Defensive Team. He was also selected to the All-NBA Third Team.

10. Kendall Gill: Shooting Guard, (1991-1993,1996)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 16.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 4.4

    Assists Per Game: 3.9

    Steals Per Game: 1.5

    Blocks Per Game: 0.5

    NBA All-Rookie Team (1991)

    Gill was drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft.

    Coming into the NBA, Gill had many expectations put on him. Whether he lived up them or not is still a debate. Then again, any player who can last as long as he did, and score 12,000 points and grab 4,000 rebounds...

    That is a pretty good career in my books.

    Known for his great fade back in the day, Gill could play as well.

    When Gill played for the Hornets he was a scoring machine off of the wing, averaging 11, 20 and 17 points in his three seasons as a Hornet.

    Gill was also a great defensive player. His hands were always active on the defensive side, and created many turnovers. One of the reasons for which Gill is in this top 10 are the high number of steals he made over the majority of his seasons played.

9. Eddie Jones: Shooting Guard, (1999-2000)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 19.1

    Rebounds Per Game: 4.2

    Assists Per Game: 4.4 

    Steals Per Game: 2.9

    Blocks Per Game: 0.8

    1x NBA All-Star (2000)

    All-NBA Third Team (2000)

    2x All-Defensive Second Team (1999, 2000)

    Jones only played for the Hornets for a year and a half. But that year and a half were arguably his best in the NBA.

    Jones was traded to the Hornets at mid-season in 1999. 

    Jones was known as a pure scorer in his days with the NBA. He could light it up from anywhere on the court. He had to speed and quickness to blow by defenders for the easy lay-up.

    His first full season as a Hornet was his best statistically. He averaged 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He was also first in the league in steals with snatching 2.7 steals a game. 

    Jones then traded along with Anthony Mason to the Miami Heat for Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown.

    Nonetheless, during Jones'  short tenure with the Hornets, he made his name known as a pure scorer and a great defender.

8. Baron Davis: Point Guard, (2000-2005)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 16.2

    Rebounds Per Game: 3.9

    Assists Per Game: 6.9

    Steals Per Game: 1.9

    Blocks Per Game: 0.5

    2x NBA All-Star (2002, 2004)

    All-NBA Third Team (2004)

    Before the emergence on the media scene in Golden State, Davis was a great point guard for the Hornets.

    Davis along with David Wesley created a deadly back-court in the NBA. Though the stats may seem otherwise, Davis was really known as a scoring point guard. 

    He did average seven assists a game, but was known for his flashy ways and his ability to score from almost anywhere on the court.

    Davis was also a very intense player. He loved the game and was up and in face about it on the court. 

    He was at his best on the defensive side, if he dunked in your face, or broke your ankles then made a flashy dime to one of his teammates.

    Man, I miss the vintage Baron Davis.

7. Dell Curry: Shooting Guard, (1989-1998)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 13.8

    Rebounds Per Game: 2.8

    Assists Per Game: 2.0

    Steals Per Game: 1.1

    Blocks Per Game: 0.3

    NBA Sixth Man Award Winner (1994)

    Dell Curry is simply the best pure shooter that this game has seen.

    He was drafted second overall in the 1988 expansion draft.

    Curry would just stick in the corner, wait for Bogues to create,  then send him a pass in the corner and launch away!

    When Curry was in Charlotte, he was mainly a role player.

    He was used as an instant scoring option, mainly behind the three point line.

    Curry played 10 seasons for the Hornets, and is tied with Muggsey Bogues for the most seasons played in a Hornets uniform on this list.

    He is the all-time leader in points, games played, three-point field goals made and attempted, and three-point field goal percentage. Curry hit 40 percent of threes attempted in his whole career.

6. David West: Power Forward, (2004-Present)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 16.0

    Rebounds Per Game: 7.2

    Assists Per Game: 1.9

    Steals Per Game: 0.7

    Blocks Per Game: 0.8

    2x NBA All-Star (2008, 2009)

    I do not why, but David West is always forgotten. He is one of the best power forwards in the game, but gets no credit.

    He is not the big banger down low, nor is he a great shooter, but he simply gets the job done.

    West has played his entire seven year career with the Hornets and made two All-Star appearances. Not bad for a player who is never talked about.

5. Alonzo Mourning: Center, (1993-1995)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 21.3

    Rebounds Per Game: 10.1

    Assists Per Game: 1.3

    Steals Per Game: 0.5

    Blocks Per Game: 3.2

    2x All-Star (1994, 1995)

    Mourning was selected No. 2 overall by the Hornets back in the 1992 draft. Only Shaquille O'Neal was picked ahead of Mourning.

    Mourning had a terrific rookie season, averaging 21 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 blocks a game. Due to his great season, he was named to the All-Rookie Team.

    But he did lose out of the Rookie of the Year honor, to none other than O'Neal. 

    Mourning had a great three seasons in Charlotte, not just in stats: Mourning, along with Larry Johnson, led the Hornets to their first 50 win season. 

    The Hornets ended up losing to the Chicago Bulls in round one.

    After that season, the Hornets' future looked promising. Unfortunately it all took a spin downwards when there were contract issues on both sides. 

    As a result, Mourning was shipped out to the Miami Heat.

    Despite his short-lived career in Charlotte, I do believe that Mourning was the greatest center to wear the Hornets uniform. 

4. Glen Rice: Small Forward, (1996-1998)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 23.6

    Rebounds Per Game: 4.4

    Assists Per Game: 2.4

    Steals Per Game: 1.0 

    Blocks Per Game: 0.3

    3x All-Star (1996, 1997, 1998)

    NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1997

    The sharp shooting Rice had his days when playing for the Charlotte Hornets.

    Rice was simply a pure scorer during his days in the NBA—especially his tenure with the Hornets.

    Rice had his best season while playing for the Hornets in 1996-1997. He averaged 26.8 points, and shot a phenomenal 47 percent from beyond the three point line. He could shoot the three lights out, no problem, anywhere from two to five feet behind the line.

    Like many, Rice left after a few short seasons, and his career started to dwindle. 

    But, he will forever be remembered as the three point king in Charlotte. 

3. Chris Paul: Point Guard, (2006-Present)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 19.3

    Rebounds Per Game: 4.7 

    Assists Per Game: 10.0

    Steals Per Game: 2.4 

    Blocks Per Game: 0.1

    NBA Rookie of the Year (2006)

    3x NBA All-Star (2008, 2009, 2010)

    All-NBA First Team (2008)

    All-NBA Second Team (2009)

    All-NBA Defensive First Team (2009)

    All-NBA Defensive Second Team (2008)

    If Chris Paul stays in New Orleans for his entire career, he will go down as the greatest player to ever play for the Hornets. 

    But for now, he is second best only behind one who is arguably one of the fiercest competitors to play the game.

    As for Paul, he is the best point guard in the league right now. He is a true point guard who can score if his teams needs him to.

    Paul plays as a quick point guard that is able to use his quickness to his advantage over defenders. Especially, when blowing by them and attacking to the rim.

    Paul has an excellent basketball IQ, and is always thinking on the floor. He is an assist magnet, and always looking for those high flying players to throw monster alley-oops to.

    Paul is also an excellent defender, guarding the opposing team's best player on a nightly basis. His hands are always quick on defense, which is one of the reasons he is always in the top three for steals per game every season he has played. 

    Paul does have the record for most consecutive games with a steal, standing at 108 (ending last season).

    Chris Paul in my books is the greatest player to ever play the game for the Hornets. But, I cannot be biased and put over the next two players, who have been great leaders their whole careers, and been there during the Hornets' better days as a franchise.

    In a few seasons, and another few all-stars, and once he takes a few more Hornet records. Paul will easily be the greatest Hornet to ever put on the Teal and Purple.

2. Muggsy Bogues: Point Guard, (1989-1998)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 8.8

    Rebounds Per Game: 3.0

    Assists Per Game: 8.8

    Steals Per Game: 1.9

    Blocks Per Game: 0.1

    Do not look at the stats when talking about Bogues. It was the intangibles that he brought to this Hornets team. He was the perfect teammate and perfect point guard to have on your team.

    Bogues brought determination, heart and charisma to a whole new level.

    The Hornets selected Bogues with the sixth overall pick in the expansion draft back in 1988.

    Bogues was the smallest player to ever play in the NBA. At 5'3", opponents took him for a joke when he stepped onto the court. But as the seasons wore on, he became a fan favorite, and one of the most liked players in the NBA.

    With his size, Bogues knew that he was not able to blow by defenders and get an easy lay-up without being blocked.

    So instead of becoming a scorer, Bogues did everything else in the arsenal.

    Bogues was an exceptional passer—one of the best pure point guards the game has seen. He was a terrific defenders and turnover master. Lastly, when Bogues played for the Hornets he was always the fastest player on the court.

    Bogues was a terrific teammate. His smile lit up the floor every time he opened his mouth.

    He may not have been the best scorer the Hornets have had, but he has been here the longest of the all players. And he has been the player that proved all the critics wrong, when they said he was too small to play in the NBA.

    Bogues is the Hornets all-time leader in total minutes played, total assists and total steals.

Larry Johnson: Small Forward, (1992-1996)

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    Career Stats with the Hornets 

    Points Per Game: 19.4

    Rebounds Per Game: 9.2

    Assists Per Game: 4.1

    Steals Per Game: 0.8

    Blocks Per Game: 0.4

    2x All-Star (1993, 1995)

    1992 NBA Rookie of the Year

    NBA All-Rookie Team (1992)

    All-NBA Second Team (1993)

    Johnson was drafted first overall back in 1992. Had a stellar rookie campaign. Averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds. A few thunderous dunks as well.

    Johnson was the first Hornet to be selected into the All-Star game, selected in the 1993 season.

    Johnson, along with Mourning, Bogues and Rex Chapman, created a buzz around the NBA. Still, they were not able to get over the hump and go far into the playoffs.

    Going into his third season, Johnson was one of the best forwards in the game. He used his explosive power to body opponents down low for the easy finish. No one could stop him down low because of his size and strength.

    Though Johnson was a great force in the low block, he did developed an outside game. Giving the ability to take players to the hole, and if they backed off, the ability to knock down the open shot.

    Johnson was then shipped out of Charlotte to the New York Knicks, because of tension between Mourning and himself.