It was November 4, 1988. Players in signature teal and purple uniforms and long, 'baggy' shorts hit the court in a sold-out coliseum. Women wore formal dresses, men wore tuxedos. It was the Charlotte Hornets' first game. They lost. But Charlotte cheered anyway. It was a big deal and over the next several years, "Hornets hysteria" would help put the city on the map - with names like Muggsy Bogues, Dell Curry, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. The Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002, but left an indelible mark on Charlotte. Now the Bobcats are reclaiming the historic name, bestowed on the city during the Revolutionary War when General Cornwallis was driven out, proclaiming Charlotte a "hornets' nest of rebellion." On the 25th anniversary of the Hornets' debut, we'll look back at that special time and gaze into the future as the Bobcats rebrand themselves.
Matt Crossman - Freelance writer, author of The Place Went Nuts: An Oral History of 1988 Charlotte Hornets, 25 years later for Charlotte Magazine
Tom Sorensen - Sports Columnist for The Charlotte Observer
Steve Martin - Charlotte Bobcats play-by-play announcer, former broadcaster for the Charlotte Hornets