Charlotte Hornets: A year in review

Charlotte Hornets: A year in review

CHARLOTTE, NC (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) — For most of the Charlotte Hornets, the 2023–2024 season begins with a win over Atlanta on October 25th.

We say most because that did not include Miles Bridges, who had to serve out the remainder of a suspension for a domestic violence incident the year before. By the time he rejoined the team, there was a bit of trepidation as to how he would be welcomed back by fans.

“I mean, I know a lot of people feel a way about me being back,” Bridges said on the morning of his debut. “I understand that.”

But Bridges didn’t really need to worry. Within weeks after his November 17th return, his off-the-court issues were something barely mentioned, and that’s most likely because there were other issues facing the team. The biggest, of course, were injuries.

“We are super, duper shorthanded,” head coach Steve Clifford noted two months into the season.

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LaMelo Ball made it to January before he was shut down for the year with a bad ankle. The situation for Mark Williams was even worse, as back problems ended his season the month before.

By the time the trade deadline rolled around, Charlotte was already out of contention. That’s when the team’s new owners seemed to decide enough was enough. Taking the lead behind the scenes, Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall sent Terry Rozier, PJ Washington, and Gordon Hayward packing, with general manager Mitch Kupchak not too far behind.

“We appreciate him both doing what he did for the organization and then welcoming Gabe and I [while] working closely with us as we got through the deadline,” Schnall said in early spring.

By March, a new leader was employed, as 35-year-old Jeff Peterson was hired from Brooklyn. Short on experience, but not desire, Peterson promised better days were ahead for the team.

“The goal is to turn this thing into the premier franchise in the NBA,” Peterson said at his introductory press conference.

With new owners and a new GM in place, many wondered if Clifford’s days were numbered. It turns out they were, with the team’s winningest coach announcing his departure just days before the end of the season in April.

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“It’s not the work part,” Clifford explained. “I think it’s the being in charge part.”

And so ends another year for the Hornets. It was another year of disappointment but it was also one of big change.

Granted, a lot went wrong but picking Brandon Miller in the draft last year is something the organization can feel good about.

While we don’t know for sure what next year will bring, we can at least tell you, it won’t be as unpredictable and at times unstable as this one.

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