Nelly Owned Charlotte Bobcats
February 2, 2012 by staff
Nelly Owned Charlotte Bobcats, The Charlotte Bobcats are a professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association.
The Bobcats were established in 2004 as an expansion team, two seasons after Charlotte’s previous NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets, relocated to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Hornets. The Bobcats play their home games at Time Warner Cable Arena in center city Charlotte.
As of the end of the 2010-11 season, the Bobcats have compiled a record of 222-352. In their 8-year history they have qualified for the postseason just once, which was during the 2009-10 season when they achieved a record of 44-38.
When the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002, the NBA promised Charlotte leaders that the city would be granted an NBA expansion team for the 2004-05 season. Several ownership groups, including one led by former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, made bids for the team. On December 18, 2002, a group led by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson was awarded the franchise, allowing him to become the first majority African American owner in U.S. major professional sports. The rapper Nelly became another notable co-owner.
In June 2003, the new team was named the Bobcats. The bobcat, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, is an athletic, fierce and indigenous predator to the Carolinas. Charlotte, already being home to the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, made the cat-related name a natural choice for the area’s new basketball team. There is also speculation as to whether or not the “Bob” in Bobcats is a further reference to Robert “Bob” Johnson, the original owner of the team.
The Bobcats hired Bernie Bickerstaff as the first head coach and general manager in franchise history. Despite failed attempts at the ballot box to fully fund a new uptown arena, city politicians decided to implement a hotel and leisure tax in Charlotte to help pay for it. George Shinn, owner of the Hornets, also wanted the city to pay for a new arena, and subsequently left town when it failed to do so.
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