It has been a while since Charlotte sports have been relevant. It has been since 2016 since the Carolina Panthers won a playoff game, and that same year was the last time the Charlotte Hornets made it to the NBA playoffs. There are no major universities in or around the city that consistently make national headlines, and the last time a superstar played for one of our pro teams was one Cam Newton was in his prime with the Panthers.
Charlotte sports fans have longed for success after tasting what it felt like to make a trip to one of the most extraordinary events in sports—the Super Bowl. If you drive a few hours up north to Chapel Hill and Durham, you will find two of the nation's most storied college basketball programs. From there, if you drive a few miles to the east and find yourself in Raleigh, you will find the Carolina Hurricanes, who have made it to two Stanley Cup finals and five conference finals since their move to the Carolinas.
North Carolina is home to several great sports programs. But the state's wealthiest and most populated city needs a great sports team.
Nevertheless, Charlotte sports fans can begin celebrating. According to several reports, LaMelo Ball wants to stay in Charlotte. He is eligible to sign a five-year contract extension worth $202.5 million and has incentives that could make the contract worth $243 million. Reports also state that Ball wants to spend his career with the Hornets and would like to bring an NBA championship to the city. We have our superstar.
It looks like the Charlotte Hornets are finally getting things on track. They will likely bring back PJ Washington and potentially Miles Bridges. The more I read into it, the more I like Brandon Miller. Gordon Hayward and his ridiculous contract are on the way out the door. Terry Rozier could be traded before the season starts, opening up significant cap space. As I said, things are finally getting on track. The stars have to align.
With LaMelo Ball on the Hornets for at least the next five years and a solid young core, the Hornets could be a consistent playoff contender with a shot at a title in the near future. Brandon Miller was not far off when he said he sees the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA finals next year. Please note I said he is not far off. He is off, just not far off.
Charlotte fans have a lot to look forward to with their basketball team, which is something the fanbase has longed for for so long. The team is moving forward and not digressing or staying stagnant for once since their return to Charlotte. Could the 2020s be the decade of the Hornets? Time will tell!