Hornets History | Longest Tenured Hornets Players

As the calendar prepares to turn to March, we’re take a look back at the players who have spent the most time in a Hornets uniform.  Here are the organization's Top 10 in terms of games played.

1. Dell Curry (701 games)

The first-ever Hornets player, by virtue of being the first player selected by the team in the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft, Dell Curry sits atop Charlotte’s career lists in games played (701), scoring (9,839), field goals (3,951) and three-point field goals (929).  Those numbers are made even more impressive when noting that the Virginia native started only 77 of his 701 games in a Charlotte uniform.  Dell spent 10 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Hornets and received the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award following the 1993-94 season.  His career three-point percentage of .402 ranks 30th in NBA history, while his career total of 1,245 three-pointers ranks 39th all-time.  Dell started his career in Utah after being selected by the Jazz with the 15th overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.  He was traded to Cleveland the following season and spent one year with the Cavaliers before joining the Hornets in the expansion draft.  Following his 10 seasons in Charlotte, he spent one season with Milwaukee and his final three NBA seasons in Toronto before retiring in 2002.  Dell is currently in his fifth season as my broadcast partner for Hornets television broadcasts.

2. Muggsy Bogues (632 games)

After a stellar four-year career at Wake Forest University, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues was selected with the 12th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft by the then-Washington Bullets, who left him exposed in the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft.  His selection by the Hornets started an amazing ten-year journey that saw Muggsy become the most popular player in franchise history.  The shortest player in NBA history, the 5-3 Bogues played more minutes in a Hornets uniform than anyone in franchise history at 19,768, while also becoming the franchise’s career leader in assists (5,557) and steals (1,067).  In 1993-94, he averaged a double-double in points and assists, while also averaging 4.1 rebounds per game.  Despite his height, Muggsy always shook off double-teams when opposing point guards would try to post him up.  He’d tell his coaches, “They are far more uncomfortable than I am down there,” and most of the time he was right.  Bogues spent more than nine of his 14 NBA seasons in Charlotte.  He ranks 17th in NBA history with 6,726 career assists and ranks 18th with an average of 7.6 assists per game.  Since his playing days came to an end, Muggsy has coached the WNBA Charlotte Sting and also has coached high school basketball in the Charlotte area, in addition to being a motivational speaker.

3. Kenny Gattison (390 games)

Kenny Gattison was a graduate of Old Dominion University and was chosen in the third round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. After brief stints overseas, Gattison was signed as a free agent by the Charlotte Hornets in early December 1989. He spent six of his nine years in the NBA with the Hornets.  Gattison was the second leading rebounder for the Hornets in two of his first three seasons with the team and held down the center position until the franchise drafted Alonzo Mourning in 1992. He shot .529 from the field in a Hornets uniform, a percentage that remains the best in Charlotte NBA history.  Kenny is currently an assistant coach with the team that brought him into the NBA, the Phoenix Suns.

4. Larry Johnson (377 games)

The No. 1 pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, Larry Johnson brought Charlotte from a quiet, mid-sized Southern city to the place where “Grandmama” lived.  “Grandmama” became Larry’s alter ego character from the legendary Converse shoe television commercials that swept the country, much like the Hornets did when they made the 1993 NBA Playoffs.  Johnson paired with Alonzo Mourning to become the dynamic stars of the future in the NBA. And their popularity, along with the success of the team on the court, elevated the Hornets from small-market team to marketing sensation. Wherever that team travelled, no matter what hour of the night they would arrive, autograph seekers would line up sometimes 5-6 deep to get a look and a signature.  An NBA All-Star in 1993 and 1995, Johnson was the 1991-92 NBA Rookie of the Year and earned All-NBA Second Team honors in 1992-93. LJ, who spent five of his 10 NBA seasons with the Hornets, has the most 20-point games in Charlotte NBA history (192), while ranking second in rebounding (3,479), field goals (2,858) and double-doubles (161), and third in scoring (7,405).  He was traded to New York on July 14, 1996, and remains with the Knicks as a team ambassador.

5. David Wesley (362 games)

David Wesley’s route to the NBA did not involve getting a call on Draft Day.  After Wesley graduated from Baylor University in 1992, he played a season in the Continental Basketball Association. The Nets were the first team to sign Wesley as a free agent in 1993, and he spent the three seasons after that with the Celtics before joining the Hornets as a free agent in the summer of 1997.  Wesley started 358 of his 362 career games in Charlotte, averaging 14.5 points, 5.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in his five seasons in the Queen City.  He ranks third in Charlotte NBA history in career assists (1,911) and three-point field goals (390).  Including his time with the Hornets, Wesley’s career spanned 14 NBA seasons before ending in 2007.  He is currently the television analyst for the New Orleans Pelicans.

6. J.R. Reid (325 games)

This University of North Carolina product from the Tidewater area of Virginia was chosen by the Hornets with the fifth overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft.  His selection started a six-year playing relationship with Charlotte that actually continues today with his duties as a television analyst with the ACC and Raycom Sports on the ACC’s extensive digital network. Reid came to the Hornets with outstanding credentials, that included First Team All-ACC honors as a senior in Chapel Hill and playing for the U.S. Olympic team in 1988. Reid played 325 of his 672-game NBA career in a Charlotte Hornets uniform.  He had a booming voice that was a big part of the soundtrack of the early morning bus rides from the team hotel to the airport in the pre-charter aircraft days when NBA rules stipulated that you must be on the first flight out of the city you played in on the first night of a back-to-back to go to the city of the second game.  J.R. was traded during the 1992-93 season to San Antonio for Sidney Green and a future first-round draft pick. Four years later, he came back to the Hornets as a free agent prior to the 1997-98 season. On March 9, 1999, J.R. Reid had a commanding presence against Boston, sparking a 105-87 win with 26 points and 12 rebounds. He was traded the next day along with Glen Rice and B.J. Armstrong to the Los Angeles Lakers for Elden Campbell and Eddie Jones.

7. Kendall Gill (266 games)

One year after Reid, the Hornets selected University of Illinois star Kendall Gill with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft. Gill played all 82 games of his rookie campaign and was selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. In his second season, his scoring exploded to more than 20 points a game and he also averaged more than five rebounds and four assists.  Gill, rookie Larry Johnson, Dell Curry and Johnny Newman all averaged north of 15 points a game on a team that would score 109 points a contest.  Gill was traded to Seattle prior to the 1993-94 season for Dana Barros and Eddie Johnson.  He was reacquired in 1995 from the Sonics for Hersey Hawkins and David Wingate, only to be dealt to New Jersey six months later for Kenny Anderson and Gerald Glass.  Gill extended his career nearly 15 years before retiring in 2004.

8. Baron Davis (246 games)

Baron Davis joined the Hornets as the third overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, being selected by General Manager Bob Bass despite refusing to work out for the team prior to the draft. His reluctance gave way to a rewarding start to a professional career that saw Baron play in all 82 games in each of his three years in a Charlotte Hornets uniform.  Davis came into his own during his second season, doubling his point production to 13.8 points per game. He was selected as a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 2001-02, the last season of the classic Hornets era in Charlotte, when he averaged over 18 points and 8.5 assists per game. Davis also left an indelible mark on the game during the 2002 NBA Playoffs.  In Game 3 of the First Round matchup with the Orlando Magic, Davis took an inbounds pass with 0.7 seconds left in regulation in a tie game with his back to the basket and two steps from mid-court. In one motion he turned, without a dribble and heaved the ball toward the basket.  The ball sailed through the net as the buzzer sounded, but referee Bernie Fryer ruled that the basket was no good, sending the game into overtime.  The Hornets roared past the Magic in the extra session to win 110-100 behind Davis’ 33 points and 14 rebounds. That play by Davis and a similar one by Reggie Miller prompted the NBA to define what could happen in a second or less and led the league to a replay system that is still in place today.

9. Glen Rice (240 games)

“G-Money” was the moniker appropriately given to the player who has scored more points in a Hornets uniform in one game than anybody else.  In addition to his Charlotte NBA-record 48 points in a 122-121 overtime win against Boston on March 7, 1997, Glen Rice also holds the top two single-season scoring totals in Charlotte NBA history and is the career leader in three-point percentage.  He was a three-time All-Star during his tenure with the Hornets, earning All-Star Game MVP honors in 1996-97, when he set All-Star Game records of 20 points in one quarter and a 24 points in one half. Rice’s three seasons in purple and teal were the most successful three-year run in Charlotte NBA history as the Hornets posted 41, 54 and 51 wins, respectively.  For more evidence of his scoring prowess, one only needs to note his 135 consecutive games scoring in double figures or his 28 straight games of 20 points or more in 1997, both of which still stand as the longest streaks ever by a player in a Charlotte uniform.

10. Anthony Mason (236 games)

Anthony Mason brought a “good meanness” when he came to the Hornets from New York in a trade that ended the Larry Johnson era in Charlotte.  In his first season with the team, he averaged 16.2 points and 11.4 rebounds for a team that won a Charlotte NBA-record 54 games in 1996-97.  The following season, he again averaged a double-double of 12.8 points and 10.2 rebounds for a 51-win Hornets team.  Those first two seasons, he tallied 643 and 649 defensive rebounds, respectively, the top two single-season totals in Charlotte NBA history.  Mason and Vlade Divac took care of the dirty work inside while Glen Rice and Dell Curry fired away from the perimeter. An injury kept Mason off the floor for the entire lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. On August 1, 2000, Mason was dealt with Eddie Jones, Ricky Davis and Dale Ellis to Miami for Jamal Mashburn, P.J. Brown, Otis Thorpe, Tim James and Rodney Buford.