The Charlotte Bobcats officially joined the National Basketball Association on May 3 upon final payment of its franchise fee, it was announced by NBA Commissioner David Stern. The Bobcats become the league’s 30th team and will begin play next season.
"We are delighted to welcome the city of Charlotte back into the NBA," said Stern. "Bob Johnson’s proven track record of running successful businesses together with the first-rate organization he has assembled in Charlotte is sure to make the Bobcats a success, both on and off the court, in the years to come."
Robert L. Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET), was unanimously awarded the Charlotte expansion franchise by the NBA Board of Governors in January 2003. The Johnson group also owns and operates the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting.
Longtime NBA team front office executive Ed Tapscott is the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. NBA veteran coach and executive Bernie Bickerstaff is the Bobcats’ first-ever general manager and head coach.
Key upcoming milestones for the Charlotte Bobcats franchise include: