Resiliency, Character Define Hornets Season, Not Abrupt Ending
By Sam Perley
It’s easy to look back at the Charlotte Hornets’ 2019-20 season and wonder what if? What if the regular season hadn’t been rightfully suspended with 17 games to go, just as the team was hitting its stride? What if fans got to see this exciting young core continue to develop and play together for another month? What if they continued to defy the odds again and again?
In the grand scheme of things, basketball certainly isn’t the most important thing on everyone’s minds at the moment, but it’s still alright to have an empty, unfulfilled feeling about how the season ended if you’re a Hornets fan.
This season in itself shouldn’t be defined by the unexpected ending that took place. What it should be defined by is the resiliency and character that was brought forth on a daily basis by an amazing group of young men. A team written off at the start learned to play for each other and compete against the top teams in the NBA, particularly over the final few weeks.
We’ll remember Devonte’ Graham’s game-winner in Madison Square Garden and how he launched himself into the NBA’s Most Improved Player conversation. We’ll remember Terry Rozier having a breakout season in a new city as a full-time starter and rookie PJ Washington sinking a record seven three-pointers in his first NBA game.
We’ll remember Malik Monk’s buzzer-beating three that sent Spectrum Center into a frenzy and Miles Bridges taking home the Rising Stars Challenge MVP on All-Star Weekend. We’ll remember Bismack Biyombo’s game-sealing block in Detroit, the relentless energy from the Martin twins, the dramatic endings, the comeback victories and everything in between.
So, what now? Well, it’s back to the grind. Players were finally able to return to Spectrum Center last week, getting up shots and getting in lifts as the offseason officially begins. There’s 65 games worth of film to watch and plenty of ways to keep pushing forward. Unfinished business will be what drives this team throughout the summer and fall.
The roster may look a little different whenever play resumes, but the message and goal will remain the same. Coach Borrego’s four pillars of competing every night, player development, establishing an identity and building winning habits will still be standing strong when the team fully comes back together again.
The final game for the Hornets ended up being arguably their best win of the year, as they rallied from a 20-point deficit to knock off the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena. Unbeknownst at the time, they certainly went out on the highest note possible, one that proves there’s something special growing in #BuzzCity.