We Reminisce: The Hornets Return, And We Remember Bobby Phills

The Charlotte Bobcats are no more, so you can finally put those Primoz Brezec jerseys away for good. The franchise is officially bringing back the Hornets team name today. As part of the name change back to the original moniker, we take time to remember former shooting guard, father, and teammate, Bobby Phills.

The Hornets have been pushing the return of their old nickname on social media all day. Yesterday, the team’s official Instagram account provided a sneak peak of their new slogan:


They’ve also started producing those game-changing teal jerseys that evoke so much nostalgia. You can purchase them at their online team store:

The first names that come to mind when we think Hornets are Muggsy Bogues, Dell Curry, Glen Rice, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. They were an young and hip team, always more style than substance, but the team’s attractive color scheme and their prominent players made them memorable nonetheless.


One of the names I don’t hear mentioned as much is Bobby Phills. The former Hornets shooting guard passed away in 2000, when he was involved in a car accident. His Porsche crossed into oncoming traffic and was hit by a minivan. Phills was pronounced dead at the scene. Teammate David Wesley was also at the scene, and was later convicted of wreckless driving. It was believed the two were drag racing when the head-on collision occurred.

During cross-examination of the ensuing trial, Wesley expressed remorse and explained how the accident affected his life:

“As athletes and even as people, we sometimes think we are invincible, even to controlling things as powerful as a car. But sometimes even the simple things you do every day, you never know what can happen. For a long time, it was hard for me to smile and have fun. Bobby and I liked to smile and have fun together. I’m sure he would want me to go on.”

Phills was survived by his parents, his wife and three children. A month after his passing, the Hornets retired his jersey number. He was the first number to be retired in the franchise history. When the team moved to New Orleans, his retired jersey was left behind hanging at the Charlotte Coliseum. It was later removed and given to Phills’ wife.

At a press conference this afternoon, the Hornets announced their intentions to return Phills’ jersey to the rafters:


What do you think?

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