Perhaps the most surprising story in the NBA during the 2013-2014 season was the turnaround by the Charlotte Hornets (Bobcats).
The Hornets finished 21-61 in the 2012-2013 season, but had a 22-game turnaround this season, finishing 43-39. The Hornets were busy in the offseason. They hired a new head coach, former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant Steve Clifford, who obviously did an excellent job. The Hornets also did a good job developing some of their younger players – point guard Kemba Walker played at an All-Star level for most of last season. Plus, they even made a big move during the season. The Hornets dealt guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien to the Milwaukee Bucks for a pair of veteran guards in Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour, which helped assure them of a playoff spot.
However, it was the addition of former Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson that was the biggest reason for the turnaround. Jefferson was recognized for his efforts last week when he named third-team all NBA. Hornets’ owner Michigan Jordan took out an ad in The Charlotte Observer praising Jefferson for his season.
Here is the scoop courtesy of the Associated Press:
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan honored Al Jefferson by taking out a full-page advertisement Sunday in the Charlotte Observer after the 6-foot-10 center was named third-team All-NBA…
…The ad praised “Big Al” for his “dedication and commitment to the franchise” and congratulated him for winning the Eastern Conference Player of the Month twice during the season.
Jefferson averaged 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 50.9% from the field and 69.0% from the free throw line this season.