2. Larry Johnson — Charlotte Hornets
The teal and purple of the Charlotte Hornets ruled the schoolyards of the 1990s. From Starter pullover jackets to backward baseball caps to Champion replica jerseys the Buzz City brand was inescapable. You didn’t even have to be a basketball fan, or like sports at all to rock the popular look.
While Alonzo Mourning may have ended up having the best career of any of the Hornets from that time, none defined the look and feel of the team better than Larry Johnson.
Grandmama was a hard-charging, high-flying, hard-dunking, Running Rebel who brought that tenacity from college to the NBA after being selected first overall in the 1991 NBA Draft. His UNLV team put fear into the hearts of Duke in the NCAA Tournament, and there’s nothing cooler than making the Blue Devils shake in their sneakers.
Johnson signed what was then the biggest deal in NBA history when he inked a 12-year, $84 million deal with the Hornets in 1993 after being named Rookie of the Year for the 1991-92 season, and being named an All-Star in 1992-93. If there’s one thing cooler than making Duke fear you, it’s loads and loads of cash.
Charlotte’s look sparked a bit of a style revolution as well, making brighter colors more popular in the looks of teams across all professional sports. Soon purple and teal were seen as main colors of expansion teams in baseball and were part of team’s rebranding plans to keep up with the times. Franchises couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon the Hornets were driving.
All of these makes Larry Johnson’s teal Charlotte Hornets jersey the pick for the number two position in the NBA jersey advent calendar.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Garnett (Brooklyn Nets), Moses Malone (Philadelphia 76ers), Chris Webber (Washington Bullets), Alex English (Denver Nuggets)