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The NBA New Orleans Hornets basketball team plays in the Western Conference’s Southwest Division in the National Basketball Association. The Hornets are based out of New Orleans, LA and play at the New Orleans Arena. The team began playing in the NBA as the Charlotte Hornets in 1998-99. The team moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to New Orleans in 2002.
The inaugural 1988-89 team was led by guard Kelly Tripuka, long distance scorer Rex Chapman, and Muggsy Bogues, who at 5’3″ was the short player to ever play in the NBA. The Hornets improved when they drafted Kendall Gill in 1990, Larry Johnson in 1991 and Alonzo Mourning in 1992. In 1992-93, the Hornets went 44-38 and made the playoffs for the first time. In the first round, the Hornets beat the Boston Celtics in an upset before falling to the New York Knicks. The Hornets made the playoffs several more times during the 1990s.
In 2002, the Hornets moved to New Orleans. In 2002-03, the Hornets made it into the playoffs for their fourth consecutive year. For the 2005-06, as well as 2006-07 season, the Hornets played in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma due to the damage that Hurricane Katrina waged on the city of New Orleans.
The Hornets returned to New Orleans to play the 2007-08 season there. The Hornets went 56-26, which was their best ever record and won a division title for the first time. In the playoffs first round, they defeated the Dallas Mavericks but lost in the second to the San Antonio Spurs.