I am a from Texas and a fan of the Hornets so I can not say much about the city of Charlotte and surrounding areas. However when I first became a fan it was the year Charlotte got a basketball team. I was excited about expansion and followed the team mostly on the radio I had that picked up Hornets radio broadcast. Ocassionally I would catch a game on cable tv. It was so cool to support the Hornets. The fans were loud and proud and it didn't seem to matter who the team played. The place was always packed. Also the team uniforms were among the most sold of any in the NBA. Here in Texas it was nothing to find another fan wearing a Hornets uniform and or showcasing other Hornets merchandise.
I realize that time changes everything and the newness of having the Hornets represent the city of Charlotte and the state of Carolina would for sure die down.
With the original Hornets leaving to NOLA I could understand the feelings that led to a big drop off of fans once the city got back an NBA franchise. However the city obviously did all that was needed to bring the NBA back to Charlotte so I still find the lack of enthusiasm hard to understand. The Bobcats were a team that had some good moments and it's own identity in Charlotte and yet it felt that the Bobcats did not belong in Charlotte. Then there seemed to be a resurgence of enthusiasm in Charlotte and all of Carolina in bringing back the name and history of the Hornets while retiring the Bobcats. Now the Hornets have an established and dedicated owner in Michael Jordan. Michael has had some struggles getting the Hornets to become an established playoff contender but at this exact point in time we have a team with some promising young talent that seems to be headed in the right direction. Most of the time they play hard and that has lead them to a respectable record. I see light at the end of the tunnel and find the future looking bright. I read recently that the Hornets are rated 27nth in the NBA among fan attendance. That sucks and just won't cut it. I guess the team will have to make the playoffs as a top seed and at least advance past the first round to regain Hornets mania. I have seen a few games this season and from my eyes view it seems there are more fans in the arena than the stats seem to state that there are. So who knows what gives. I have noticed the energy level does not come close to matching the energy of the early years. That sucks and needs to get better.
I was happy for the Golden State Warriors fans when the Warriors became legit not too long ago. That organization suffered years of great fan turnout and energy while the team mostly struggled. Another city that had among the best fans is the Seattle Supersonics. It really sucked seeing them taken and relocated to OKC. However OKC fans have done well with their support of the now Thunder. I could mention some other cities that have similar energy and support like the Hornets once did but I will end this by saying I hope the Hornets fans will again rise to the loud and proud and second to none fans that they had. People wanted the Hornets back and they now have that so a little more enthusiasm shouldn't be too hard.