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Dell Curry and the beginning of the Charlotte Hornets franchise

Dell Curry was the first pick the Hornets made in the expansion draft, and the beginning of a brand new franchise in Charlotte.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Not many players are more known as ambassadors than they are for their NBA careers, but Dell Curry may be one of those few. This isn't to say that Curry had a career not worth remembering of course. He was a career 40 percent shooter from 3-point range, and had a long and successful 16 year career. Of course, 10 of those years were spent with the Charlotte Hornets, and that's the jersey he'll always be remembered in. It's also how he's become more remembered as an ambassador than as a player.

Despite his long career, Curry these days is known as the Hornets color commentator, and father of current MVP Steph Curry. Hornets fans would spit at this and say that his NBA career speaks for itself, but lets face it, how many young NBA fans these days remember Curry's playing days? Probably not as many as he deserves, but it's hard for role players to be remembered away from the cities they played.

That's why, I wanted to look at one season in particular. The season that Curry and the Hornets relationship began. The very first season of Hornets basketball in 1988.

In the offseason before the Hornets inaugural season, Charlotte was given the option of a higher pick in the regular draft or the expansion draft. They chose a higher pick, and as such picked second to the Miami Heat in the expansion draft. With the second overall pick in the 1988 expansion draft, the Charlotte Hornets selected Dell Curry. A young shooting guard that the Cleveland Cavaliers had left unprotected.

From this point on however, the Hornets went against the typical status quo of an expansion draft. Most teams use this time to draft youth, and players they can build off of. The Hornets however chose a different route, and went with one that could compete sooner rather than later.

Curry on the other hand didn't fit that mold. If he was gonna get playing time then he was going to need to prove his worth, and while he didn't play until December, he managed to do that late in the season. Curry averaged 25 points per game over 48 games off the bench, and was a huge scoring boost off the bench.

Unfortunately for the Hornets this didn't lead to more wins as they finished the season with only 20 wins, but it laid the foundation of an NBA franchise.

At the same time, the drafting of Curry in the expansion draft led to a long relationship between the two that has now given them a great ambassador to the team. Fitting that he was their first pick.