So when will the Charlotte Hornets retire Dell Curry’s No. 30 jersey?
This coming season, when the Hornet will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NBA in Charlotte, would seem a logical time. The first player chosen in the 1988 expansion draft, Curry played here the first decade of the Hornets, was the franchise’s career scoring leader until last season, and still serves as the team’s television color analyst.
“Now that we have the history back, that’s one of the things we have to start talking about,” Hornets chief marketing officer Pete Guelli said Monday, when asked about retiring Curry’s jersey.
When the Bobcats re-branded to the Hornets in 2014, the franchise applied for and received from the NBA not only the name and colors, but also the records from the original Charlotte franchise (1988 through 2002).
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Curry was gone by the time the original Hornets relocated to New Orleans, finishing out his career with the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, but he and wife Sonya continued living in Charlotte. Both the Currys’ sons now play in the NBA: Seth with the Portland Trail Blazers and Stephen, a two-time league MVP, with the Golden State Warriors.
The Hornets have only retired one jersey: Bobby Phills’ No. 13, and that was in response to Phills’ tragic death in 2000 in a car crash at the age of 30.
So there’s no formally establish criteria for how the current Hornets might retire numbers, but certainly Curry should be a prime candidate between his 9,839 points and his deep ongoing ties to both the franchise and the city.
The Hornets have previously honored Curry with a halftime presentation during the 2015-16 season. The Hornets scheduled that ceremony to coincide with the Warriors’ one game in Charlotte that season.
That could serve as a template if the Hornets choose to do a number retirement: Stephen’s Warriors are in Charlotte Feb. 25 and Seth’s Trail Blazers are at Spectrum Center on March 3.