28 years ago today in 1988, the Charlotte Hornets unveiled possibly the greatest uniforms in NBA history when they officially brought teal to professional sports. It was a trend that was copied time and time again throughout the ’90s — the Marlins, the Grizzlies, the Jaguars, the Sharks just to name a few — and while all those were fantastic, nothing will ever top the original Hornets teal.
Here’s Hornets forward Kelly Tripucka modeling the teal for the first time ever:
Kelly Tripucka = NBA Neil Armstrong. First man to wear teal. Tripucka actually had quite the season for the Hornets in 1988-1989 as the league’s 13th leading scorer (per game) with 22.6 points per game and is the proud father of free agent NFL long snapper Travis Tripucka.
As for the rest of the expansion 1988-1989 Charlotte Hornets — the ones who broke the teal barrier — here they are in all their glory.
Dick Harter (yes, that was his name), was the team’s head coach but was fired after an 8-33 start. The team finished 20-62.
Among the notable names on the inaugural Hornets squad were Mugsy Bogues, Dell Curry, Kurt Rambis, Sidney Lowe, former ESPN broadcaster Tom Tolbert and of course the great Rex Chapman.