Bobcats' loss to Heat ends season, franchise - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Bobcats' loss to Heat ends season, franchise

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Just 12-hours after their fourth straight loss knocked the Charlotte Bobcats out of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs, players have cleaned out their lockers for the last time as Bobcats.

The team was swept by the Miami Heat, including Monday night's 109-98 loss to end the season and the Bobcats' franchise.

Starting next season the Charlotte Hornets name will return to Charlotte, after a 12-year stint in New Orleans. The franchise started in Charlotte in 1988 before moving to New Orleans in 2002.

While cleaning out their lockers on Tuesday morning, the players say they have a lot of things to build on, saying the culture has finally started to change.

They believed that new additions to the team, such as Al Jefferson, played a big role in the culture change.  Another big influence was head coach Steve Clifford.

Point guard Kemba walker says Clifford got the team to buy into his system. Walker says Clifford challenged them and made them better.

Gerald Henderson, who has seen four different coaches come through the Bobcats system, says Clifford just knew what to do because of his NBA experience.

The Bobcats era closes out with a young team that's been through a lot of highs and lows over the years, so the team is already setting high expectations as they ring in a new year and a new age as the Charlotte Hornets.

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