“I’m humbled and filled with unspeakable joy for all of you bringing Bobby’s jersey back home.”-Kendall Phills.
Losing Bobby Phills was a tragedy to not just the Charlotte Hornets but the NBA as a whole. On January 12, 2000, Phills lost his life to an automobile accident whilst teammate and close friend David Wesley was travelling behind him. Wesley since then wore Phills old Hornets shorts under his to honour his dearly departed basketball brother. Last week Wesley returned to Charlotte with Bobby’s widow Kendall Phills as Bobby’s old number 13 jersey did too.
Bobby Phills was a great player on the verge of being even better when his life was took all too soon at age 30. After retiring his jersey the Charlotte Hornets soon fled the nest for New Orleans before briefly swarming round Oklahoma City during Hurricane Katrina (that town was then in turn given the Thunder franchise…or should we say the Seattle Supersonics). With the New Orleans franchise now renamed the Pelicans (stay with us) an expansion Charlotte Bobcat team this year received even more exciting news than Michael Jordan’s ownership and Lance Stephenson’s signing when they renamed themselves back to the Hornets. An identity that carried all the way to the honeycomb, purple and teal.
With the Hornets returning home it was only right one of their original sons did too. Even though Phills jersey moved to New Orleans with the Hornets, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native returned to his basketball roots and the rafters of legend once again in the Charlotte Coliseum. Now watching over the young buzzing Hornets his legacy continues.
This is for you Bobby!