The 2011-12 NBA lockout was a sour yet sweet period in the UK (and Europe), on one had, it made it easier to watch some of the worlds best basketball talent, while on the other, it also meant we had a shortened NBA season, with many players, fans and bloggers (ahem) unhappy with the inability to reach an agreement.
The lockout wasn’t the only memorable thing to happy then season.
The Charlotte Bobcats entered the season with the hope of developing their young talent to make them playoff worthy in a few years time, while the big three in Miami and the young quad of OKC battled in the finals, the Bobcats blundered their way to the end of the 66 game season with a 7-59 (.106) record.
Their head coach, Paul Silas stopped coaching after that season, and only 3 of his 16 man roster are still in the NBA, with the rest having retired or moved overseas. So where in the world is the worst team in NBA history now?!
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)
Since his first season in the league, Kemba Walker has become an NBA All-Star and one of the best in the league. In addition to this, he’s the only one still playing in Charlotte, and 6 years later, he got the team to the playoffs, and looks to be taking them there once more.
Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic)
Bismack was the other rookie that season for the Bobcats alongside Kemba. His years in Charlotte were a write off, and meant he didn’t start his career properly until he moved to Toronto as a free agent. After an inspiring playoffs, where he had to take on a bigger role for the Raptors (Jonas Valanciunas was injured), the Congolese centre moved to the Orlando Magic on a 4 year contract, where he is still playing.
Derrick Brown (Anadolu Efes, Turkey)
Brown was only signed to a one year deal with the Bobcats, and once this had expired, he moved to the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent but failed to make the final roster. After that, he went to play in Russia for Lokomotiv Kuban before moving to Anadolu Efes in Turkey, where he recently extended his contract.
Matt Carroll (Retired)
Matt Carroll may have had a worse season than the Bobcats after going 7-59, and that ‘season’ only lasted one game. In a loss against the Dallas Mavericks, Carroll played 6 minutes, assisted Byron Mullens, fouled Dahntay Jones and drew an offensive foul from Jae Crowder. After this game, he was traded to the Pelicans who promptly waived him 7 days later. Carroll now works back in Charlotte as a radio analyst for Hornets radio.
Byron Mullens (Sanat Naft Abadan BC, Iran)
Byron Mullens stayed in Charlotte to help them improve to a 21-61 season.From there, he moved to the Clippers, where he received limited minutes behind DeAndre Jordan. Mid-season, he was traded to the 76ers, which was his last stop in the NBA. Since then (2014), he has played in China, the D-League, Turkey, the UAE and now Iran, with Sanat Naft Abadan BC.
D.J. Augustin (Orlando Magic)
D.J Augustin has prove to be a reliable back-up PG in the NBA since leaving Charlotte in 2012. He went on to play in Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Denver and most recently Orlando where he’s been reunited with Bismack Biyombo on a 4 year contract.
D.J. White (Gaziantep Basketbol, Turkey)
D.J. White is constantly back and fourth between the NBA and Europe. The Power Forward left Charlotte in 2012 to play in China, before returning to play a season with the Boston Celtics. He became part of the trade that sent KG and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn, where he was promptly waived, resulting in a move back to China. He ended up in Charlotte once more in 2014, before making his way to Spain, Italy, China and now Turkey.
Gerald Henderson (Free agent)
Aside from Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson stayed in Charlotte for the longest period of time. He was traded in 2015 with Noah Vonleh to the Portland Trail Blazers for Nicolas Batum. After a single season in the Western Conference, he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, and become one of the members involved in The Process, a slow and tiring experience that started with them at the bottom of the league, similar to his story with the Bobcats in 2011-2012. At 29 years old, he was released from the 76ers and will miss the entire 2017-18 season due to a hip surgery.
Reggie Williams (Free agent)
An undrafted rookie, Reggie Williams managed to average 15 points per game in his first 24 before his career started to slow down. After Charlotte, Williams played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans. He also had stints abroad, he played for Avtodor Saratov in Russia and the rather brilliantly named Beermen, who are owned by the SAN Miguel beer company.
Tyrus Thomas (Free agent)
Tyrus Thomas’ career had a slow decline during is time in Charlotte and started to free fall after he was waived by the Bobcats in 2013. The 4th pick in his draft class was a big man out of LSU and found himself without a team for the entire 2014-15 season. He was signed to a ten day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2015, before moving to Germany to play in the Bundesliga where he spent 5 months before being released at the age of 30. That was February 2016. He has been without a team ever since.
Cory Higgins (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Cory Higgins only spent one year in the NBA, and that was with the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats. After this season, he moved to Russia to play for CSKA Moscow, a team he is still contracted to today.
Boris Diaw (Levallois Metropolitans, France)
It was a sad day when Boris Diaw left the NBA, the coffee expert is now back home after 15 season in the league. After the disappointment of the 2011-2012 season, Diaw was released and signed by the San Antonio Spurs, where Gregg Popovich made him an NBA champion.
Corey Maggette (Retired)
The 1999 draftee was traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Ben Gordon, played 18 games in the motor city and retired prior to the 2013-14 season. He now works for Fox Sports as an analyst.
DeSagana Diop (Retired)
The Senegalese big man struggled with injuries during his NBA career. Diop left the Bobcats in 2013 and was picked up by the Cleveland Cavaliers only to be released a month later. At 31 years old, he started working as an assistant in the D-League and is currently in that same role with the Utah Jazz.
Eduardo Najera (Retired)
Eduardo Najera was the first Mexican player drafted in the NBA and unfortunately ended his career with the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats. After his career ended, he joined the Texas Legends in the D-League as a coach until 2015. He now works as a scout for the Dallas Mavericks, the team that drafted him in 2000.
Jamario Moon (Free agent)
The high flying former dunk contest participant was waived by the Bobcats in 2012 and never played in the NBA again. He spent time in the D-League, Greece, UAE, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. A final and rather satisfying note should be made that his team total hit 20.