NBA All-Star Weekend recalls some of Charlotte's biggest sports moments

Carolina Panthers celebrate after defeating the Arizona Cardinals to win the NFC Conference Championship
Carolina Panthers celebrate after defeating the Arizona Cardinals to win the NFC Conference Championship

NBA All-Star Weekend has swept into uptown Charlotte. With basketball events, parties, national media coverage and celebrity sightings on every corner, this weekend ranks as one of the largest and most wide-sweeping sports events in Charlotte.

Which begs the question: What are some of Charlotte's seminal sports moments through the years?

It's hard to argue with a 49-15 victory in the home-hosted NFC Championship in 2015, sending the Panthers to the second Super Bowl in franchise history. It marked the first time that Carolina had ever hosted an NFC Championship game.

Carolina Panthers fans cheer as the team buses go by along Tryon Street on the way to Super Bowl XXXVIII on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2004. (AP/Chris Keane)
Carolina Panthers fans cheer as the team buses go by along Tryon Street on the way to Super Bowl XXXVIII on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2004. (AP/Chris Keane)

Carolina has hosted seven playoff games in its history, holding a 5-2 record all-time in Charlotte. Other memorable Panthers wins include the Divisional playoff wins over Dallas in the 1996 and 2003 seasons, as well as the win over Seattle in the 2015 playoffs which set up the NFC Championship game. The run up to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 featured a Panthers parade through uptown after the Panthers won the NFC Championship in Philadelphia.

The Hornets defeated the Bulls on Dec. 23, 1988, in Michael Jordan's first game back in North Carolina (Charlotte Observer/Jim Gund)
The Hornets defeated the Bulls on Dec. 23, 1988, in Michael Jordan's first game back in North Carolina (Charlotte Observer/Jim Gund)

From a pro basketball standpoint, the Hornets played their first season in Charlotte Coliseum in 1988. One of the more memorable moments from that first season came when the Hornets defeated Michael Jordan and the powerhouse Chicago Bulls, starting a long string of home sellouts as "Buzz Fever" hit the hive. The Hornets have been in 14 playoffs series all-time, advancing to the conference semifinals four times. The Hornets played a home game against the Bucks in Game 6 of the semifinals in 2001 with a chance to advance to the conference finals against the Sixers, but ended up losing that series in seven games.

Charlotte played host to the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 10, 1991. (AP/Susan Regan)
Charlotte played host to the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 10, 1991. (AP/Susan Regan)

Charlotte hosted the 1991 NBA All-Star game where Charles Barkley was named MVP, Dee Brown defeated Shawn Kemp in the dunk contest and Craig Hodges won the 3-point shooting contest.

Arizona student Alicia Prior, left, and Arkansas fan John Hardwick engage in some pre-game activities outside the Charlotte Coliseum before the Final Four semifinal games on April 2, 1994, in Charlotte (AP/David Longstreath)
Arizona and Arkansas fans before a semifinal game in the 1994 NCAA Men's Final Four at the Charlotte Coliseum. (AP/David Longstreath)

Charlotte has been home to a number of memorable college basketball events. The 1994 Men's Final Four was at Charlotte Coliseum as Arkansas defeated Duke in the championship game with President Bill Clinton in attendance.

The legendary Pat Summitt won a national title in the Women's Final Four in Charlotte in 1996.

Charlotte was witness to history in 2018 as Maryland-Baltimore County became the first No. 16 seed to win an NCAA Tournament game in a massive upset of top-seeded Virginia at the Spectrum Center.

Justin Thomas celebrates after chipping in for a birdie on the 13th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club on Aug. 13, 2017, in Charlotte (AP/John Bazemore)
Justin Thomas celebrates after chipping in for a birdie on the 13th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club on Aug. 13, 2017, in Charlotte (AP/John Bazemore)

In 2017, the PGA hosted its first major in Charlotte at Quail Hollow Club. Justin Thomas defeated a star-studded field in the PGA Championship with beautiful Charlotte as the background.

Dale Earnhardt, left, embraces his son Dale Earnhardt Jr, right, in victory lane after Dale Earnhardt Jr won The Winston All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 20, 2000. (AP/Chuck Burton)
Dale Earnhardt, left, embraces his son Dale Earnhardt Jr, right, in victory lane after Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won The Winston All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedwayon May 20, 2000. (AP/Chuck Burton)

Charlotte has long been the epicenter of NASCAR with Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Every year in May, all of Charlotte is swept up in NASCAR fever with the All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600. In 2000, the All-Star race featured a victorious Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in his rookie season sharing the winner's circle with his legendary father.

So what are some of your favorite memories in Charlotte sports history? Select one of the options below or submit a write-in vote in the Disqus comment section at the bottom of the page.

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