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Bob Bass, Former Hornets GM, Dies At 89

Former Charlotte Hornets general manager Bob Bass died Friday in San Antonio after suffering two recent strokes. He was 89.

Bass became general manager of the Hornets in 1995, and continued serving in that role after the team moved to New Orleans. He retired in 2004.

Twice he was the NBA’s Executive of the year, including with the Hornets in 1997. He also won the award in 1989-90 as general manager of the San Antonio Spurs, a team he coached in the 1970s before the ABA and NBA merged.

“He was the most brilliant basketball guy I have met. So adept at evaluating talent,” former Hornets owner George Shinn told the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell. “He always kept me posted, and I stayed out of his way. We had that kind of relationship and it was the best.”

The Hornets released a statement, saying the organization is "saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Bass. After coming to Charlotte in 1995, Bob was responsible for some of the most successful teams in Hornets history and left an indelible mark on our franchise. Under his leadership the Hornets never finished a season with a record under .500, and his team building earned him the NBA’s Executive of the Year Award in 1997. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Pat, sons Kelly and Kip, and the entire Bass family.”

Bass also coached ABA teams in Denver, Miami and Memphis, and at times served as interim coach of the Spurs after he moved into the front office.

In addition, he coached 15 years at Oklahoma Baptist, which won the NAIA title in 1966. Bass also spent two seasons as coach at Texas Tech.