Vale Rick Bonnell

Devastating. Completely stunned

This is really stunning and quite sad to read.

I came to know the Bobcats through Rick and despite him being able to absolutely frustrate the hell out of me at times, it was like that annoying friend that you play poker with that you genuinely look forward to him frustrating the hell out of you. He will definitely be missed, and I will miss him being a part of the Hornets narrative.

Rest in Peace Rick and my condolences to his kids, sister, the Hornets, and Charlotte Observer families.

(should note, I don’t know what Vale means)


Latin for ‘farewell’


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Hate to hear that. I didn’t usually agree and IMO he was wrong alot (the Bobcats will not trade for Jason Richardson) but for the most part I enjoyed reading his take.

This is extremely sad news, I know almost every Hornets fan wasn’t a big fan of his reporting but he’s been a major part of Charlotte basketball for decades

Hate to hear it. He was so important to me as a young fan in the late 80s and early 90s. Time marched on, the internet perhaps lessened the importance of the newspaper beat writer over time, but Rick will always be synonymous with my favorite period of basketball fandom: the classic years of early Hornets, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Olajuwon, Barkley, etc. etc.

I was deeply saddened when I learned of the news of Rick’s passing this morning. As a lot of you said, Rick was one of the main people involved with my initial love of the Charlotte Hornets.

He responded to a few of my Twitter questions for his columns over the past couple of years and I coached his son for a year at Myers Park in football, Jack, who was mentioned in the article.

His book he wrote about that magical 1992 Hornets season was some great insight into some of those beloved players. I had asked him one time if he would ever do another one and he bluntly replied no, lol, but I wish he had because his knowledge was unlike any other about this team and this franchise.

I just hate that he won’t be able to enjoy the ride I think Lamelo Ball and friends are about to take us on over the next few years. The last time he was on WFNZ he was so happy about getting away and going to the beach after another long season.

Rest in peace my friend and thank you for the years of fun and coverage you provided for all of us. Enjoy every second guys.


I do think there is a lot of truth in Michael’s statement “He prided himself on being fair and honest in his reporting”

Rick might have guessed wrong when asked to posit a prediction but I think we can all say that he didn’t trade in bogus stuff. If he reported something had or had not happened; that was bankable.

One thing that did bubble up reading Fowler’s obituary (which was nicely said): I really appreciated Rick not seeming to be a part of the “Kemba would be better off leaving” editorial that the CO put out in advance of [Kemba’s] free agency. I lost a hell of a lot of respect for the CO in that editorial but I don’t recall Rick putting his name to it and I really appreciated that at the time.


Plowright, next man up

I was always sympathetic for the guy. It’s been a struggle for most journalists to maintain relevance in the era of Twitter, but I appreciated many of his takes and thought he was an honorable guy going about his craft. Sports fans all think they know more than the coaches, GMs, and certainly the beat writers. But we don’t have to continually generate relevant and honest content everyday for a living. He was a talented guy.

Sad to hear about his passing.

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Really sad to hear. Rick was there from the beginning and seemed to be a good guy. RIP

Wow! Sad sad news. Echo many of the sentiments already expressed. Prayers for the family. RIP Rick.

Wow. Absolutely stunning, what a loss to Charlotte Hornets basketball.

Ah to be a Hornets fan…going from the elation of landing Ball and seeing the team peak at 4th in the east…only to watch the team crumble, everyone is injured, getting blown out in the play in tournament, and then to end the season Bonnell dies.

What a life. So sorry to hear this about Rick. RIP