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New ad pushes Charlotte to bring back Hornets name

Mar 4, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

That ad is showing up on television now in the Charlotte area, sponsored by a local hardware business, as reported in the Charlotte Observer (hat tip to Eye on Basketball).

The sentiment is much larger than that — when Michael Jordan bought the Bobcats he was peppered with questions about changing the team name. The feeling in Charlotte is that former owner Bob Johnson — who brought the expansion franchise to the city (after owner George Shinn to the Hornets to New Orleans) — really named the Bobcats after himself. It has never been as popular.

Hornets, on the other hand, is a name synonymous with Charlotte back to the Revolutionary War when British military commander Charles Cornwallis referred to Charlotte as a “hornet’s nest” of rebellion. Every policeman in Charlotte wears a hornet’s nest patch.

Hornets also is available with the New Orleans franchise becoming the Pelicans next season.

Some fans want it back. There are reports that the franchise is polling season ticket holders and talking with the NBA, but nothing official other than the team saying they are looking at the matter.

Jordan himself seems to be playing this down.

It’s not going happen in Charlotte for 2013. Or probably 2014. The NBA is a massive marketing machine and changing a franchise name is not something done on a whim. It’s a two-year process, one shortened slightly for Tom Benson when he bought the New Orleans team.

Still, in a couple years it could happen in Charlotte. The Bobcats have a long way to go in winning back that region after the way Shinn ruined it, this would be a step in that direction.

  1. jgib23 - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Kurt- you assume that the team is just now working on the name change. Adam Silver was in Charlotte the last game of last season to discuss the Hornets name coming back to Charlotte then. Silver said in a quote to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that the switch back to Hornets would be quicker than normal because the NBA still owns all the copyrights for the Charlotte Hornets.

    I’m certain that the name change has been worked on concurrently with the switch in NOLA.

    It’s not like the clock will start at the end of this season.. the clock started last season when the NBA knew Benson was going to change the name.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 5, 2013 at 2:59 AM

      Well it’s not happening next season for sure or it would already be announced. Beyond that, it’s been discussed but even Jordan is playing this down the middle right now.

      • jgib23 - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        I doubt the NBA would allow a change to be announced while the name is still being used by another franchise.

        This wasn’t some hail Mary, last second decision. The Hornets announced mid season a switch to Pelicans, that is he first time the NBA has ever allowed a team to announce that decision in the middle of the season and tank their own merchandise sales.

        The very next day, the Bobcats (via Harris Interactive) sent a questionnaire to season ticket holders asking specifically about the Hornets name coming back to Charlotte. Obviously, that survey wasn’t dreamed up in the 24 hours after the announcement in NOLA.

        This has been in the works for nearly a year already and will be announced at the end of this season.

  2. fanofevilempire - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    I think if the fans say they want the Hornets back the NBA and MJ make the change.
    Then they can start winning.

  3. rickyspanish - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:42 PM


    • mogogo1 - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Come on…it’s ONLY the headline of the article. These guys have important stuff to do!

  4. tigerpork - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Forget bringing back the Hornets name. This team should just fold…

    • dacapt704 - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Thanks for the inciteful comment

  5. mrlaloosh - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    Yawn,,,,,, I can’t believe I’m commenting on this stupid thread. ANYWAY, no one cares. Hornets, Bobcats. Good grief, It’s Charlotte.

  6. j0esixpack - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    It’s too bad Utah is so synonymous with great music and eccentricity, because the “Jazz” would really be a great fit as a name for New Orleans.

    But of course it’s important that Charlotte retain ownership of the “Hornets” lest they ever get an NBA team back.

    Now I’m off to the lakes of Los Angeles to do some fishing!

  7. jcmeyer10 - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Now that the Hornets name has been freed up, I don’t see why not. I think Bobcats fans will be more than happy to reup their gear if it’s to get back to the Hornets.

    I bet kids are still wearing those throwback hats and I can’t imagine Bobcats gear is more popular.

  8. thestudiokida - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    I grew up and still live in Charlotte. I went to a handful of Hornets games and they were amazing. This city LOVED their basketball team. The Coliseum sold out something like 388 straight games. Then George Shinn did something unspeakable to a young girl and asked the city to build him a new arena downtown. Charlotte said the Hornets will have their arena if Shinn sells the team. Hence the move to New Orleans.

    Anyways, since the Pelicans change was announced there has been a lot of buzz around Charlotte. A lot of people who have never been to a Bobcats game are suddenly interested again. They HAVE to change back. Hornets! Hornets!

  9. adoombray - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Charlotte gear was some of the most popular leagewide in the early 90’s. The Lakers and Jazz situations are apples and oranges ; those teams didnt change their names. NO did voluntarily and said they’d be cool with selling the name. This is not a situation comparable to those other teams. Make it happen, Jordan.

  10. tampajoey - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I’m all for Charlotte getting their name back.

  11. nolahxc - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I’m genuinely happy that Charlotte would be able to get their name back. It just makes sense.

  12. jimsjam33 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Yes .

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