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Report: Bobcats changing name back to Hornets

May 18, 2013, 10:50 AM EDT

Charlotte Hornets logo

The Charlotte Bobcats are about to go away — and the Charlotte Hornets are coming back.

Fans in Charlotte have clamored for the change, particularly since the Tom Benson, the new owner in New Orleans, pushed for a name change from Hornets to the more locally popular Pelicans.

It’s going to happen, reports’s Will Brinson at Eye On Basketball. CBS did a search and found that the NBA has started to prepare to move some digital properties over.

This is not going to happen next season, the league and its marketing arm usually likes a couple of years lead on these kinds of changes. It likely would be the fall of 2014 at the earliest.

Still, this is going to be welcomed in Charlotte by the fan base.

Charlotte the city is nicknamed the “hornets nest,” a moniker that dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War. That is when the British General Cornwallis had occupied the city but was driven out by residents there, leading him to call Charlotte “a hornet’s nest.” The residents took and still take pride in that. Go to Charlotte and even the police wear a patch with a hornet on it.

So the Charlotte Hornets made sense, but when George Shinn moved the team to New Orleans in 2002 he took the name with him. The expansion team that took their place in Charlotte was the Bobcats, a name that many felt owner Bob Johnson had basically chosen to name the team after himself.

Current owner Michael Jordan had put together a group to do studies and look at a possible name change. Apparently he’s decided to go forward with it.

Good call. It’s a step in getting the city to fully buy into the team again after Shinn’s pretty much scorched earth policy there. A winning team would help, too, but one step at a time. The name is a good move.

  1. miketoddryan - May 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Bout time.

  2. jcmeyer10 - May 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    And there was much rejoicing.

  3. deavn - May 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM


  4. cpanthersfan - May 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Plus next years draft will be stacked and we mite have 3 lotto picks…things are looking up!!!

    • jaerba - May 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      You can only look up if you’re at the bottom.

      • fanofevilempire - May 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        only god doesn’t have to look up my friend, if you
        don’t you better start!

  5. kev86 - May 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM


    • fanofevilempire - May 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      good for the fans…….

  6. cupajoe41 - May 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Will get lots of dislikes, but someone has to say it…

    Why not just cut to the chase and call them the “Supersonics”

    • jcmeyer10 - May 18, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Stern wants a year or two of merchandise sales before we can start dropping those hints.

  7. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Good, but for the love of all that is proper, dump that logo, it’s 2013 out there and a 12 year old could design something better.

  8. 13arod - May 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    what is next the thunder will change there name back to the sonics??

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Ya, just as soon as they relocate back to Seattle….smh

      • eventhorizon04 - May 18, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Haha, exactly.
        I think he missed the point – Charlotte’s original team was named the Hornets, so they’re changing the name of the current team back to the Hornets.
        Seattle’s original team is the Supersonics, and there’s no reason why OKC’s team would rename itself using **Seattle’s** name..

    • mazblast - May 19, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      Can’t happen. Part of the relocation deal was that the SuperSonics name stays in Seattle. It’s the same deal the NFL had with the Ravens when they moved from Cleveland–the name “Browns” stayed with the former city.

  9. t8ertot - May 18, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Good..bring it back to the grandma days with Larry Johnson

  10. thekingdave - May 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues on NBA Jam. Awesome.

    • dannymac17 - May 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    • 00maltliquor - May 19, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      NBA Jam T.E.

  11. northstarnic - May 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Thanks for the context/history lesson regarding Charlotte Hornets. Very interesting. Now if we could just get the North stars name back here in the North Star State (“Wild”, what a cheesy name for a team).

  12. pistol7pete - May 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Jordan’s best move as an owner

  13. ranoversquarells - May 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Now if they only changed the owner …

  14. nirvana504 - May 18, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    And the Jazz are still in Utah. smh

  15. c1md6 - May 18, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    About time, now all we need is the supersonics back in Seattle!

  16. gotchangeforadollar - May 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    This is a good day for humanity.

  17. thraiderskin - May 18, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    I didn’t know that about Charlotte, the hornets nest, NC… That is a very cool fact and nickname. Initially when I saw this story I thought it was a joke, but after hearing that tid bit of history, how could you not re-take the name.

  18. jobotjones - May 18, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    bring back those uni’s and grandmama while you’re at it!

  19. northstarnic - May 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM


  20. ProBasketballPundit - May 18, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    You picked a terrible version of the Hornets logo. He’s wearing one black and one white shoe… and I don’t recall one of our colors being neon blue.

  21. mazblast - May 19, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    It’s a great opportunity to sell more sh**, and that’s what David Stern’s NBA is all about. Heaven knows it hasn’t been about the quality of the product in years.

    Now if MJ would just spend a little time on improving the caliber of the team’s play…

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