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It’s official: Michael Jordan says Bobcats to become Hornets again

May 21, 2013, 7:44 PM EDT

Charlotte Hornets logo

UPDATE 7:44 pm: Michael Jordan stepped on stage and made it official.

Saying he wanted to “bring the buzz back” to Charlotte, he confirmed that the Bobcats will change their names to the Hornets. The goal is to have that in place by the start of the 2014-15 season (they will play one last season as the Bobcats this year).

“We spoke to our season ticket holders and fans, and overwhelmingly you guys wanted the Hornets name back,” Jordan said. “And we went out and brought the name back.”

Well, they got from help from New Orleans (which will play as the Pelicans starting next season), but still Charlotte will take it.

As part of the effort they launched a new Web site,

9:55 am: The Charlotte Hornets became the New Orleans Hornets, which became the New Orleans Pelicans, allowing the Charlotte Bobcats to become the Charlotte Hornets.

Got it?

A few days after news leaked, the plan will become official today. Steve Reed of the Associated Press:

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is changing his team’s name to the Hornets, said a person familiar with the situation.

The person said Jordan will detail the timetable for the change to be completed at a press conference the Bobcats have scheduled for Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because the name change has not been publicly announced.

NBA deputy commissioner and COO Adam Silver previously said it would take “about 18 months” for the Bobcats to change their name.

That sounds like Charlotte would become the Hornets for the 2014-15 season. In the meantime – just as people were finally beginning to stop saying Charlotte Hornets out of habit anyway – we’ll have this weird middle ground where Hornets is just as likely to mean Charlotte as New Orleans.

But the confusion is worth the effort for the reasons Kurt Helin explained here:

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.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - May 21, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Seriously, find a better logo. Hugo didn’t have different colored shoes, nor was he neon.

    • bigsuede - May 21, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      They should ditch the teal and go black/yellow or black/gold. Make them mean looking

      • money2long - May 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        or something that matches their team colors ?

  2. nycalldayz - May 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    MJ needs to sell the Bobcats to someone who can actaully manage and build that franchise. You can’t be great at everything, MJ.

  3. dacapt704 - May 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Now the residents of this city will have to find another reason to complain about the team…for so long it was the name, no one wanted to support the team bc of the name. Ok…so now that the name is changed, is that going to help the players?? NO! The problem is not and never was the name, its the management, which to MJs credit (ppl love to talk about the past) he has stepped AWAY from and handed the reigns to Cho & his staff…so we’ll see

    • drspivey21 - May 21, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      For MJ to get the fans to forget that the team is still horrible he should do whatever he can to get the hornets name for next season. I’m sure it will cost millions but New Orleans did it so why can’t Charlotte. They can start advertising and selling merchandise atleast locally to bring back all the fans that disregarded NBA basketball in Charlotte since the hornets left a decade ago. The first few home games would definitely sell out and merchandise sells would increase significantly. I think he could make back the money it cost to get the name for next season very quickly.

    • dacapt704 - May 21, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      Thumbs down all u want but I live in Charlotte and have supported the BOBCATS from day 1…even 2 seasons ago when we won 7 stinkin games!!!

      Im just about the team being better, could care less about the name. My point was that ppl here placed way too much emphasis on the name, citing that for the reason they wont support the team, which is a bunch of bull!

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 22, 2013 at 6:11 AM

        Props to you for being a TRUE fan to the team that you support. Win or lose, it’s the team you choose…

  4. tcclark - May 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    As it should be

  5. robmar924 - May 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Live in Charlotte and I was a huge Hornet fan. I support the Bobcats but I know so many people ready to rally around the Hornets in a way the Bobcats never saw. logic doesn’t support this but I think it will be a hugely noticeable difference in team pride and support in Charlotte

  6. andrewproughcfe - May 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Larry Bird — kicked MJ’s butt repeatedly on the court, kicks MJ’s butt repeatedly as an executive off the court.

  7. coryfor3 - May 21, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    So when people ask who is the all time leading scorer in Hornets history? Who is it? The records follow the pelicans or what? So complicated.

  8. xxakshunxx - May 21, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    @cory.. It will be on the same terms as the Cleveland Browns who lost their records to Baltimore when their team moved and then came back I believe

    • mazblast - May 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Nope. When the old Browns moved to Baltimore, part of the relocation agreement was that the name and stats stayed with Cleveland. The same thing was in the SuperSonics’ relocation agreement when the team was moved to OKC, all the stats stay in Seattle.

      What will happen here? Considering the sad history of both franchises, I’m not sure that it really matters, but I think what will transpire is that the old Hornets’ records will stay with New Orleans, and the Bobcats/Hornets “history” will start with the current Charlotte franchise.

  9. hpeters77 - May 21, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Well with that said the New Orleans jazz/hornet/pelican wants their name back to the jazz

    • mazblast - May 22, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      It would be great if every team name were changed to be sensible. There’s little jazz in Utah, no lakes (or clipper ships) in Los Angeles, no grizzly bears in Memphis, no royalty in Sacramento, no cavaliers in Cleveland. “Magic” and “Heat” are bad names, but at least they fit their cities.

  10. giantssb42champs - May 21, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    This is definitely a good thing. Hornets belong in Charlotte.

  11. spideysdog - May 21, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    and if MJ is true to his word, he will sell the team to an owner that has a single clue about running a professional sports franchise.

  12. wsuperman4445 - May 21, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    lets face it as much as i like Mike Jordan owning a team the fact is he does know how to run it and probably has great Idea’s on how to run a team. and if he does not he knows professionals in this league who do, but the real problem is Money. 99% of the teams are owned by Billionaires that use the team they own as a hobby or as a trofy to show their friends their continued wealth etc. look who’s trying to buy the Kings.. steve ballmer of Microsoft 51 billion and counting and he is pennys to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates look who owns the nets, knicks etc.. they are all Billionaires then comes Micheal Jordan has name recognition but is worth probably 400 million dollars not exactly in the same league as the others so.. if he goes in the luxury tax it going to hurt ALOT. look at the lakers, they routinely pay 85 million luxury taxes to get the players they think they need the Magic billionaire just spent 400 million on a new state of the art arena and now is spending twice that much on other developments in town… Nets just built a new arena THEN the owner over paid for seasoned players to make them some what of contenders right now ( still won’t beat the Heat now..) Mike needs a big brother ( Billionaire to go in with him ) not Johnson who is minority stake in the Bobcats/Hornets but a minority owner that is willing to let him pretend he owns the team it does look good but the real power will be with that minority owner

  13. wsuperman4445 - May 21, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    IF I were Micheal Jordan I would use this opportunity to sell the Team to The Seattle Group they are desperate for a team. Mike bought the team for 179 million with 25 million down in 2010 ( see Forbes report) if he were to sell the team to a desperate Group like them for 5-600 million (the value they would be in Seattle) Mike would be well on his way to Billionaire status or my favorite become a minority owner and move the team to seattle Phil Jackson as your GM then sign some big names in a matter of 5yrs Mike will be able to claim he is a billionaire then sell his minority interest and start a new expansion team guess where? In Charlotte, Ballmer has the money and does not care…

  14. redbaronx - May 21, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Pelicans…..the worst NBA team name ever! With a shrinking population that doesn’t even reach 400,000, should there really be an NBA team in New Orleans? I say ship ’em to Seattle and rename them the Supersonics!

  15. Punk - May 22, 2013 at 8:41 AM


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