Charlotte Bobcats to Officially Become the Hornets Again

by July 19, 2013

The NBA’s team owners unanimously approved Charlotte’s name change back to the Hornets, 11 years after the city’s original team moved to New Orleans (eventually becoming known as the Pelicans.) Per the press release and the Charlotte Observer: “The Hornets was the name of the original Charlotte NBA franchise that debuted during the 1988-89 campaign. ‘We’re thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas,’ said Bobcats Sports & Entertainment Chairman Michael Jordan. ‘The passion and enthusiasm around this name change by fans in this market has been unmatched. They overwhelmingly told us what they wanted, we listened and we couldn’t be happier with the Board of Governors’ approval of the name change. With the young team we are developing on the court, the direction of our business and the return of the Hornets name, we are extremely excited about our future. The Buzz is Back!’ […] That change will take effect after the 2013-14 season, allowing enough lead time to switch uniforms, logos and signage in and around Time Warner Cable Arena. The Hornets moved in 2002 after owner George Shinn and city council failed to work out a deal to replace the Charlotte Coliseum. The NBA quickly replaced the Hornets in Charlotte with an expansion team with new owner Bob Johnson called the Bobcats. That name wasn’t well received by Charlotteans, some of whom saw ‘Bobcats’’ as a show of vanity by Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnson ended up selling majority control of the team to Michael Jordan in March 2010. Former NBA superstar Jordan frequently said his goal was to recreate the atmosphere he remembered playing against the Hornets as far back as the team’s debut season in 1988. The Hornets sold out the 24,000-plus seat Coliseum for nearly nine seasons, regularly leading the NBA in attendance. The Hornets had a distinctive purple-and-teal color scheme, with pinstriped and pleated uniforms courtesy of North Carolina-based clothing designer Alexander Julian.”