Charlotte Bobcats to become Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Bobcats and owner Michael Jordan held a press conference on Tuesday announcing that the NBA’s youngest (and least successful) franchise will become the Charlotte Hornets.

Charlotte was, of course, home to a team called the Hornets from 1988 through 2002, when the team moved to New Orleans. When the New Orleans team decided to change its name to the Pelicans starting with the 2013-14 season, “Hornets” became available again.

The Charlotte Hornets. Back in 2014?

The Charlotte Hornets. Back in 2014?

NBA deputy commissioner and commissioner-to-be Adam Silver has said that such a name change could take 18 months (though it didn’t seem to take the Pelicans that long), so Charlotte’s pro basketball team may have to spend another season as the Bobcats before donning the teal and purple for the 2014-15 season.

If you judge a team’s popularity by the sales of caps, Starter jackets, and jerseys, the Charlotte Hornets were one of the most popular NBA teams of the 1990s. This, despite playing in a small market and never advancing to the conference finals. But they did have GrandmamaZo and a color scheme unlike any other in major pro sports.

A name change alone won’t alter the fortunes of a team one year removed from the worst season in NBA history, but it’s a start. Here’s hoping that the new Hornets bring back Hugo, and maybe give Kendall Gill or Muggsy Bogues a front office job.

About Josh Tinley

Josh Tinley writes the Away From The Action column at Midwest Sports Fans, covering all aspects of sport aside from what actually happens on the field, court, or track. Josh grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from the University of Evansville and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is the author of Kneeling in the End Zone: Spiritual Lessons From the World of Sports and the managing editor of LinC, a weekly curriculum for teens that explores the intersection of faith and culture. Josh lives outside Nashville with his wife, Ashlee, and children, Meyer (7), Resha Kate (5), and Malachi (3). He will not allow himself to die before the Evansville Purple Aces make another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Follow him on Twitter @joshtinley or send him an e-mail.

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