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, backbuzzcity.com.
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.
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.