The Charlotte Hornets will return in the 2014-15 NBA season.
The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the name change during their summer meeting in Las Vegas on Thursday. The name change was approved as New Orleans gave up the name and changed to the ‘Pelicans’. The current name of the ‘Bobcats’ will continue for one more season before the switch.
“We’re thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas,” said Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in a statement. “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!”
NBA Commissioner David Stern said that Jordan and him had been in regular discussion over the name change and initially had laughed it off.
“It is so true that it was a subject of conversation for the last couple of years,” Stern said.
“Fans of the old Hornets would say, ‘Please give us back our Hornet name.’ I laughed at it initially. But it stayed there bubbling below the surface, and there’s something to it.”
The Bobcats website have hailed the return of “Buzz City”. There was a party in downtown Charlotte, upon hearing the news. Former fan favourites Muggsy Bogues, Rex Chapman, Kelly Trupucka, Dell Curry and Kendall Gill were in attendance.
“We want to reach back and grab some of that equity that the Hornets earned in our community,” Charlotte COO Fred Whitfield said. “They did a lot of great things off the court. They were involved in the community. They became very accessible to the Charlotte fans and citizens of Charlotte. We want to reach back and grab some heritage and use it as we move forward to build a brand with our young team that continues to improve.”
The Bobcats name is currently the second worst team nickname in terms of win percentage. Their overall record is 250-472, a total of 34.6 percent.