Bobcats considering name change with availability of Hornets
“We are aware of the impending change regarding the team nickname in New Orleans,” Charlotte Bobcats President and Chief Operating Officer Fred Whitfield released in a statement on Thursday, soon after the New Orleans Hornets announced their change of name to Pelicans effective next season. “We are currently in contact with the NBA and conducting our own due diligence relative to this matter. We will not have any further comment until we have completed this process.”
Though there had always been rumors of a possible name change it’s the first time since the Charlotte Bobcats was established in 2004 that the Hornets nickname has been available. New Orleans took the Hornets name with them during the franchise’s move from Charlotte in 2002.
But there had been a strong backing of Charlotte Bobcats fans towards a return to the Hornets’ name and its colors. Many associated the Hornets name with hopes to the revival of Charlotte’s old basketball success.
"It's definitely an interest down the road, but right now it's the New Orleans Hornets," Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan previously acknowledged. "We would definitely entertain the opportunity. That's as much as we can say right now. We've heard the community ask the question, and we would listen."
Michael Jordan himself had a prolonged interest in re-associating the Hornets name with the Charlotte Bobcats.
Moreover, the Hornets name seems more fitting with Charlotte where it initially sprung up. The Hornets name has been derived from a descriptive statement of the city by British general Charles Cornwallis, who called Charlotte a "veritable hornet's nest of rebellion" during the Revolutionary War.
Meanwhile, there are others who are reluctant towards rebranding the city’s basketball team to Hornets due to the money invested in the Bobcats. Additionally, a few don’t desire for the franchise to be associated again with former owner George Shinn. The current Hornets originally relocated to New Orleans due to bad publicity sprung by the multiple sexual assault allegations and lawsuits against George Shinn.