NBA owners expected to give Bobcats OK to change name to Charlotte Hornets

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.comJuly 17, 2013 

— The NBA’s rubber stamp will hit the Charlotte Bobcats’ request for a name change to the Hornets at a Board of Governor’s meeting Thursday at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.

The Bobcats technically need approval from a majority of the league’s other 29 teams to take on the name of Charlotte’s original NBA team. But it’s clear there won’t be resistance, after the New Orleans franchise gave up that nickname to be called the Pelicans.

Incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said twice during visits to Charlotte that he is for this name change if Bobcats owner Michael Jordan wants it. And outgoing Commissioner David Stern advocated a name change, according to a source familiar with Stern’s thinking.

The Bobcats will celebrate the anticipated name change at an uptown event coinciding with Alive after Five at the EpiCentre.

Ex-Hornets of Charlotte vintage Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues, Rex Chapman, Kendall Gill and Kelly Tripucka have been invited to a rally, beginning about 6:30 p.m. at the EpiCentre. The Board of Governors meeting is scheduled to conclude sometime between 6:30 and 8 EDT.

The Bobcats did market research that showed strong support, both from season-ticket holders and the general public, to adopt the name of the Hornets franchise that played in Charlotte from 1988 through 2002.

The actual change in name, logo and uniforms won’t take effect until after the 2013-14 season because of all the changeover entails. For instance, adidas, the league’s uniform maker, needs time to design and fabricate new uniforms.

Beyond that, the Bobcats’ courts, both at the arena and the adjoining practice facility, will have to be resurfaced. Extensive signage inside and outside Time Warner Cable Arena will have to be replaced.

The Bobcats estimate the cost of all those changes will reach about $4 million.

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