The Charlotte Bobcats will be given permission by the NBA today to change their name to the Hornets, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer. This is big news, mostly because there’s literally no sports going on today, but before we get into the story, I’ll provide a brief history lesson.
The “Charlotte Hornets” was the name of a fairly successful NBA franchise, which was essentially run out of town when owner George Shinn was accused of kidnapping and rape by a local woman. There was never a trial, but his lawyer said of the married Shinn’s encounter with the accuser: “They met, she gave him a blowjob, she left.” So he’s a great guy and I can’t understand for one second why the city of Charlotte hated him and took it out on the Hornets by not buying tickets.
There was also an issue with a potential new arena in Charlotte. Their digs were outdated and lacked the large number of luxury boxes that most modern arenas and stadiums have. Shinn wanted the city to build him a new arena without having to pay a cent and threatened to move the team otherwise. They almost listened, but when the arena referendum was ultimately rejected, Shinn applied to the league for a move to New Orleans.
That team is now known as the New Orleans Pelicans, since they probably don’t have any hornets in New Orleans. The Bobcats replaced the Hornets in Charlotte soon after as an NBA expansion team, as part of a promise that the league made to the city. The Bobcats did, in fact, get a new arena in Charlotte, a city where it can not be confirmed that there are actual bobcats since nobody knows what those are.
The “Charlotte Hornets” name holds some lofty expectations. The Hornets played in Charlotte for 14 years, making the playoffs nine times, all in their last ten years in the city. They made it to the Eastern Conference finals once and to the conference semifinals six times. They had some very solid players over those years in Larry Johnson, Glen Rice, Dell Curry, and Alonzo Mourning, among others.
Their replacement, the Bobcats, have struggled immensely. They have finished in either fourth or fifth in their division every season. They have one winning season in nine years. They set the record for lowest single-season winning percentage in 2011 when they went 7-59 during a lockout-shortened season, winning just over 10 percent of their games. They followed that up in 2012 with their second-least wins ever in a full season with 21. To put it short: they suck.
So now that they’re going to be changing their name to the Hornets, one wonders if they’re trying to get some of that good mojo to rub off and actually help them become a decent basketball team. I mean, the last team to play as the Charlotte Hornets was pretty good, so why can’t they be too? It makes perfect sense and I don’t see any reason that it shouldn’t work. But really though, they’re still going to be horrible and will be a disgrace to the Hornets name.
And now on to more important things: that old Hornets logo, which can be seen on the picture above. You know it. You loved it. You still love it. You have a friend who wears an old-school Charlotte Hornets hat way too often. Alright, maybe that’s just me. But the point is, the logo was awesome and it would be a shame if the new Hornets didn’t at the very least design an updated version of the old look instead of going in a completely new direction.
What are your thoughts about the name change? Let us know in the comments below.