Grading The New Hornets’ Logo: Where Does Charlotte’s New Look Stand In The NBA Ranks?

  • Eric Goldschein

Over the weekend, Charlotte Bobcats’ owner Michael Jordan introduced his team’s new logos for the 2014-15 season, when they will re-assume the Hornets moniker recently vacated by the New Orleans franchise. The name change was a popular move, because Bobcats are kind of lame and the old Hornets jerseys were top-sellers back in the 1990s.

In order to take back the Hornets, the team had to create a logo that was different from the original iteration. So the formerly cute, white-gloved version of “Hugo” the Hornet has been scrapped in favor of this more menacing fella:

Angular! Stingy! Charlotte also released alternate images and logos, which can be seen below (courtesy of BackBuzzCity.com):

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Our initial reaction to this logo: Not bad. Frankly, the “Crown CH” alternate is definitely the coolest, while Hugo’s profile shot comes in second. We would have loved to see the Hornets take this opportunity to be more original, but it seems the current trend in NBA logos is to include the team’s full name in large letters and throw a basketball in there somewhere. In fact, the NBA has by far the highest percentage of team logos with some type of equipment in the picture of the four major sports.

So where does this stack up against the other NBA logos? The purple and teal colors are an automatic step up over the Jazz, Raptors, Kings, Suns, Grizzlies and Bucks. Stylistically, they have to get the nod over the boring “mainly words” logos of the Rockets, Nuggets, Magic, Thunder and Spurs (and Clippers, and Lakers). And in a quick comparison in which I said, “Yeah, that one isn’t as cool,” the Hornets climb over the Hawks, Pistons, Cavaliers and Wizards.

So here’s our unofficial ranking of the top 10 logos — dominated by “classic” logos — including Charlotte’s place among them:

1. Bulls
2. Celtics
3. Warriors
4. Nets
5. Pacers
6. Hornets
7. Trailblazers
8. Pelicans
9. Mavericks
10. Knicks

Sixth overall is a pretty good finish, but this speaks more about the dearth of creativity in today’s NBA logos than anything else. Memo to whoever changes their name next (and we have some suggestions for which teams need to make that switch): Try something different, would you?

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about sports online since 2001, including CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, NFL.com, MLB.com and SportsIllustrated.com.