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July 19, 2013
Putting 'Hornets' name back in Charlotte a smart, easy fix

LAS VEGAS - The flurry of personnel moves and coaching changes ongoing within the league - the good and the bad - will reveal themselves within a matter of time. They always do. But this one's a slam dunk: The Charlotte Hornets once again will be known as the Charlotte Hornets, beginning in 2014-15.

Can teal uniforms with the pinstripes be part of the agenda?

For those who might have forgotten, Charlotte's original expansion franchise, formed in 1988 as the "Hornets," played in the 22,000-seat Charlotte Coliseum. Known as "The Hive" because successful plays were accompanied by the unrelenting buzzing of bees, the Hornets sold out for seven consecutive seasons before owner George Shinn self-destructed, gutted his roster and totally alienated the powers-that-be while attempting to partner with the city on a new arena. Frustrated by his inability to secure a new facility, Shinn pushed for relocation to New Olreans, and despite persistent push-back from NBA Commissioner David Stern and other high-ranking league officials, was reluctantly granted approval by the Board of Governors.

The shorter version of the story continued as follows:

• Shinn moved the franchise to New Orleans in 2002 and kept the name "Hornets."

• Charlotte officials, meantime, lobbied hard and were granted an expansion franchise in 2004, to be known as the "Bobcats."

• New Orleans dumped the name "Hornets" and re-introduced themselves as "Pelicans" last February while the city was hosting the Super Bowl and essentially serving as the center of the sports universe for a week (smart marketing folks there).

• With the "Hornets" brand suddenly available, Charlotte President Michael Jordan pressed for a return to the old name and, with strong support from original Charlotte Hornets GM Carl Scheer, convinced Stern, Adam Silver and the league's owners that, in the hearts and minds of many in Charlotte, the "Bobcats" never made sense and the "Hornets" never went away.

Really, this was an easy, entirely appropriate fix.



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