John Rohde's NBA Insider: Hornets changing their name?
The New Orleans Hornets reportedly are looking into changing the franchise's nickname when the team comes under new ownership.
According to Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated: “The 'Hornets' nickname, which followed the team to New Orleans during its 2002 relocation from Charlotte, will probably be replaced by an identity more fitting to the city to which the team is now married, for better and for worse. Though everyone involved hopes the worst is now far behind them.”
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Officials from the NBA, which currently owns the Hornets, said there has been no discussion about changing the Hornets' name.
If and when there is a change, it won't happen overnight. When a franchise wants to request a name change (or change a logo or color scheme) it must apply two years in advance and the change must be approved by the league's Board of Governors.
The Hornets changing their name could set off a chain reaction.
If the Hornets nickname is relinquished, would Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats seek the name of the city's 1989 expansion franchise?
And what would be the new nickname in New Orleans?
The city got it right the first time, naming its NBA team the Jazz when it arrived 1974, but the franchise relocated to Utah in 1979.
CAPITOL HILL NAME GAME
Usually when a team changes its nickname, it's leaving the neighborhood. The greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area has mastered the name change essentially while staying put.
The NBA arrived in Baltimore in 1964 after two seasons in Chicago as the Packers (1961-62) and Zephyrs (1962-63).
From that point forward:
Baltimore Bullets (1964-1973): In playoffs 7 of 10 seasons. Made '71 Finals with 42-40 mark; lost to Milwaukee.
Capital Bullets (1973-74): Lost in Eastern Conference semifinals. A time when Elvin Hayes and Phil Chenier ruled.