Nickname change to Hornets coming soon?

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Nickname change to Hornets coming soon?

April 11, 2013
Nickname change to Hornets coming soon?

"The New Orleans Hornets will become the Pelicans next season, leaving the Hornets nickname as somewhat of a free agent.

The Charlotte Bobcats are holding a "town hall" meeting Monday with season-ticket holders, one that will include NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver.

Two days later, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan's company, Jordan Brand, is re-releasing some purple and teal gear and sneakers that harken back to the old Charlotte Hornets.

The Bobcats have reportedly invited some to a Wednesday event, tied to the season finale against Cleveland, to "discuss the Bobcats' future," and Thursday the team will host an open house.

Two fan blogs are reading the tea leaves of all this and coming to the conclusion that the team has decided to change its nickname back to the Charlotte Hornets, the name the city's NBA expansion franchise took in 1988 and held until 2001, when the Hornets bolted for New Orleans after failing to get a new arena.

And while "Bring Back the Buzz" notes that this could all be "one giant, big, huge, coincidence," Bleacher Report goes far enough to suggest that the sneaker release is a sign Jordan and the Bobcats front office have made up their mind.

Except they're saying they haven't. A Bobcats source told The Observer on Wednesday that nothing is "imminent" on a possible name change.

Not that it won't ever happen. Jordan, and the franchise leadership, might well decide a change is well worth the $3 million cost. But they might not. Some argue that the Bobcats, who have the NBA's worst record, can improve their financial situation more by winning consistently, regardless of the nickname.

The team has yet to make public the results of its scientific survey of ticketholders and others, which is almost certain to be more evenly split than the unscientific landslides -- including the ones we have measured at -- touted by name-change supporters.

But there isn't a name-change announcement scheduled for next week.

Incidentally, if you want to read tea leaves, the first 5,000 fans Monday receive Bobcats jersey coolers from Sprite. If they announced a name change Wednesday, would those be retro-cool by next Thursday?"

-- Mike Persinger

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