UPDATE: Monday, May 20, at 6:55 p.m. ET by Eric Ball
Rick Bonnell @rick_bonnell
Bobcats to make name-change intent official Tuesday at 6 p.m. http://t.co/TWfAdorXLQ”2013-5-20 21:33:26
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According to a report from CBS, the Bobcats have started the process to have the team name changed back to the Charlotte Hornets. Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reported on Tuesday that NBA commissioner-to-be Adam Silver informed the team that the name change would take at least 18 months to implement if the request was made.
Now, it appears that the process will indeed be put in motion.
The original NBA franchise in Charlotte was known as the Hornets from 1988 until 2002, when the team was moved to New Orleans. Those Hornets officially changed their team name to the Pelicans this season, making the old Hornets name available once again.
Team owner Michael Jordan announced via NBA.com that the team had surveyed the locals in regard to the return of the original mascot and described the fan reaction as "mixed." Several groups of fans from around the city have been publicly campaigning for the name change.
As Silver pointed out to the Charlotte Observer, the move isn't just about fan opinion—although that definitely factors into it. The team must make sure that it is the right move financially, as it would have to invest millions in rebranding uniforms, logos and signage.
The Bobcats finished the 2012-13 season with the second-worst record in the NBA at just 21-61. At least a switch back to the team's former name could get fans excited about turning the franchise around.