The change happens formally on Tuesday, the same day as the NBA Draft Lottery.
Per the Observer, "The Hornets nickname has a long history in Charlotte, referring to the city’s reputation during the Revolutionary War as a 'hornet’s nest of rebellion.' The original NBA franchise in the city, which began play in 1988, was the Hornets."
The league approved the name change back in 2013 after New Orleans changed its name from the Hornets to the Pelicans.
Later that year, the organization also unveiled a sharp new logo. According to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, team president and chief operating officer Fred Whitfield explained that, "When we were doing our research, we looked closely into a hornet's DNA. We came back with swarming, attacking and protective.”
The Hornets moniker should be good for business in Charlotte. The fans wanted the change made and could return to the Time Warner Cable Arena in swarms thanks to a little new branding.
According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, "The Hornets led the NBA in attendance for seven consecutive seasons in Charlotte, but the Bobcats have not been as successful in the market, which spurred the movement to return to the name.”
Per Windhorst, team owner Michael Jordan explained that this was largely a fan-driven process:
We're thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas. The passion and enthusiasm around this name change by fans in this market has been unmatched. They overwhelmingly told us what they wanted, we listened and we couldn't be happier with the Board of Governors' approval of the name change. With the young team we are developing on the court, the direction of our business and the return of the Hornets name, we are extremely excited about our future. The buzz is back!
Of course, the biggest reason for excitement in Charlotte is that the soon-to-be Hornets are actually a playoff team now. After two seasons lurking at or near the bottom of the standings, fans will look forward to how this team builds upon its first postseason appearance since 2010.
With big man Al Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker leading the way, Charlotte promises to be a much-improved team going forward. Though the team was swept in the first round this season by the Miami Heat, it has a young and fast-developing core around which to build.
The previous Hornets franchise remained in Charlotte from 1988 until 2002. It was then moved to New Orleans.
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