Jul 18 2013, 10:42pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
The Hornets are back in Charlotte, N.C.
A unanimous vote of NBA owners at the summer meeting on Thursday in Las Vegas cleared the way for the Bobcats to change their name to the Hornets monicker beginning the 2014-15 season. The change was triggered by New Orleans owner Tom Benson whose team carried the name "Hornets" when it moved to Louisiana from North Carolina in 2002. Benson wanted something more appropriate for his team and the new nickname for New Orleans' NBA squad - "Pelicans" was eventually approved.
This paved the way for Charlotte owner Michael Jordan to change his team's name. He then requested that the Bobcats' name be changed to Hornets in May. Benson's ownership group made a push for the approval.
Jordan expressed thrill at the turn of events.
"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 diretion of our business and the return of the Hornets' name, we are extremely excited about our future. The buzz is back!"
"I sort of laughed at it, initially. You know, it is what it is, get over it."
Now that the Hornets will be back in Charlotte, the current Bobcats team thanked the Bensons to the extent they are making a contribution to the Pelicans' Gulf Coast preservation fund, writes the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.
Bonnell also adds former Charlotte Hornets Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues, Rex Chapman, Kelly Tripucka and Kendall Gill joined a rally at the EpiCentre in the city's downtown in anticipation of the approval.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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