Charlotte may not be in the mix during the NBA Draft Lottery 2014, but it doesn’t mean the organization won’t be making any news that day.
That’s when the transformation for what were the Charlotte Bobcats becomes official, as the team will become known as the Charlotte Hornets once again–their original name when they first joined the league as an expansion team for the 1988-99 NBA season.
That’s right–The Charlotte Hornets will be back in business for the 2014-15 NBA season, and it probably couldn’t come at a better time for the organization, which is coming off one of its most successful seasons despite a first-round exit in the playoffs at the hands of the Miami Heat.
When the Hornets moved to New Orleans for the 2001-02 season, the name stayed with the team. But since New Orleans decided it needed a new name for its team (Hello Pelicans!), the Hornets moniker became available once again.
A groundswell of support from Charlotte fans made the push to have the name changed back to Hornets, and team owner Michael Jordan eventually took notice.
Last July, the NBA Board of Governors approved the name change, and the re-launch will become official during a press conference on May 20–the same day as the NBA Draft Lottery.
The original Charlotte Hornets were one of the NBA’s best fan-supported franchises when they entered the NBA, annually among the league’s top draws at the old Charlotte Colisuem. The uniforms, with the unique tones of teal and purple, were also among the most popular league-wide.
The original colors will also be making a comeback.
So long to the Charlotte Bobcats, who entered the league as an expansion franchise in 2004 under the ownership of Bob Johnson.
Time to bring back the buzz.