According to a source familiar to the situation, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is changing the name of the franchise to the Hornets. Jordan reportedly has a timetable in mind for the name change, which he will reveal during a press conference scheduled for Tuesday. The name change has yet to be publicly announced.
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said that the time frame for the name change would take about 18 months for the Bobcats to change their name, which means the change would take place in time for the 2014-15 season. From 1988-2002, the Hornets played in Charlotte before being moved to New Orleans.
The name change comes on the heels of the New Orleans Hornets changing their team name to the Pelicans, starting in the 2013-14 season. A reason for Charlotte’s name change could be due to the lack of success that the franchise has experienced as the Bobcats. During the team’s 9-year history, Charlotte has only qualified for the playoffs once. During the 2011-12 season, the Bobcats set the record for the lowest winning percentage in NBA history at .106 during a lockout-shortened season. This past season, the Bobcats continued to struggle, posting a 21-61 record.
Last month, Silver said the process of changing the team’s name would be lengthy and expensive as everything about the franchise would need to be changed, including uniforms, the arena, even the letterhead to the signs on the offices. However, Silver also said that the fact that the league owns the rights to the name Hornets could help speed up the transition process.
In February, Jordan commented on the possible name change in his monthly column on the team’s website
“Judging from the emails you’ve sent me, the opinion seems to be very mixed,” Jordan said. “Some of you have said we should change the name and some of you have said we should not. In fact, a few of you even suggested that we should change the name to something new altogether, and not use Bobcats or Hornets.”
The NBA could possibly vote on the name change when the league’s board of governors meet in July.