As you’ve now heard, the Charlotte Bobcats will become the Charlotte Hornets. Credit to CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson for breaking the story late last night. We don’t know exactly how long the process will take, but we do know NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said the process would take “at least 18 months.” So we know Charlotte’s basketball team in 2013-2014 will again be called The Bobcats. The 2014-2015 season will tip off in early November of 2014, a little over 17 months from now. I have no inside information, but I suspect that the organization will aim to take the floor in 2014-2015 wearing purple and teal.
So, what’s my reaction?
Like most Charlotte basketball fans, I remember how fun the Hive used to be, how proud we used to be of our basketball team. That feeling faded of over time. It’s impossible to say when. George Shinn had legal problems, pressed for a new stadium and left town. Bob Johnson brought us a new team. He also gave it an unpopular name, was rarely seen around town, insulted our community and failed to assemble a winning organization. In nine seasons, the Bobcats have yet to win a playoff game.
Changing the name will help turn the page on a decade of forgettable basketball – if the product on the floor changes. I happen to believe that General Manager Rich Cho has the organization trending in the right direction, but I also know that several members of the old regime are still a part of the current organization. You know, the regime that drafted Adam Morrison and Alexis Ajinca, the regime that will soon name its fourth head coach since December of 2010.
Still, I’m excited because the rebrand offers an opportunity to erase those bad memories. The organization will have a new head coach and will likely have four first round picks over the next two years. If Cho and company make the right decisions, they could build the winning foundation we’ve been missing over the last decade.
It also brings home a name the community loves, a name that was meant for our community.
I’m glad we can break out the purple and teal.
Here’s to hoping it accompanies a few more wins.
~Lewis Woodard, WFNZ Sports Radio The Fan 610 AM
Find Lewis on Twitter @LewWoodard