What’s in a name? Why the Hornets name should stay in New Orleans

Last week, in an article in Sports Illustrated about the prospective long-term success of the  New Orleans Hornets, there was this little nugget.

The most interesting decision of the new owner may be whether to rebrand the franchise. Will the “Hornets” nickname be relinquished and enabled to return to Charlotte, where owner Michael Jordan could rebrand his own underperforming franchise?

Let me, first and foremost, state that I feel the team should remain the Hornets. The franchise has not had much success in the city, but I don’t feel this is reason to change identity. First, and perhaps most selfishly, I really like the Hornets look and feel they’re one of the better identities in basketball. As bad as Hugo is, the uniforms, color combinations, and the Fleur de Bee are all really nice.

Beyond that, the team has been the New Orleans Hornets for 10 years now. Even when they didn’t play in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, they were still the New Orleans Hornets. To throw that out for a new identity just feels silly.

On top of that, Charlotte, I understand that you hate the fact the Hornets left. I know that it was George Shinn that caused the fans to stay away, not any lack of love for the team… that being said, the team is gone. They’ve been gone for 10 years. You have a new NBA team. Embrace them, rather than pining over an identity long gone. Even if the New Orleans team takes on a new name, I do not feel that Charlotte should “reclaim” the name. The Bobcats are a terrible name and identity, unlike the Hornets, and if they were to rebrand, I would be fine with that, but take on something organic. Do not try to rewrite history because you can’t see past Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and Alonzo Morning.