The Charlotte Hornets are officially back! The Charlotte NBA franchise took legal ownership of the name "Hornets" today.
Now that the Hornets are back, we'll try to wipe the 10 years of the "Bobcats" out of our minds. The last year of the Cats served as a huge springboard into the future as the Hornets. The last Cats team improved their win-loss record by 20+ wins and made the playoffs.
The biggest announcement made today is that the new Charlotte Hornets will regain all statistical data and records of the former franchise from 1988-2002. On June 5th the team will reintroduce Hugo "the most beloved mascot" in the NBA. June 7th auditions begin for the reincarnation of the Honey Bees (the Hornets dance team). June 19th the franchise will unveil the new Hornets uniforms. The day of the NBA Draft (June 26th) the team will unveil the new court design.
This is a perfect storm for the Charlotte franchise. They have done all of the right things in bringing back the name, the colors and now the history of the Charlotte Hornets. If they will just bring back the teal, purple and Carolina blue pinstripe uniforms... it would be another perfect move, in my opinion.
As outlined in today's press conference, the people love the Hornets' return. Hornets Executive VP Pete Guelli said once the name change process began last year, the team gained more than 2,000 new season ticket holders and 90% of the past season's season ticket holders renewed. That put them top 10 in the NBA. So far this year, Guelli said, the team is #1 in new season ticket sales.
No one can forget how well-attended the Hornets games were early on. The Charlotte Coliseum hosted 364 consecutive NBA sell-outs from December 1988 to November 1997. The fact that that banner and the Bobby Phills #13 jersey will return to Charlotte is nearly enough to bring a tear to a fan's eye.
The Hornets - and their history - are back where they belong.
Visit the new HORNETS.COM for more trips down memory lane and the latest on the name change.