So Charlotte Bobcats Chairman Michael Jordan is going to make a major announcement Tuesday, at least that’s what today’s press release said. In all likelihood the subject matter will be about the worst kept secret in the Queen City, North Carolina, the NBA, the U.S. and the world. Oh heck, throw in the universe too.
In other words, the Hornets are coming back home to Charlotte.
Jordan will be joined by Executive VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Pete Guelli which could give the impression that it has something to do with bringing the old team name back but the unveiling of a jazzed up version of the old logo which would distance them from where the name, unfittingly, once resided.
In other words, if Dorothy and her dog were available she might take the podium first and proclaim “’Toto, I’ve a feeling the Hornets are not in Louisiana anymore.”
There will be the inevitable questions as to why it took so long to make it all official. After all, Tom Benson waited less than 24-hours after the final 2013 playoff game to flip on the neon sign above the New Orleans Arena with the name “Pelicans” next to an NBA logo.
It usually takes about 18 months to formally make a change of this sort and in this case it could begin with the change of the corporate identity. The last thing you want with a rebirth is to be saddled with what is currently Bobcats Sports and Entertainment. As an acronym, BSE isn’t so bad, but it’s the first word that has area basketball fans cringe each time it is mentioned.
The hoopla that will surround the press conference could be about the corporate name, the team name, the colors and/or the logo. It won’t be about the coaching situation and roster – don’t bet there won’t be questions asked anyway. It is almost a sure bet that NBA Commissioner David Stern is right in the middle of all this and he may even show up unannounced.
A corporation can be created with access to the Internet and a credit card. Design concepts probably started as soon as Benson made mention he was dumping his team of their non-regional name. However, there is only one thing that could make this press conference memorable: Michael Jordan’s team shall be known as the Charlotte Hornets beginning with the 2013-14 season, well ahead of any mandates.
There is no reason for the NBA to delay the switch. No one liked the name New Orleans Hornets. Even fewer found something good about the Charlotte Bobcats, especially when it became known how the nickname came about.
The jury may still be out on Michael Jordan and what kind of owner he has been or will be, but you have to give him points for trying to turn the page when everyone expected him to do just that. Yes, the buzz is coming back and fans in local sports bars will be toasting Jordan and what they consider this city’s name. But with the change also comes the responsibility to move those fans off their bar stools and into seats in the Time Warner Cable Arena because the “new” Hornets are a good team.