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Charlotte Bobcats begin process of changing name to Hornets

By Eye on Basketball staff

You could 'bee' seing the Charlotte Hornets again soon.    (Getty Images)
You could be seeing the Charlotte Hornets again soon. (Getty Images)

The Charlotte Bobcats are in the process of changing their name to Hornets, a source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com's Will Brinson.

There is no timetable for the switch, though NBA commissioner- to-be Adam Silver told Bobcats season ticket holders in April that such a change would take at least 18 months to implement. Moreover, the change is not unexpected and would likely be popular with the North Carolina fan base.

Bobcats chairman and owner Michael Jordan confirmed in February that the team hired "a national polling group" (previously reported as Harris Interactive) to determine how fans felt about a change to Hornets. Jordan called the reaction to the poll "very mixed." Numerous grassroots groups have pushed for a return to Hornets.

Charlotte's NBA team was known as the Hornets from its 1988 inception through 2002 when then-owner George Shinn moved the team -- and mascot -- to New Orleans. When the New Orleans franchise changed its nickname to Pelicans this past season, it opened the door for "Hornets" to return to Charlotte.

Silver told season ticket holders re-acquiring the name "Hornets" would not be an issue, stating that the NBA and not the Pelicans owned the moniker. Acquiring and rearranging the necessary digital assets would be a major part of any change. Hornets.com and CharlotteHornets.com are owned by NBA Media Ventures, LLC and currently redirect to NBA.com/Pelicans.

However, a WhoIs.net search for the domain name NBAHornets.com shows that the URL was created and registered very recently -- on May 15, 2013 to be exact -- by NBA Media Ventures, LLC.

NBA Media Ventures, LLC, is the media branch of the NBA and owns NBA.com, Hornets.com and CharlotteHornets.com.

A whois confirmation of NBAHornets.com reveals the NBA has purchased the site.
A whois confirmation of NBAHornets.com reveals the NBA has purchased the site.

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