Get your Starter jackets and Muggsy Bogues throwback jerseys ready. Because Michael Jordan says the Bobcats want to "bring the buzz back" to Charlotte.
As first reported by CBSSports.com's Will Brinson last week, the Bobcats have begun a process that took a more formal turn Tuesday, when they held a press conference to announce the franchise's plan to change the name to Hornets. Jordan said paperwork has been filed with the league to set wheels in motion for a 2014-15 switch.
At the press conference, Jordan said the team has received "overwhelming" support for the name change.
“Overwhelmingly you wanted the Hornets name back,'' Jordan said. “When I first played here years ago, the thing I was totally astounded by was the energy. I wanted to bring that energy back.
“[This decision] says a lot about how we've taken the input from our community and put that in action.''
The Hornets started as an expansion franchise and were based in Charlotte from 1988-2002 before then-owner George Shinn packed up and moved to New Orleans. Charlotte was awarded an expansion franchise in 2004 and has been the Bobcats -- named after first owner Bob Johnson -- since. But with the Hornets recently changing their name to Pelicans, the name is available once again.
One question is whether the team will switch to the old Charlotte Hornets color scheme.
“We haven't even discussed that right now,'' Jordan said. “This is a first step. To say today we've come to that conclusion would not be an accurate statement.''
The team has launched BackBuzzCity.com to help with the transition and gauge fan interest and manage the rebranding.
“The Charlotte Hornets name has been a mainstay throughout the region for many years, and we are excited to announce our intention to re-establish this historic brand,” Jordan said in a letter directed to fans. “We believe that its return will galvanize our fan base by unifying our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have strong memories of our city's NBA predecessor.”
Since forming in 2004, the Bobcats haven't been able to rekindle the same kind of interest the Hornets enjoyed for their 14 seasons. Part of that has to do with the fact the Bobcats have been generally terrible, but the brand definitely hasn't landed well. And it's associated with being a perpetual laughingstock of the league. So a change is certainly a good idea.