The Charlotte Bobcats and majority owner Michael Jordan announced in late May that they would begin the process of changing their nickname from the Bobcats to the now vacated Hornets moniker. The process takes approximately 18 months to formally go through, but on Thursday Charlotte cleared the first big hurdle.
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, the NBA approved the name change in a Board of Governor’s meeting in Las Vegas. Now the only real hurdle remaining for the name change to be fully underway is the approval from the majority of the league’s 29 other owners. According to Bonnell, though, that seems to be more of a formality than anything at this point.
This name change comes at a fitting time for the franchise. Charlotte is at somewhat of a crossroads this off-season as they have won just 28 games over the past two seasons combined. It’s now or never to start putting the plan of Rod Higgins and Rich Cho into motion and getting this team out of the cellar.
That plan has already put into motion. The Bobcats still likely won’t make the postseason next year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be much improved. Adding Cody Zeller in the 2013 NBA Draft and big man Al Jefferson will give their offense a huge boost, especially in comparison to last season.
The Bobcats are getting better and trying to turn things around. What better way to represent that than to re-brand themselves, get the city of Charlotte back behind this team, and get things rolling in a more positive direction? According to Bonnell, the name changing process, including floor resurfacing for the Bobcats’ arena and practice facility as well as other things, will cost around $4 million. In actuality, that’s a small price to pay new life for this franchise.