What's In A Name?

Should the Bobcats change their name back to the Hornets?


1. Names matter. Dumping a bad name happens all the time. GMAC is now Ally; Andersen Consulting is now Accenture; ValuJet is now AirTran, which is now becoming Southwest. Bobcats are scary, I guess, but you’re probably more likely to be stung by a hornet.

2. Hugo. The mascot is currently unemployed after New Orleans cut him loose, and it turns out, he knows a guy named Super Hugo who trampoline-dunks. As for Rufus Lynx, he already looks like he hangs out at the EpiCentre way too often. He’s all yours, Whisky River.

3. History. Lord Cornwallis, the British general whose surrender led to the end of the Revolutionary War, is often cast as a loser and an enemy. But he did call Charlotte a “hornet’s nest of rebellion,” and two centuries later the NBA franchise here picked up on it. That’s savvy marketing.

4. We can forget Adam Morrison. Adam who?

5. We’re talking about it. Really, when was the last time we had a good long conversation about NBA basketball in Charlotte? —Jeremy Markovich



1. Names don’t matter. Owner Michael Jordan hasn’t guaranteed the return of Hugo or purple-and-teal jerseys. And you know Muggsy won’t be blocking any shots—he’s, like, 50. So what’s in a name? History. Right. Because Charlotte cares so much about that.

2. Purple-and-teal pixie dust doesn’t win games. The Bobcats finished with the worst record in the NBA in 2011-12 and second worst in 2012-13. The team has a history of making poor trades (Kobe for Vlade? No.) and drafting some doozies. So regardless of the new look, good luck rocking any Hornets merch following another 23-game losing streak.

3. Game attendance in recent years has been dismal. “We spoke to our season ticket holders and fans, and overwhelmingly you guys wanted the Hornets name back,” MJ says. Guess who he didn’t poll: the huge swath of the population that isn’t buying tickets to games. That’s some choir preaching right there. 

4. Four. Million. Dollars. To rebrand. Sure hope there’s room in there for a killer severance package for Rufus Lynx.

5. Charlotte’s full of transplants. There are thousands of newcomers who never knew the Hornets. What about the last decade of kids who grew up with Gerald Wallace posters? —Virginia Brown

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