It all began with the official announcement that we've been all waiting for, as the Charlotte Bobcats officially changed it's name back to the Charlotte Hornets, and we was all excited to finally see the name return home to where it originally began, because if you were a basketball fan growing up here in Charlotte, North Carolina during the late 1980's and into the mid-1990's, then you know that the Hornets were a household name during their glory days which saw a run of 364 consecutive sellouts at the old Charlotte Coliseum off of Tyvola Road, leading the league in attendance for eight out of 10 seasons, and players we grew up to admire so much, such as Muggsy Bogues, Dell Curry, Rex Chapman, Kelly Tripucka J.R. Reid, Kurt Rambis, Baron Davis, David Wesley, P.J. Brown, and Jamal Mashburn, and yes, we absolutely admire a little purple and teal bee named "Hugo".
In the end, the love affair between Charlotte and the Hornets turned for the worse, and in 2002, the franchise moved to New Orleans, taking the name with them, and that left us a bad taste in our mouths when that happened.
Yesterday, Charlotte Hornets President and COO Fred Whitfield was absolutely thrilled to finally see our city get what it rightfully deserved, bringing back the Hornets name to Charlotte and the Carolinas. "As a former original Hornets season ticket holder myself, I'm especially excited to usher the Hornets name to Charlotte. Our fans were the driving force behind the name returning, and it couldn't have happened without the commitment and the open-mindedness of our owner." Whitfield said.
The name dates back to the Revolutionary War, and the Battle of the Hornet's Nest that happened in October of 1780, and when General Cornwallis left Charlotte, he called the area a "Veritable hornet's nest of rebellion.", and the name was also used for Charlotte's minor-league baseball franchises in some shape or form from 1901-73, and a short-lived World Football League franchise from 1974-75.
Also, another exciting announcement took place during yesterday's press conference, as the Hornets, in partnership with the NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans, would regain all the records and history of Charlotte NBA basketball. This means that the Hornets will have exclusive access to not only the records from the Bobcats era(2004-2014), but records from the original Charlotte Hornets era(1988-2002). The New Orleans franchise, now known as the Pelicans, will retain all records from the team's first season, which began in 2002.
In addition, the team announced several different events over the next several months to get the fans excited about the return of the Hornets to Charlotte, which includes the following:
- June 5th: The return of one of the most popular mascots in NBA history, Hugo the Hornet
- June 9th: The entire Hornets organization will take part in a "Swarm to Serve" Community Day of Service at Hornets Nest Elementary School with Fox Sports Carolinas/SportSouth.
- June 19th: The Hornets new uniforms will be officially revealed for the first time.
- June 26th: On the night of the NBA Draft, the new court design will be revealed at "The Hive".
- July 11-21: For the first time in 12 years, the Charlotte Hornets will return to action in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- October 2014: "BuzzFest", a multi-day festival, will take place to coincide with the start of the 2014-15 NBA season and to celebrate the Hornets return to Charlotte.
Then last night, the Hornets landed the number 9 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, which was won by the Cleveland Cavaliers again, and what happened was that Charlotte acquired the pick from Detroit in the Ben Gordon trade a few years back. The full list of the selections from last night's Draft Lottery are as follows:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Milwaukee Bucks
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Orlando Magic
5. Utah Jazz
6. Boston Celtics
7. L.A. Lakers
8. Sacramento Kings
9. CHARLOTTE HORNETS(from Detroit)
10. Philadelphia 76ers(from New Orleans)
11. Denver Nuggets
12. Orlando Magic(from New York via Denver)
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Phoenix Suns
Long story short, yesterday was a great day to be a Charlotte Hornets fan, you finally got the name back, got all the records back, and the number 9 overall pick in June's NBA Draft, and as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran said in the song, "Everything Has Changed", and it has indeed changed right here in Charlotte as we are now officially the Hornets, again.
And there you have it, our first of many posts about the Charlotte Hornets here on "Hornets Extra", and I hope that you can check it out for yourself and we begin this new chapter in our franchise's history as the Hornets.