The British were coming, but the people in Charlotte during the Revolutionary War didn't blink. With a city full of guerilla soldiers, they held their ground, and as Lord Cornwallis retreated, he called Charlotte "a veritable nest of hornets." That's how the Charlotte' name was born, and it stuck even when George Shinn pulled a Lord Cornwallis and ran for New Orleans.
Pretty awesome, yes, but the name has nothing to do with New Orleans. So Tom Benson, the new Hornets owner in New Orleans, is ready to make a change. From the Times-Picayune:
Benson said he is also trying to change the name of the NBA team to better fit the ambience, culture and charm of New Orleans.
"We need to find a name like (Jazz)," Benson said, referring to New Orleans first NBA team that relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979. "Whether we can get that or let us use that, you've got to know we're working on it. We'd like to change it tomorrow. We have not gotten that approved, but we're not letting up on it, either. Because we've got a good relationship with the commissioner and his people and we're going to be on them daily to do something."
First of all, this means the Hornets name could possibly go back to its rightful owners (Charlotte), rid the NBA of the worst name/color combination in pro sports (), ANNNNND lead to a starter jacket revival all over the United States. That's number one, and it's totally awesome.
As for pro basketball in New Orleans, there are deadlines for paperwork with any sort of name or color change, but A) the upside of David Stern's dictatorship is that if he wants to make it happen, it happens, and B) whenever a name change actually goes through, New Orleans gets a team that actually feels like it belongs to them. It may seem like a meaningless cosmetic change, but it'll go a long way toward ushering in a new era of legitimacy and/or fans not worrying about losing their team every year.
Finally, what do you name a team from New Orleans? Some options:
New Orleans Po' Boys -- It makes no sense naming a basketball team after a sandwich, but what the hell is a Knickerbocker? A basketball team named the "Po' Boys" would be pretty incredible. I want to root for the Po' Boys and they don't even exist yet. Logo: Fleur-de-lis, Mascot: Weezy?
New Orleans Bad Lieutenants -- Logo: Iguana. Mascot: Nicolas Cage drunk at every home game.
New Orleans Alligators -- Because alligators are awesome. Logo/Mascot: Gigantic alligator, duh.
New Orleans Nightmare --This is the name of a Lil Wayne song, and it's included here because it sounds awesome. Sadly, the team probably isn't going to be consistently good enough to call themselves the "nightmare." Logo: Weezy? Mascot: Weezy?
New Orleans Crunk -- The Ying Yang Twins could perform at every game, an overflowing solo cup could be the logo. The NBA would never approve this, which is precisely why it's so enticing.
New Orleans Birdmen -- Do it. Doooooooo it!
Anyway, that's just a handful of ideas. If nothing else, thinking of all the names you could use is the best reminder yet of why it's great to have basketball in a city as colorful and ridiculous as New Orleans. Feel free to add your own in the comments. GET EM BIRDMEN PO' BOYS.