The NBA's Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the Charlotte Bobcats' name change to the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday, the league announced. The change will take effect for the 2014-15 season.
"We’re thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas," said Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in a statement. "The passion and enthusiasm around this name change by fans in this market has been unmatched. They overwhelmingly told us what they wanted, we listened and we couldn’t be happier with the Board of Governors’ approval of the name change."
The first Hornets franchise started in Charlotte in 1988, but moved to New Orleans after the 2002 season, taking the Hornets nickname with it. The NBA awarded Charlotte an expansion team shortly thereafter, and that club began play as the Bobcats in the 2004-05 season. That nickname was a reference to majority owner Robert Johnson, who went on to sell his share of the team to Jordan in 2010.
After the New Orleans Hornets officially changed their name to the Pelicans at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season, the Hornets nickname became available. The Bobcats subsequently created a website, BackBuzzCity.com, in order to drum up support for changing their name back to the Hornets.