I admit, I’m not a fan of NFL owners buying NBA teams. No disrespect to Paul Allen and Stan Kroenke (NBA owners that bought NFL teams) but I live by one simple rule: there’s basketball and then there’s everything else. The NBA, to me, is a sacred fraternity unlike any other league in the world (sorry Euroleaguers).
That being said, New Orleans “Hornets” owner Tom Benson has already won me over in just his first week as boss. Owner of the Saints for over two decades, he definitely ensures that this team will stay in NOLA for a long time. But that’s not what gets me excited…..
…what gets me geeked is reports that he plans on changing the name of the Hornets to something that “better fits the culture and charm of New Orleans”, according to the Times-Picayune.
The team moved from North Carolina a decade ago and people still call them the “Charlotte Hornets”. Fans in NOLA hear the word “Charlotte” more often than Metta World Peace hears the name “Ron Artest”. I’m tired of blaming the media and fellow bloggissists…..the name just doesn’t fit New Orleans.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of teams taking names with them when they relocate. I know, there’s very little jazz in Utah and even fewer lakes in Los Angeles…and those two franchises did just fine. But still, names have to be relevant. I was thrilled when Seattle got to keep the name SuperSonics despite Clay Bennett‘s power move to Oklahoma City…..though I do think they could’ve done better than “Thunder“.
Names belong to the city more than they belong to the actual team. It’s like when a TV show changes actors for the same character. I still refuse to watch an episode of ‘Two & A Half Men’ with Ashton Kutcher playing Charlie. Now that I think of it, I can’t watch MTV’s ‘Punked’ either…..he just looks too much like Kyle Korver. Demi Moore must have a really hard time watching Bulls games.
Anyways, you get what I’m saying……when a team changes cities, their name should change too.
Tom Benson, thanks for seeing things my way. You’ve done more in a week than George Shinn did in 30 years…..and with a much cooler accent.
UPDATE: The Charlotte Observer is reporting that the Bobcats may be interested in taking the name Hornets back if available…..that would be MJ’s best decision in years.