Don’t worry, the franchise isn’t going anywhere now that the NBA sold the team to Saints owner Tom Benson. But the team’s mascot that’s been in place since the franchise’s inception in Charlotte over 20 years ago could soon become a casualty to Benson’s desire to have a nickname more fitting of the region. He already has his sights set on the name of the team that last called New Orleans home.
“We need to find a name like (Jazz),” Benson said Friday. “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.”
Benson, of course, is referencing the New Orleans Jazz, who, with Pistol Pete Maravich in tow, in 1979 relocated to Utah, where the franchise has received tremendous support from its fans in Salt Lake City. So, Benson can hope all he wants, but it’s not going to happen. This isn’t college, where every other school’s mascot is either the Wildcats or the Bulldogs or the Tigers.
Whatever the change may be, it’s going to be weird seeing a league without the Hornets as we’ve come to know them. Those teal jerseys that have been donned by the likes of Chris Paul, Muggsy Bogues, Baron Davis, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning (and almost Kobe Bryant) have been around over two decades. A rebranding isn’t entirely necessary, either, but this is a team ready to start a new chapter and a name change is one way to mark that.
Personally, I think the New Orleans Cheap Plastic Beads would be a tremendous name. But I can only wish.
H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE