The Charlotte Bobcats appear to be contemplating a change to their uniform colors, but a team spokesman says that has nothing to do with a potential nickname change.
Pictures circulated on the Internet Friday night of a Bobcats cap tied to the 2012 draft. Most of the cap looks like the Bobcats’ current blue primary color. The bill is a new, lighter shade of blue. The only orange in that cap is the small “Charlotte’’ stenciling.
Asked if the Bobcats are contemplating color changes, team spokesman B.J. Evans said Saturday, “We’re always trying to explore accenting our colors in different ways. It’s an on-going process.’’
There has been a grass-roots effort of late, lobbying the Bobcats to acquire the Hornets nickname from the New Orleans Hornets. Hornets owner-to-be Tom Benson has said he wants to change his franchise’s nickname once the sale closes. That closing is expected soon, once an arena-improvement bill passes the Louisiana legislature.
NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in April the league “would clearly look at’’ returning the Hornets name to Charlotte if Bobcats owner Michael Jordan wants it. Typically the league wants two seasons of lead time before installing a new team name, but Silver said this could be simpler since the league already owns “Charlotte Hornets.’’
Evans said a possible color change would neither increase nor decrease chances of the Bobcats considering a name change. The Bobcats have avoided commenting on the Hornets nickname, since it’s still owned by another franchise.
The Hornets played in Charlotte from 1988 through 2002 before an arena controversy pushed them to New Orleans. Charlotte Hornets merchandise, in the teal-and-purple colors, was popular from the team’s outset and has resurfaced of late as a youth fashion statement.
A group of Charlotte-area fans calling itself “Bring Back the Buzz’’ has advocated restoring the old nickname to the new NBA team here. The Hornets led the NBA in attendance regularly their first few seasons in Charlotte with popular players Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Muggsy Bogues. They made the playoffs seven of their last 10 seasons in Charlotte and advanced to the second round four times.
But when the relationship with Charlotte soured and the NBA approved a move to New Orleans, the Hornets were last in attendance that final 2001-02 season here.
A color change would be a smaller step in rebranding the Bobcats, which Jordan bought from Bob Johnson in March of 2010. When the Bobcats debuted in 2004, orange was the team’s primary color with dark blue and white accents. The orange was de-emphasized when the team shifted to blue-pinstriped uniforms for the 2008-09 season.
“We haven’t been orange-heavy for a while,’’ Evans said. “For a couple of years we went with blue-and-silver and orange has been an accent.’’
By Rick Bonnell
Posted: Saturday, Jun. 02, 2012
Hell, for once, a positive change for the BCats...looks pretty sharp...
I wonder what (if any) changes are coming to the uniforms...