Have the Hornets been swatted? Sprayed? Maybe itís the climate change? Whatever the double entendre you want to use, the climate in New Orleans is certainly changing. The Hornets are out and Tom Benson is in. The new owner of the New Orleans Hornets, along with the cityís fans, is keen on a name change. And in the process they are killing my childhood dream, that one day the Hornets, a team embodying mediocrity and the underdog spirit, would one day rise from the ranks to win a championship.
The city of New Orleans may one day win an NBA champion but not the Hornets, and it becoming clear the two were never really one in the same. New Orleans wants a basketball team; they just donít want it to be the Hornets. This is understandable. A city stricken with turbulence deserves a title reflective of its tenacious attitude. But couldnít the franchise just have easily been an expansion team? Does the New Orleans agenda needs to vanquish the Hornets moniker? I was initially relieved when Benson purchased the team, glad for the stability, but now I feel as if something precious is being taken. The Hornets never had a lot of out of state fans, so whenever people were surprised to hear I was a Hornets fan I always felt a sense of pride and ownership. Now I feel like a child who helps start a club only to be kicked out.
In reality, the Hornets have come to embody mediocrity, largely because former owner George Shinn would never allow further progress. Talent would come and go, but a solid foundation was never set and a team could never solidify. Shinn would never dish money when it mattered most. Why would he? Shinn made more profit selling a midrange team to children than he did a champion to Charlotte. When he failed to continue profiting this way he upped and left town.
I have heard New Orleans fans complain that the team is still, on occasion, mistakenly called Charlotte or that nobody takes the franchise seriously. The team isnít taken serious because of the name or colors, but because of a lack of competitiveness. My suggestion is for New Orleans to embrace the franchise in a way never before seen. Retire jerseys. Bogues, Rice, and Mashburn are a few names synonymous with the teamís better years. Next, extend the contracts of general manager Dell Demps, coach Monty Williams, and shooting guard Eric Gordon, establishing a solid foundation for the franchise. Lastly, and most importantly, do everything it takes to win a championship. This last piece of the puzzle would be enough to distance the team from former, frugal owner George Shinn.
But I know this is all in vain. I know the days are numbered until the franchise undergoes a major rebranding, but the dream isnít completely dead. There is a shred of hope that one day the Hornets will be champions, and that hope rests with the worst team in NBA history: the Charlotte Bobcats. Charlotte fans have begun an online campaign aptly titled ďBring Back the BuzzĒ.
So this is what remains of my childhood dream, that either the Charlotte Hornets or the New Orleans Hornets or some incarnation of the Hornets one day wins a championship. But Iím a man now and perhaps it is time to just let it rest. The league, and perhaps all professional sports, isnít made to produce dreams, maybe on occasion, by chance. The league, rather, is made for the reasons George Shinn understood, to make money. Teamsí changing cities and names is nothing new; the league adapts in a way that is most profitable. So what if a few dreams are crushed in the process? Theyíll produce new dreamers. Iím no fool; I know when Iíve been suckered. The realization has set in that Iíve been branded. The Hornets are just a team after all, be it by whatever name. What difference should it make what they are called? It makes a difference because Iíve grown accustomed to the logo in the way an infant attaches to their blanket. The colors, logo, and even the written word ďHornetsĒ all stand out to me the way religious symbols stand out to the devout. The Hornets have provided me comfort and stability in times of person turmoil. Maybe I have been duped to believe a basketball franchise could improve my life. Maybe Iím gullible to think a small market team can grow into a champion. Or maybe itís just time to bring back the buzz.
I feel your pain man.When the hornets lost to new jersey in the last playoff game and left charlotte, i seriously laid on my couch and cried.But tom benson understands that the name hornets belongs to charlotte.He's even said so.Your right that bogues,and rice,and marshburn should probably have there numbers retired.But in should be in charlotte,where they made their names.Most of us on here believe that the pre-new orleans history of the hornets should be returned here with the colors and name.If you wanna be a true hornets fan,pull for the original hornets.If we get our name back,i would gladly extend a hand to you to join us.There's plenty of room in our hive for one more.If not,i hope you guys find a name fitting of your city and are happy with your team going forward.Best wishes brother!