After months of speculation and anticipation, Charlotte NBA fans actually have a face to put with the team's new name. The Charlotte Bobcats revealed several logos that the franchise will use when it becomes known as the Charlotte Hornets after this season.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan told the crowd that the move back to the Hornets, Charlotte's first NBA franchise name, was fan-driven.
"Tonight is a special night for fans in the Carolinas," Jordan said. "You asked, and we delivered."
The emphasis Saturday night was on acknowledging the past while looking forward to the future. The Bobcats also announced that Hugo, once one of the NBA's most popular mascots, will return with the team.
“We recognize the heritage behind the original logo and our goal was to connect to the past but also include elements of an evolution,” Bobcats president Fred Whitfield said. “With that in mind, we are thrilled to be able to bring Hugo back as our mascot. We realize all he meant to the city and our fans and we’re excited to re-introduce him this offseason.”
The logo featuring Hugo can be seen wearing shoes that bear a strong resemblance to a pair of Air Jordan 11 sneakers. Some fans may have been disappointed that the team didn't return to the original logos, but according the the Bobcats website, that wasn't possible due to NBA standards and the fact that the logo most likely would have changed since the Hornets last played in Charlotte in 2002.
The Bobcats did keep the connection to the old franchise by bringing out four of the members of the original 1988-89 Hornets: Muggsy Bogues, Rex Chapman, Dell Curry and Kelly Tripucka.