By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
April 20, 2012
Though he’s only owned the New Orleans Hornets for a week, Tom Benson has a big change in store for the team. Benson, a New Orleans native and owner of the NFL Saints, wants to change the Hornets’ name to something that better reflects the local culture. He’s even expressed interest in reacquiring the Jazz nickname, but Commissioner David Stern was quick to shoot down the idea. The Jazz relocated from New Orleans to Salt Lake City in 1979, while the Hornets moved to New Orleans from Charlotte in 2002.
The NBA typically requires two years notice before allowing a team to change its name. Whether an exception will be made for Benson, a new owner, remains to be seen. However, with a new owner, a new lease, and a long-term commitment to New Orleans, now is as good of a time as ever for the Hornets to rebrand.