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Charlotte basketball fans excited about possibility of return to Hornets name

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TWC News: Charlotte basketball fans excited about possibility of return to Hornets name
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CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Bobcats will hold a news conference Tuesday evening, where the team is expected to announce it is bringing the Hornets nickname back to the city.

Former point guard Muggsy Bogues, arguably the most recognizable person to ever put on a Hornets jersey, said bringing the nickname back to Charlotte is a good move.

"I think it's the right decision," he said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.

Multiple reports say the Bobcats will move ahead with the name change after a three-year grassroots campaign.

"It feels good to be able to say Charlotte Hornets," said Scotty Kent, a longtime Hornets fan and member of the Bring Back the Buzz movement.

Bogues played for the Hornets for nearly a decade in an era when Charlotte rallied around its first pro sports team.

"They knew us,” Bogues said. “They knew our families. We were part of the community."

The Hornets sold out 364 consecutive games back then. Bogues said bringing the name, logo and colors back to Charlotte could help restore the city's love for basketball.

"People remember good times and I think they want to get back to the good times."

Supporters of the name change acknowledge ticket sales and a winning team are still top priorities no matter what the front of the jersey says.

"The best way to say it is this movement has just started," Kent said. "Now we've got to prove to this team and this city that it was the right move."

Bogues agreed. He said the team needs to make the switch carefully, taking care not to alienate existing season ticket holders, who've backed the Bobcats financially for years.

"You've got a core base and you've got to make sure they understand that they're a part of the change, they feel good about the change, and it's their franchise."

The NBA has to approve any name change, although the league has signaled it would be okay with the switch. Changing nicknames will take at least a year, and will cost the franchise millions of dollars.

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