LAS VEGAS – Charlotte is the home of the Hornets once again.
The NBA unanimously approved Charlotte’s nickname change from Bobcats to Hornets on Thursday at the league’s Board of Governors meeting. The original Hornets built a supportive fan base in Charlotte from the time they entered the league in 1988 until they moved to New Orleans in 2002.
But the new owners in New Orleans have changed the team’s name to the Pelicans. That opened the door for owner Michael Jordan to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte. The change will take place after the 2013-14 season.
We’re thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas, Jordan said in a statement issued by the team.
The passion and enthusiasm around this name change by fans in this market has been unmatched. They overwhelmingly told us what they wanted, we listened and we couldn’t be happier with the Board of Governors’ approval of the name change. The buzz is back!
The board also gave final approval to several rules changes, most notably expanding instant replay in the final two minutes to help officials with the block/charge call, perhaps the most difficult judgment in the game.
If an official reviews a play to see if a defender’s feet were in the restricted area or not on a block/charge, the official can now also review whether the defender’s feet were set for a charge or if his body was still moving for a blocking foul.
Officials now will also be able to review whether an off-the-ball foul occurred before or after a player started his shooting motion on a made shot, or before or after an inbounds pass. And during any review, the referees will also be able to now decide if any unsportsmanlike or unnecessary acts, including flagrant fouls, merit further punishment.
Two rules changes were adopted as well:
It will no longer be a clear path foul if the defender gets ahead of the offensive player in the frontcourt before the foul is committed.
If a player on offense stands out of bounds on purpose to create more spacing for his teammates, the offensive team will lose possession of the ball.