Stern Nixes Hornets Rebirth as ‘Jazz’
(Hornets owner Tom) Benson reiterated his desire to change the Hornets’ nickname to something more identifiable with New Orleans, as the Jazz name was before the team moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.
“I’m going to ask all of you to help me with this, too,” Benson said. “We want to change the name from Hornets . . . . to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The ‘Hornets’ doesn’t mean anything.’ ”
“He doesn’t own the team yet,” Stern joked, a reference to the final approval process Stern indicated could take place by a vote of the Board of Governors in the next 30-45 days.
But Stern did close the door on the reacquisition of the name of Utah’s NBA franchise that had its birth in New Orleans in 1974.
“It belongs to Utah,” Stern said. “I wouldn’t make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I’m sure there will be some wonderful nicknames (suggestsion).”