Dear Mr. Jordan,
I was there at the first NBA game the Charlotte Coliseum had hosted since George Shinn took the Hornets to New Orleans. I was so pumped at the idea of the NBA coming back to the Queen City. It was October 20, 2003 and the Atlanta Hawks were hosting the Washington Wizards and we had just received the news that our team would be called the Bobcats. My parents were so excited they bought tickets for us to go. The old “Hornets game feeling” was back and I couldn’t resist it. I made a sign that said “Who are these guys? We want the Bobcats”. I walked into the Coliseum and everyone was adorned in Hornets apparel. Nostalgia had never had such a young victim. The memories flooded back, I could practically see Hugo running around the court with a deer head on a plaque to shatter the Buck’s reserve. I could hear the Buzz noise building in my head as the “Hive was Alive”. A swell of pride for my city was in my heart.
Nine years later you would never find a larger advocate for the name change. I’ve been to over several Bobcats games every season in that time. I have sat in box seats, was in the arena for draft day when we got Adam Morrison. I’ve sat in the nose bleeds and bought jerseys. But I am embarrassed. Embarrassed of how detached I have become with the identity of a Bobcat. Not the Flight because we are “First In Flight”. Not the Spiders for an arena called “the Charlotte’s Web” and a cheerleading team called “the Black Widows”. Not the Cougars after the original ABA team but “BOB”cats for a man’s ego.
I pity every kid who misses out on what I had as a child. Nothing was like going to a Hornets game. It was a carnival; an atmosphere I have never seen again. Every Thanksgiving my brother and I would conspire on how to get our parents to take us to the game. I would get so giddy that I would ruin it every time and Scotty would get so mad because I couldn’t help but ask my parents if we were going. I know this is redundant but I will never forget the last game on TV. I will never forget listening to 1110 WBT the next morning and listening to their montage of Hornets sound bites. We all cried. They were gone. We didn’t just lose the team of that year. We lost every Hornet ever. We lost Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Vlade Divac, Muggsy Bogues, Baron Davis, David Wesley, Jamal Mashburn, Bobby Phills etc. I felt robbed of my identity and there was nothing I could do about it.
You have a chance Mr. Jordan to not just change NBA history but a city’s history. You have the ability to impact a community like you haven’t since you retired from the court. You have the ability to make a sacrifice and give us a gift that we will never forget.
Bring Back the Buzz!