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Charlotte franchise wants to bring back Hornets nickname

(Reuters) - The Charlotte Bobcats want to take a step back in time and restore an old nickname to the city.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) team will ask the league's board of governors in July to approve changing the franchise's name to Charlotte Hornets effective with the 2014-15 season, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said on Tuesday.

Charlotte's original NBA team enjoyed sellout crowds as the Hornets between 1988-2002 before then-owner George Shinn moved the franchise to New Orleans.

With the New Orleans team recently changing its nickname to the Pelicans, Jordan said it was time the Bobcats, who began play as an expansion franchise in 2004, brought back the Hornets' moniker.

"We believe that making this change would not only re-establish one of the most recognized brands in sports but would also unify our fan base by bringing together our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have fond memories of our city's NBA predecessor," the Hall of Fame player said in a statement.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; editing by Julian Linden)

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