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The co-founder of a group that is pushing to bring the name "Hornets" back to Charlotte for the city's professional basketball team says now is the time.
Evan Kent isn't just a junior at Appalachian State University, he is part of one of the loudest movements in the NBA right now.
Bring Back the Buzz is becoming a household name in the Charlotte-area. A group that is fighting to bring back the name Hornets to Charlotte. And Tuesday night - the buzz got REALLY loud.
It started with a Yahoo Sports article posted around 6:30 p.m. from sports writer Marc Spears.
Spears, quoting sources, said that there is a very real possibility that the New Orleans Hornets could change names, to the Pelicans, as early as next season.
"The Hornets planned to change their nickname since Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, purchased the team on April 14," Spears wrote in his article. "Benson also owns the rights to the nickname Pelicans."
The Hornets have been in New Orleans since 2002 when owner George Shinn moved the team after 14 years in Charlotte. The city later landed a new team, the Charlotte Bobcats.
With the first two lines of his article, you could practically hear the buzz building in Charlotte with the thought of getting the Hornets name back.
"For us, it's just another piece falling into place," Kent told WBTV on Wednesday afternoon. "We've had a bunch of announcements come over the past month and a half."
Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, exploded after the article was posted online.
"We kind of knew that [the Pelicans] was going to be the name," Kent said. "We have some insiders down there in New Orleans and they've kind of been hinting about the Pelicans for a long time, but this is the first time there has been major - like SportsCenter - talking about it."
"Bring Back the Buzz" has been very vocal about getting the name back. It started "two or three years ago" when it was decided that it was time to do something, Kent said.
"We knew a lot of people wanted it, but nobody was really doing much about it and we were sick of waiting on somebody else to do it, so we just stepped up to the plate ourselves."
The past year has been the loudest. Bring Back the Buzz is big on social media and the group holds events to get more people involved in the cause.
The group is on Facebook and have several twitter accounts. The excitement on Twitter on Tuesday night was very evident.
"It was just a matter of time, but man...now that it's all coming down, it's hard to think straight," said John Morgan, via the "We Beelieve" twitter account. "GO (Charlotte) Hornets!!!"
But Morgan says you can't just wait and hope for Charlotte to get a name change.
"There's no denying that we are the Hornets' Nest," he said.
Kent echoes that sentiment and says it's time to let the big wigs know.
"It's in our court right now, it's basically the community of Charlotte - we have been pretty vocal the past year, but I think we really have to put the nail in the coffin, per se," Kent said.
"We literally have to let [Michael] Jordan know that there is no other option. That this is what we want as a city, and if he wants support for his NBA team, that he has to show support for his community. That's what the Hornets did and that's why they were so successful here. They had roots in the community."
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan told The Charlotte Observer he would consider changing it back to Hornets if the name was available.
"It's definitely an interest down the road, but right now it's the New Orleans Hornets," Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. "We would definitely entertain the opportunity. That's as much as we can say right now. We've heard the community ask the question, and we would listen."
Jordan told WBTV before Wednesday's game against the Knicks, "My focus is tonight."
The Bring Back the Buzz group is hosting an even called "Swarm Time Warner on January 19th, during the Bobcats game against the Kings.
"We're going to throw on our Teal and Purple finest and Swarm Time Warner Cable Arena with a ferocity that's going to conjure the ghosts of the old Hive," the online invitation states." We're going to have pre/post-game rallies. We're going to pack as many of the cheap seats as we can. We're going to cheer for the current 'Cats just as hard as we will when they're wearing purple and teal."
Louisiana is the Pelican State. The brown pelican is the state bird and appears on the state flag and seal, and official state painting.
"I feel like [bringing back the Hornets name] would just bring the community together and give it a sense of ownership for this NBA franchise," Kent said. Instead of just being an apology for the NBA moving our team out."
Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.
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