My column today touches on a hot topic: Should the Charlotte Bobcats change their nickname now that Michael Jordan is in as controlling owner and Bob Johnson is out?
I advocate that it should be changed. Thousands of readers do as well -- our online poll has been running about 3-to-1 in favor of a name change.
However, it sounds like there's no way the Bobcats could change their name before the 2010-11 season, which is what I would prefer. I didn't have this information until my column started making the rounds this morning, but I now have heard from a source with knowledge of the situation. The source says that if the Bobcats did want to change the name (and there's no indication as yet that they have made such a plea), they would have to apply over TWO YEARS in advance of the change, and the change would also have to be approved by the NBA's Board of Governors.
Could an exception be granted to the "two-year-waiting-period" guideline? Well, I would imagine the NBA's Board of Governors can do whatever it wants to do in such matters. But given this new information, I would think it would be extremely difficult to get anything done for the 2010-11 season, and maybe not even for a season or two after that. Remember, Jordan isn't even officially approved as owner yet, although that should happen in a few weeks.
Bottom line: Sounds like the team is stuck with the name "Bobcats" for awhile. But Michael Jordan has been known to move mountains in the NBA, and if he wants a name change to happen, I think it will happen.
(2 p.m. Tuesday UPDATE: Thanks to alert reader Steve Simonetti for posting this really interesting ESPN.com article from several years ago regarding the way the Bobcats came up with the logo in the first place. Steve has also placed the link down below in the comments section, but I thought I'd paste it here as well -- check out the hilarious, rejected Bobcat logos as well).
One side note: I'd like to have a dollar for every reader who has, tongue-in-cheek, suggested the nickname "Jordanaires" to me (as a play on Bob Johnson naming the team "Bobcats).
For those who don't know -- and I didn't -- The Jordanaires have been around more than 50 years in various incarnations as a singing group. They are most well-known for singing backup harmonies on a number of Elvis Presley songs.