Charlotte Hornets Logo History

The Charlotte Hornets are back. The quintessential 1990s team has returned from the graveyard of changed towns and new franchises to become the team everyone remembers for their awesome teal colors and logo. Nothing says 90s than bright colors and a chunky font. The Charlotte Hornets were the poster child for 90s NBA team logos and colors alonside the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs. Now they’re back and better than ever. After being moved to New Orleans in 2002, where they now have become the New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte replaced the Hornets with a new organization under the helm of Michael Jordan called the Charlotte Bobcats. Thanks to the rise in popularity of snap backs and retro jerseys, the original Hornets logo remained popular and influential in the NBA fan hood culture. Even though New Orleans altered the original logo and colors, the original Charlotte Hornets name has remained symbolically strong in the Carolinas and in the rest of the country. The original Charlotte Hornets, with their teal and purple, will return to the court in fall of 2014. Let’s look at a history of the Charlotte Hornets’ classic logo and colors.

1988-2002 (The Glory Years):

Although the logo had a few alterations throughout the 14 years in Charlotte, it’s aura remained the same. The teal and purple dawn an angry hornet with basketball sneakers, mickey mouse gloves, and Charlotte across it’s chest. All the while it holds a bright orange basketball surrounded by the chunky banner font of Charlotte Hornets. Pure beauty.

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Not only was the logo a masterful design, the jerseys of the “glory years” were just as marvelous. The full teal kit with purple pinstripes and white lettering struck fear into the hearts of NBA opponents. Even fake remade replica  jerseys of this era can go up to $150.00 on eBay.



2002-2013 (New Orleans Years):

For over a decade the Hornets name survived in New Orleans, although the colors and logo that made the team famous slowly deteriorated over their time in Louisiana. Originally the logo had only slight changes; New Orleans widened the hornet’s size, changed Charlotte to Nola on it’s chest, and added the color yellow to add a local flare.



But soon the original spirit of the Hornets began to die as New Orleans began to separate itself from the original Hornet logo to mimicking its neighboring NFL franchise by using the  fleur-de-lis in the Hornets logo.



In New Orleans they attempted to replicate what made the Hornets jersey so famous in Charlotte, specifically using pinstripes in the design. But the jerseys didn’t have the same effect, especially the putrid yellow version.


Meanwhile, things in Charlotte were even worse for the legacy of the Hornets. A bad logo, colors, and team made the Charlotte Bobcats one of the worst teams in NBA history. They changed their logo version multiple times, never fully deciding on a distinct look or scheme for the franchise. Deep down everyone knew that there could only be one team in Charlotte, and that was the Hornets.



2014 and Beyond (The Rebirth):

Thanks to NBA ownership dealings and fan pressure, New Orleans relinquished its Hornets title to Charlotte. The New Orleans Pelicans had their first season in 2013-2014 while the Bobcats played their final (and most successful) year in the league. In 2014 the Charlotte Hornets return to the NBA in full glory. The new logo and jerseys are a perfect combination of past and present. A new imagery of strength and pursuit. The jerseys also pay homage to the past while presenting a victorious future.



The Charlotte Hornets are back and they look better than ever.


Guest blogger Mike James is a die hard Charlotte sports fan and representative of Seaside Vacations in South Carolina.


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