While awarding the Big Easy the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, commissioner David Stern let Saints/Hornets owner Tom Benson know that Utah will not be returning the Jazz to its original home.
After announcing he will purchase the Hornets, Benson said changing the city’s team name — hopefully back to the Jazz — was high on his priority list.
“It belongs to Utah,” Stern said (via nola.com). “I wouldn’t make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I’m sure there will be some wonderful nicknames (suggestions).”
According to The Times-Picayune, Benson reiterated his wish to change the current team’s name from Hornets to the Jazz or something more reflective of New Orleans. The city had the Jazz for five years — from 1974-79 — before folding up its tent and moving to Utah.
“I’m going to ask all of you to help me with this, too,” Benson said. “We want to change the name from Hornets . . . . to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The ‘Hornets’ doesn’t mean anything.’ ”
For more on this subject, visit nola.com (“Jazz nickname stays in Utah”) and read Monday’s Jazz Extra “It is, and will be, the Utah Jazz, not New Orleans.”