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NBA approves return of Hornets nickname in Charlotte 07.19.13 at 8:52 am ET
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The Hornets will play in Charlotte again. That is because the NBA unanimously approved Charlotte’s nickname change from Bobcats to Hornets Tuesday at the league’s Board of Governors meeting. The change will take place after the 2013-14 season.

The original Hornets, who started playing in Charlotte in 1988, led the league in attendance eight times before the team moved to New Orleans in 2002. However, with New Orleans changing its nickname to Pelicans, that opened up the door for Charlotte to make the switch back.

“We’re thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas,” team owner Michael Jordan said in a statement issued by the team. “The passion and enthusiasm around this name change by fans in this market has been unmatched. They overwhelmingly told us what they wanted, we listened and we couldn’t be happier with the Board of Governors’ approval of the name change. With the young team we are developing on the court, the direction of our business and the return of the Hornets name, we are extremely excited about our future. The buzz is back!”

Team officials said 2,000 season-ticket holders appeared at a downtown party celebrating the return of the Hornets. The event featured appearances from former Hornets Muggsy Bogues, Rex Chapman, Kelly Tripucka, Dell Curry and Kendall Gill.

The name change is welcome to the Bobcats organization, as it was looking for a way to rebrand itself. The Bobcats have only had one winning season in their nine years of existence, and have won a total of 28 games in their last two seasons.

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Report: Nets make push for Hawks’ Josh Smith 02.11.13 at 9:54 am ET
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Josh Smith reportedly is the subject of trade talks between the Hawks and Nets. (AP)

The Celtics’ days of Atlantic Division dominance appear to be ending, and the division might soon get even tougher. According to an ESPN report that credits league sources, the Nets — who began Monday with a 1½-game lead over the Celtics for second place in the division behind the Knicks — are making a push to acquire Hawks forward Josh Smith or Bobcats guard Ben Gordon before the NBA’s Feb. 21 trading deadline.

Forward Kris Humphries is the player the Nets are said to be offering as the centerpiece of either deal, with shooting guard MarShon Brooks available as well.

Smith is set to become a free agent following this season and is expected to demand close to maximum salary, so the Hawks risk losing him and getting nothing in return if they stand pat.

The 6-foot-9 Smith is in his ninth NBA season, all with the Hawks, after going directly from high school to the pros. In 46 games this season, he’s averaging 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.2 blocks — all slightly above his career averages.

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Report: Bobcats rejected offer of Derrick Williams for No. 2 pick 06.28.12 at 1:30 pm ET
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Trade offers are in full force as the NBA draft approaches Thursday night, and according to sources close with Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, the Timberwolves offered a deal Thursday to the Bobcats that would have sent Derrick Williams to Charlotte for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The Bobcats reportedly immediately rejected the offer.

Williams was the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. In his rookie season, he didn’t exactly perform to expectations and averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He played in all 66 games for the Timberwolves.

The Bobcats, meanwhile, are entertaining a variety of trade offers for their No. 2 pick, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, who said they are currently exploring five different options.

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