When Teams Relocate – Pelicans vs Bobcats vs Hornets

Pelicans vs Bobcats vs Hornets
When it comes to the NBA, there are a lot of teams to keep track of. Each one is affiliated with a different city, each one has their own star players, and of course, each one has their own reputable (or non-reputable) place in the team standings and rankings. Sort all of that out, only to hear of teams switching, changing names, or moving to a new city, and it is no surprise that confusion soon ensues. For many people, that is exactly the reality when it comes to deciphering between the Pelicans vs Bobcats vs Hornets.

Thankfully, Sporcle is here to try and clear things up.

Pelicans vs Bobcats vs Hornets


The Pelicans were established as the New Orleans Hornets for the start of the 2002–03 season, after the then-owner of the Charlotte Hornets, George Shinn, relocated the franchise to New Orleans. They stayed as the Hornets for the next 10 seasons, but in the midst of it, in 2005, moved to Oklahoma City due to Hurricane Katrina and were officially known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets for two seasons. Upon returning to New Orleans for the 2007-2008 season, they dropped the Oklahoma City designation, maintaining themselves as the Hornets. This didn’t last however, and in 2013, after a new franchise owner acquired the team, the owner announced the team would re-brand itself as the Pelicans. Subsequently, the Charlotte Bobcats took back their designation as the Charlotte Hornets, effective beginning in the 2014 season.


The relocation of the Hornets in 2002 left Charlotte without an NBA team. This absence did not last long. In 2004, the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, which was regarded as a new expansion team at the time. However, when the New Orleans franchise re-branded themselves as the Pelicans in 2013, they graciously returned the Hornets name, records, and official history back to Charlotte. The Bobcats were officially renamed to the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 season. So the Charlotte Bobcats no longer exist, and since the Pelicans returned the Charlotte Hornets history, the league considers the current Charlotte Hornets to be the same team that was founded back in 1988.

The history, names, and where each team is located may have had a bit of shuffling over the last few years, but with the most recent changes complete, it seems – for now at least – that they have all settled into their new places and new names.

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