This week the New Jersey Nets, who plan to relocate to Brooklyn, New York once their new arena is completed in 2012, played two other teams that relocated in the last decade: the New Orleans Hornets and the Memphis Grizzlies.
George Shinn originally brought the Charlotte Hornets to North Carolina during the 1988–89 NBA season and eventually transplanted the team to New Orleans in 2002-03. The Vancouver Grizzlies, along with the Toronto Raptors, were established in 1995 as part of the NBA’s expansion into Canada, but moved stateside to Memphis in 2001.
During Tuesday’s Ask the Announcers segment, Ian pondered whether a team that leaves a city should leave its nickname behind too? This triggered a heated debate among our YES crew. Nets radio color analyst Tim Capstraw suggested that the Hornets should become the Jazz (the Utah Jazz were originally located in the Crescent City); the Jazz should become Grizzlies (because they have bears in Utah); and the Grizzlies should become the Memphis Blues.
What do you think? Should an NBA team change its name when it changes cities?