Manhattan, NY - In an announcement on Tuesday, the National Basketball Association released a statement saying that they would allow any team in the league to rename itself to a more appropriate mascot that would better suit their city.
Over the history of the league, many teams have been bought by another city and have changed locations but under the laws governing these teams, they have not been able to change their names to a moniker more suitable to their new home. As such, fans have had to support their teams by wearing jerseys with which they have little in common. For instance, L.A. Lakers fans live nowhere near a lake. This was a name that came with the team after being bought from Minnesota. Fans of the Utah Jazz have had to wear their team's logo, in a place where jazz clubs are few and far between. This was a name that came with the relocation from New Orleans.
In other cases, it is the city itself that has changed over time and the name no longer fits the city's image. The Houston Rockets were named as such because of their association with NASA, but since NASA has now scraped its space shuttle efforts, the name no longer really fits.
Some of the names being considered, however, are not being welcomed by the officials in that particular city, such as New Orleans, who would rather have their newly acquired team stick with being known as the Hornets, a name carried with the team from Charlotte, rather than switch to the new sobriquet of "The Drunken Frat Boys". Mayor Billy-Joe Dumass explains, "I know that the new name suits us better than a pair of boots made outta alligator skin but we are trying hard to become a family friendly city and this new name won't help."
In a different twist, the city of Houston, whose Rockets name is starting to run out of fuel, may become known as the Houston "Big Gulps". A name voted on by fans in that city. Houston was recently voted as "America's Fattest City" and it would appear that basketball fans their wear this new identity with pride and most welcome the name with honor.
The Utah Jazz might just become the Utah "Multiple Wives" in a name that gives a tip-of-the-hat to its' many Mormon believers, who support both the name change and having more than one wife.
Orlando might switch from "The Magic" to "The Check Scam Artists". Most fans in the city will tell you that there isn't really much magic to be found in the city since the downturn in the economy and its' more than likely that if a trick were performed on you in the vicinity, it would probably be unwelcomed. As too, the Washington DC "Wizards" don't preform many tricks either and may change their name to something more apropos, such as the Washington "Palm Greasers".
Memphis isn't sure if they will change from being the "Grizzlies", who were bought from Vancouver. Although admittedly, there are not many bears in the Memphis area, there are an overwhelming amount of grizzly murder scenes in the city, so the logo isn't completely without its' merit.
NBA commissioner, David Stern, denies the charge that the entire renaming idea is a part of a giant cash grab scheme, forcing fans to buy new jerseys, hats and other gear but instead had this explanation, "I'm sure that New Yorkers for instance, would rather have their team named for their embarrassment-of-riches and switch to being the New York "Fat Cats", rather than be named for a pair of funny old-timing pants.""
Perhaps though, the name changes will bring new fans to the game. One could hardly deny that seeing a Championship Title match-up between the LA "Fake Boobies" and the Denver "Bong Hits" wouldn't add a certain "je ne sais quoi" to the sport.