The New Orleans Hornets just became the New Orleans Pelicans. The Charlotte Bobcats will soon become the Charlotte Hornets, reclaiming the moniker from the franchise that moved to New Orleans. It may be confusing, but these aren't the first two teams to change names without changing locations. Once upon a time, the Boston Red Sox were known as the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. Here are changes from the past 100 years:

Teams That Change Names Without Relocating Slideshow


Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets

The Hornets were Charlotte's original NBA franchise, replaced by the expansion Bobcats after relocating to New Orleans. The team hopes to reclaim the Hornets name starting in the 2014-15 season. Maybe some wins will also start coming then.


New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans

Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, which kept names that did not really fit their new hometowns after moving, New Orleans wanted a label appropriate for its location. "Jazz" is still taken, so Anthony Davis and Co. will take the court as "Pelicans" starting next season.


Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays

Ridding itself of the "Devil" has done plenty of good for Tampa Bay. From 1998 to 2007, the Devil Rays compiled a .398 winning percentage and zero seasons with less than 90 losses. Since the name change, the Rays have a .563 winning percentage and four 90-win seasons.


Tennessee Oilers/Titans

This one is subject to some argument. After moving from Houston, the Oilers kept their name for the 1997 and 1998 seasons before becoming the "Titans." Technically, the name change did include a bit of a relocation, because the Tennessee Oilers played in Memphis and the Tennessee Titans play in Nashville.


Washington Bullets/Wizards

The Washington Bullets existed for more than 20 years until former owner Abe Pollin decided to make a change, citing increased gun violence in the nation's capital. "Wizards" won out in the ensuing fan contest and has been the team name since 1997.


Denver Rockets/Nuggets

The Denver Rockets started out in the American Basketball Association before becoming the Nuggets in 1974 and joining the NBA two years later.


Houston Colt .45's/Astros

Names inspired by guns clearly do not last too long in professional sports. The expansion Colt .45's played from 1962 to 1964, but Houston's MLB team has been the Astros ever since.


New York Titans/Jets

Originally an American Football League franchise, the Titans became the Jets in 1963 after being purchased by Sonny Werblin. In 1965, the Jets signed Joe Namath out of college, making the short-lived Titans quickly forgettable.


Cincinnati Redlegs/Reds

After being founded as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the MLB team adopted the name "Reds" until 1953, when it briefly became the Redlegs. In 1959, the franchise shortened its name back to "Reds."


Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers

It would have been mighty confusing if Pittsburgh had two teams named the Pirates, but the football franchise changed its title to the Steelers in 1940.


Detroit Cougars/Falcons/Red Wings

Detroit's NHL franchise played some name games in its early years. Called the Cougars from 1926 to 1930 and then the Falcons until 1932, Detroit finally settled on the Red Wings.


Toronto Arenas/St. Patricks/Maple Leafs

Like the Red Wings, the Maple Leafs had some early name troubles. They were the Arenas from 1917 to 1919 and the St. Patrick's from 1919 to 1926. The clover theme obviously stuck.


Chicago Staleys/Bears

The Bears were known as the Staleys from 1920 to 1921, named after their owner, corn manufacturer A.E. Staley. Thankfully teams are no longer named after their owners, otherwise we might have the New York Steinbrenners and the Dallas Joneses.


Cleveland Naps/Indians

After switching through "Blues" and "Bronchos," the Cleveland Naps played from 1903 to 1914. They have been the Indians since 1915.


New York Highlanders/Yankees

Like the Devil Rays, New York's baseball franchise required a change in name to spawn a change in on-field fortune. The Highlanders were not awful, but they lost over 100 games in their final season of 1912. The Yankees didn't have a winning season until 1916, but they've had just a little success since.

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