The Seattle Hornets Isn't as Inappropriate a Team Name as You Might Think

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The SuperSonics may now be the Thunder, but not all NBA teams change names when they change locations. Hence the Lakers of relatively arid Los Angeles and the Jazz of not-so-relatively square Utah. This morning, when rumors first started flying that the New Orleans Hornets might soon be Seattle-bound, our first thought was that if the team were to move here they'd have to do so without the sting-y nickname. But it turns out we were very wrong.

"Actually, that would be a very appropriate nickname," says Washington State University entomologist Steve Sheppard. "Hornets are predatory wasps and there a ton of 'em in Washington."

Though Sheppard admitted it would be more fitting to name the team after a different, though similar, insect: the bee. "The Seattle Bees," he says. "Because honeybees are so important to apple production. And because of all the recent PR."

When we asked Sheppard what he meant by recent PR he talked excitedly about colony collapse, a recent phenomenon threatening the nation's bee population. But confronted with the reality that the subset of people knowledgeable about and excited by colony collapse probably didn't overlap with basketball fans, Sheppard admitted it had been a while since he watched a game.

Excitable entomologists aside, the Hornet/Bee question is probably a moot point since any team that moves here would be silly not to call themselves the SuperSonics. Still, one can dream of a day when Seattle gets its own inappropriately nicknamed basketball team. The Seattle Heat? No, my friend, here they're known as the Lukewarms.

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