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Adam Silver changes names of NBA franchises

Why is Los Angeles the Lakers? Why are the Jazz in Utah? It’s time to fix that.

It seems that every spring around this time the NBA drops a big announcement on its fans. This year is no exception.

In a surprisingly candid and occasionally brutally honest statement, Commissioner Adam Silver just issued an executive order entitled GROANN — Getting Rid of All Nonsense Names targeting a change to the names of NBA franchises that don’t make sense.

The NBA has long known that many franchises have names that either don’t match the city or are just silly. However, neither Silver nor David Stern have been able to get the 75% vote of owners necessary to force franchises to change their unfortunate team names. Because those names have made the NBA a laughingstock among professional sports leagues, Silver’s executive powers could finally fix this long-standing problem.

In his announcement, Silver led off by drawing a stark distinction between team names that fit the city, and those that never have and never will:

“We all recognize that some teams have classic names that should never change. For instance, the Spurs fit the cowboy persona of the city of San Antonio. And the Spurs symbol resembles a “U” that fits perfectly onto uniforms spelling out S-P-U-R-S. Compare that to the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles does not have a single lake that is not some reservoir drying up in the drought which grips the region. So I have decreed that the Los Angeles franchise will henceforth be named the Stars, reflecting the city’s movie and music industry base.”

Fans should be glad to avoid the obvious joke alternative of naming the former Lakers the “Los Angeles Aging Stars”.

Removing the Lakers name from the Los Angeles franchise also allowed Silver to solve another problem: The Utah Jazz, a team name that ignores the fact that both the state and city are among the least jazzy places in the country — with apologies to Sacramento, which we will get to later. Utah will now become the Utah Salt Lakers.

This will empower the league to return the Jazz name to the city where it belongs, New Orleans. Silver noted that this has the added bonus of getting rid of the Pelicans name, which he described as “an unfortunate team name based on an ill-tempered bird”. Silver asked:

“Who ever thought that Pelicans was a good name for a basketball team? Whoever did should be suspended from all basketball related activities.”

Silver next brought his hatchet down on the Los Angeles Clippers. That name made sense when franchise was based in San Diego, but not when evil ex-owner Donald Sterling lazily kept the name after the team moved to Los Angeles. Because the (former) Clippers will always be second to the Stars (f.k.a. Lakers) in the hearts of true Los Angeles basketball fans, Silver gave the city’s second team a name that cleverly takes advantage of the city’s Latin roots. Going forward, the Clippers will be known as the Segundos, which means “second” in Spanish. Coincidentally, the team is building new facilities in the beach city of El Segundo. Meet the Los Angeles Segundos!

Speaking of California, Silver also had some stern words for the Sacramento franchise name:

“Honestly, is there a franchise less deserving of being called the Kings? Unless you want to fill out the name with the words “of Never Making the Playoffs”. And that would be very hard on announcers. Sacramento is now the Capitals. This works for two reasons. First, Sacramento is the capital of California. Second, capitals are places where nothing ever gets done. Just like the Sacramento basketball franchise. Brilliant, right?”

Silver’s announcement next addressed the Memphis Grizzlies:

“When was the last time a grizzly bear lived in Tennessee? Anyone who answered “Never” wins the prize. Dumb, dumb, and dumb. Meet the Memphis Blues. Perfect, right? This isn’t damn rocket science.”

The last two team names subject to the executive order are from the NBA’s Southeast Conference. (Which means that if your favorite team has not yet been discussed, and is not in the South, your team’s name has survived Adam Silver’s wrath.) First, Silver criticized the Charlotte Hornets:

“What kind of a mascot is a Hornet? Unlike bees, who give us honey, Hornets just sting. And that hurts. No team in my league will be named after a useless insect. Instead, the team will be named after its owner, the best player ever, Michael Jordan: The Charlotte Jordans. The mascot can be a shoe.”

Silver finished the GROANN announcement with the Miami Heat:

“Listen, I grew up on the East Coast. Our parents drilled one expression into us that sticks with me after all these years: ‘It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity’. To honor my parents, Miami’s new team name is not the Heat, it’s the Humidity. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard says: ‘Make it so’. And I hereby do.”

Silver did not answer reporters’ questions about whether the Miami Humidity’s new mascot will be a sweaty uniform.