Hornets unveil new basketball court design

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Charlotte Hornets unveiled a new basketball court design Thursday that features a fierce-looking hornet logo at center court.

It's the final step in the team's brand identity transformation from the Bobcats to the Hornets.

The hard maple court also includes a beehive cell pattern stained into the wood, a teal border and purple free throw lanes. The baselines have ''Charlotte'' and ''Hornets'' written in the team's font. There's a pair of Buzz City logos inside the 3-point line on both ends of the court.

''When we look at our primary logo in the center, it depicts how we want to play as a team with the fierceness, the tenacity and a sense of protect this place,'' Hornets president and CEO Fred Whitfield said.

Hornets chief marketing officer Pete Guelli said the team wanted to keep the floor simple and classy, while emphasizing the brand identity of the team. He believes the cell pattern on the floor along with the team's logo - one that was released earlier this year - emphasized that focus.

''The floor is normally the first thing fans will see when they enter the arena,'' Guelli said.

The new wood playing surface is constructed from northern hard maple and is made up of more than 200 4-foot by 8-foot sectional panels, each of which weigh approximately 175 pounds, according to the team's press release.

It features a new interlocking system designed to speed up arena changeovers.

The floor also is designed with the health of players in mind, absorbing about 60 percent of a player's impact. That is designed to help alleviate wear and tear on the body during an 82-game season.

The court was designed with the input of the Hornets senior executives, the Jordan Brand division of Nike and the NBA's global marketing group.