The New Orleans Hornets To Become The New Orleans…Pelicans?
This may be the last year that the New Orleans Hornets will be known as such. As early as the 2013-14 NBA season, the New Orleans franchise are expected to become the New Orleans Pelicans.
Yes, Pelicans. Although it initially sounds awkward, it fits with New Orleans as reported by ESPN.
The Hornets have planned to change their name since New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who also owns the rights to the Pelicans nickname, bought the team in April.
The pelican is Louisiana’s state bird and appears on both the state seal and flag. A New Orleans minor league baseball team held the Pelicans nickname in all but nine seasons from 1887-1959, and again in 1977.
The Hornets moved to New Orleans from Charlotte in 2002, and when Benson bought the team earlier this year, he said he would like to change the name to something more fitting of Louisiana. His wife, Gayle, reiterated that idea and added that the franchise also would like to change the team colors from teal and purple to red, gold and navy blue.
As for the Hornets name, it could go back to the Charlotte franchise. If you recall, the Charlotte Hornets made waves with a squad that featured Larry Johnson, Kendall Gill, and Alonzo Mourning. Those jerseys are still popular in the Charlotte area and the name would be a welcome addition to the city after some tumultuous years under Michael Jordan. Jordan himself would welcome the name change.
“It’s definitely an interest down the road, but right now it’s the New Orleans Hornets,” Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. “We would definitely entertain the opportunity. That’s as much as we can say right now. We’ve heard the community ask the question, and we would listen.”