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Report: New Orleans to officially announce name change to Pelicans

Jan 23, 2013, 1:32 PM EST

Brown pelican AP

The New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA.

When that trial balloon was first floated it led to a lot of mocking and laughing on twitter and the Web. But Tom Benson likes it. And Tom Benson owns the New Orleans Hornets and has talked about a name change since he bought the team a year ago.

Now comes this from Marc Spears of Yahoo.

It’s not unexpected. And the new name and logo likely will be in place for next season, David Stern has said he would expedite the process.

Hornets is a name that worked well in Charlotte, a city that has been called the Hornets Nest since the Civil War. That name is part of the Charlotte identity, not New Orleans.

The brown Pelican is a common sight on the New Orleans waterfront, it is the state bird of Louisiana and it is even on the state flag. It has local flair.

It is not, however, the most intimidating of creatures. The other names being considered — Pelicans, Rougarou, Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs, and Bullsharks — had some fans but there was by no means a consensus. Plus, Benson already owns the right to Pelicans, which was a minor league baseball team Benson used to own in the area.

Personally, I kind of like Pelicans. And the name will grow on the people of New Orleans, especially if the team starts to do well on the court.

  1. teamobijuan - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    If team mascots/logos/names are supposed to intimidate, most teams fail.

  2. ss3walkman - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Blue sharks is kinda hot

  3. 00maltliquor - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Awwww that’s just horrible! FAIL.

  4. cakemixa - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Knickerbocker, Heat, Magic, Nugget, Sun, Laker, Net, 76er, Piston, Jazz, Wizard… the list goes on.

    If any of those teams didn’t exist, and a new team was switching to one of them… we’d laugh at that name, too.

    • wlubake - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Disagree on some (Heat, Pistons), but you are generally on point. The Magic sounds like it should be a WNBA team name.

    • digitalpoo - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      You missed the ‘s’ on all of those except the Jazz and Heat.

      • digitalpoo - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        Oh and Magic.

        Your welcome.

      • dondada10 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        The “s” makes it plural. So essentially, each player is a Laker, or a Net. The teams, therefore, are known as the Lakers and the Nets because more than one player suits up.

        Furthermore, internet grammar maven, it’s “you’re welcome” and you use quotation marks, not apostrophes.

    • southbeachtalent - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      How about the Nuggets!

      • scalfor3 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        gotta love a team name that represents state legislation

  5. wlubake - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Stealing from Once Upon a Time in Mexico: “So are you a Pelican, or a Peli-can’t?”

  6. echech88 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I remember thinking Thunder was such a dumb name when I first heard it.

    You get used to it and move on. I already kind of like Pelicans after initially laughing at it a month or two ago. The league needs more unique and original brands with so many teams playing it safe with colors, logos, names, etc.

  7. jnoah13 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    I don’t see whats wrong with it. there are much worse names in the nba. im more worried about the unis…those colors sound awful. although you can’t do any worse than the wizards, those uniforms are despicably ugly

  8. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Manny look at it, pelican fly, come on pelican

  9. loungefly74 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Pelican is a cool name…but it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue: New Orleans Pelicans. (?) say that 3 times fast.

    • hannsta - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      I think its because they both have 3 syllables. The only other team names with more than 2 syllables are the Trailblazers and Timberwolves which tend to be pronounced as separate words.

      But “You gonna watch the Pelicans game?” and “Your! New Orleans! Pelicans!!” sound fine.

  10. smoochytherhino - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    New Orleans should be the called the Jazz and Minnesota should have been the Lakers not the Timberwolves (I know we are very used to the LA Lakers now but nevertheless).

    It’s unfortunate when teams move and take their geographic team names with them. I am glad the trend in recent years has been to rename when you move and let the old city have a chance to revive the name in the future.

    There are no lakes in LA and there is no Jazz in Utah.

    • wlubake - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      The NBA name shuffle:

      Seattle Supersonics are back.
      Kings -> L.A.
      Lakers -> Minnesota
      Timberwolves -> Utah
      Jazz -> New Orleans
      Hornets -> Charlotte
      Bobcats -> back to the local highschool

      • echech88 - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        Bullseye on the Bobcats. So, so amateur hour.

    • lucifershuttlesworth - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      And the only Grizzly in Memphis is Zach Randolph.

  11. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    the rest of the league has to be snickering behind their backs; the same way friends do when one of those guys gets his belly button pierced or a tramp stamp tattoo.

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      What guy gets his belly button pieced? What kind of people do you hang out with!?? LOL

      Sadly, I’ve seen the man tramp stamp before. WTH!

  12. thesixersbench - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Personally, I love the name. It’s unique, has local ties and some of the early “mock logos” I’ve seen just look fantastic.

    • lmoneyfresh - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      I was pretty iffy on the name until I saw those mockups. They were impressive and really sealed the deal for me.

  13. sportsnut101 - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    it should be Louisiana Pelicans then i like that better then new orleans

    cant wait too see these colorful jerseys

  14. censormynameandmycomments - Jan 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    New Orleans Pelicans. N.O.PE.

    Awesome.

  15. gbar22 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I like it not too sure about the color scheme

  16. sire2334 - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    There is a team in the NBA who’s nickname equates to “baggy-kneed trousers” and we’re worried about “Pelicans”? LMAO! Pants man…..Pants!

    • itsthemelman82 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      The Knicks sounds smoother than Pelican. A team nickname doesn’t have to make sense if it sounds good!

      In the team’s anthem It says “we are the NY Knicks” not we are the NY Knickerbockers. They shortened it & it flows smoothly! New Orleans Pelicans doesn’t have any flow! Beg Utah until they give back the Jazz nickname!

      The ONLY cool thing you do with that name is play Tony Montana’s “fly pelican” scene from Scarface!

  17. laurengard - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Bet you’ll agree that some of the ideas for a Pelicans logo are pretty fantastic: http://bit.ly/NOLAPelicans-Winner !

  18. magicbucs - Jan 23, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Pelicans still sounds lame.
    I like how the Magic, Heat, Jazz and Thunder stayed away from their team names ending with no “S”… It sounds more creative. I was hoping NO would of gone that route.

  19. contrarianjon - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Apparently not many people have had run ins with the ferocious pelican

  20. ninthwardfriend - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Let’s roll with it baby. I dig!

  21. jprcox - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    …and in related news, the

    Hawks change their name to Parakeets
    Raptors change their name to Squirrels
    Bucks change their name to Fawns
    Warriors change their name to Squires

  22. swampdawg80 - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Let’s go Pelcs!!!!

  23. creek0512 - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Charlotte’s Hornet’s Nest nickname come from the Revolutionary War, not the Civil War. General Cornwallis called the city “a hornet’s nest of rebellion” when he tried to occupy the city.

  24. gbar22 - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Agree with a previous poster who said clearly many of these folks have not had a run in with a pelican before. They are quite the angry bird and have been known to eat fellow baby birds in front of their mothers. Talk about cruel. Look it up on YouTube

  25. aspinaci - Jan 23, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Sounds like something Jackie Moon came up with?

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