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Report: New Orleans to officially announce name change to Pelicans

Jan 23, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT

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. wash621 - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Instead of yelling “Defense, Defense”, the home crowd would be yelling “Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine…”!

    • scottheis82 - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:35 PM

      I’ve got 3 kids, trust me when I say those were sea gulls, the pelican had Nemo.

  2. scottheis82 - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I bet when the Miami Dolphins name was announced, people probably didn’t like it. Now we think nothing of it… same will happen here at least it makes some kind of sense, unlike Memphis Grizzlies, LA Lakers, Washington Wizards, etc. etc.

  3. hahapapa - Jan 23, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Looters.. Should have been the Nawlins Looters.

  4. n001363 - Jan 23, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Names that fit the region; now you can rename the Jazz the Mormons, the Lakers the Smog, and the wolves the Lakers. Since LA has all those lakes you know!

  5. 32magicman - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    This will affect their ability to attract free agents. Nobody wants to play for a team with an awful nickname …….. See RAPTORS!!

    • 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      I actually like Raptors. Knickerbockers has to be the worst.

  6. vass23 - Jan 24, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    I wouldn’t mess with a pelican… those mofo’s swallow and eat pigeons out of the blue….

  7. lowtalker - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    just so they don!t have ugly uniforms like Brooklyn . . . really, black and white . . . how boring is that!

  8. louhudson23 - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    I am a long way from NOLA right now,but I wish I was rolling across the Pontchartrain with a Pelican flying beside me while he fishes the bridge…..

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