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It’s official: Hornets become New Orleans Pelicans next season

Jan 24, 2013, 4:29 PM EDT


The New Orleans Pelicans.

It’s official.

As of next season — 2013-14 — the Hornets logo, born in Charlotte where that name was a good fit, will be gone. In its place will be a new logo, a new brand and new colors — red white and gold.

Before Tom Benson even bought the New Orleans franchise from the league more than a year ago he told David Stern it had to be rebranded to something local, something that fit New Orleans.

The Pelican is local, it is the Louisiana State bird and is plentiful along the city’s shoreline. And as Benson said on video at the press conference announcing the change, the bird’s resilience (it was once on the Endangered Species list and thousands died a couple years ago as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill) matches the city’s.

“It’s a symbol of the state, it’s a symbol of our resolve, to come back too,” Benson said. “Gee, we’ve done it. That’s what’s great.”

The name change has taken a pretty good beating online — it’s not the most intimidating of sports teams names and that it’s almost a joke. It didn’t play well outside the Gulf Coast. The franchise admitted they have some education to do on that front. That said, I kind of like it because it’s local, because it something that’s a part of the state’s heritage. In a league with the Jazz in Utah, Grizzlies in Memphis and Lakers in the former desert of Los Angles, this name at least fits the area.

The colors… I liked the teal better, personally. It fit New Orleans and that Mardi Gras image. The blue is in the state flag and the other colors had significance as well, we were told. Okay. The look is clean and sharp. It’s not bad.

As for the Hornets name, could it go back to Charlotte? There a lot of fans there that hate the Bobcats name and want it changed. The Charlotte franchise issued a formal statement.

“We are aware of the impending change regarding the team nickname in New Orleans. We are currently in contact with the NBA and conducting our own due diligence relative to this matter. We will not have any further comment until we have completed this process.”

The NBA could have a few new name changes in the coming years — Pelicans, Hornets in Charlotte again and Sonics back in Seattle.

  1. xxakshunxx - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Decent logo, not great.. But that name is terrible.. Now if we could get the bobcats to change to the Hornets we might be on to something

  2. december77 - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    LOL Pelicans? Is that the best they could do? Sounds so intimidating. What are they gonna do? Swallow me whole?

    • scottheis82 - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      LOL… kinda like your girl did with my load!!!

      • december77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:51 PM


    • cosanostra71 - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      Speaking of intimidating names, my favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, must take the cake. The name isn’t supposed to be intimidating, their oncourt play is.

    • dal24la - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:42 AM

      Doesn’t sound any stupider than “Clippers” (how many people even know what a Clipper is?) or the Lakers (just sounds stupid and Los Angeles isn’t exactly full of Lakes like Minneapolis was)
      And at least it fits. What the heck do wizards have to do with Washington?

    • cullenand99 - Jan 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Since when does a professional sports teams’ name have to be intimidating? Guess the Lakers, Knickerbockers, Nets, Saints, Patriots, Angels, Yankees, Penguins, Packers, Jets, Dolphins, Browns, Cardinals, Nuggets, Jazz, Clippers, Suns, Wizards, and Magic all didn’t get the memo. The only requirement for a sports teams’ name should be that it something to do with that area, the Hornets had nothing to do with New Orleans, Louisiana, or the Gulf Coast Region, the Pelicans do. Aside from the fact that the Pelican is Louisiana’s state bird, there are many other reasons as to why Tom Benson chose to rename the Hornets the Pelicans. All of which can be found here if you would like to found out.

  3. bowens3181 - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I always though the New Orleans Tide would have been a great name. Way more intimidating than a pelican, and it plays on and honors their experience with the hurricane without being too insensitive and flat out calling them the Hurricanes.

  4. eddit13 - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Easy to joke on the Pelican name if you don’t know Louisiana and New Orleans. Besides it’s no worse than the Wizards and the Magic. Those names strike fear in their opponents, right?

    • fanfatrick - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Or the “Lakers”… scary

    • december77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Wizards and Magic don’t strike fear, but it’s way cooler than a lame ass bird.

  5. dalucks - Jan 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Will a new logo and uniforms help a team with limited talent?

  6. kylexitron - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Takes a lot of effort to make the “Phillies” sound intimidating by comparison. Good job, NO. May as well have just gone for flamingos.

  7. snaxdsp - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Being from Louisiana, it has grown on me and the logo is pretty cool

  8. cosanostra71 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I actually really like it. The logo is kind of meh, but I like the colors.

  9. redbearwoodall - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Not a Hornets/Pelicans fan, but I like it. Who says a mascot has to be intimidating. It’s local, it looks good, and it’s a nice change. I like it.

  10. magoopaintrock - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Intimidating doesn’t matter. In fact, a less intimidating name is cooler. “Grizzlies” sounds like a 3-year-old thought of it. If they can assemble a 60-win team it’ll be the coolest in the NBA.

    • december77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      So in other words it will NEVER be the coolest in the NBA.

  11. virusgvr - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    I wonder if they are going to be sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds.

  12. gmsalpha - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    I love the logo.

    And everyone made fun of “iPad” when that name was announced. Nobody thinks twice about it now.
    And nobody laughs at how dumb the name “Superman” is. But if someone came up with “Awesomeman” or “Coolman”, they’d be ridiculed.

    It’ll grow on us. Everything seems to, especially sports names.

  13. acdc363 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    That logo is actually really cool I can’t believe they made a pelican look badass!

  14. tbd3 - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Say it ain’t so with those colors! Give me some ABA-style pastels!

  15. 00maltliquor - Jan 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I like the colors. The logo….some guy put up a link from another articles comments that had a bunch of Pelican logos and about 6-7 of them were suuuuper dope! This one doesn’t look half as cool as the ones from the link.

  16. idontevenwannaknow - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    What is all the talk about the name not being “intimidating”? As many have probably said before, but I will go there again, how many names are actually “intimidating”? Let’s just go through some other names that are supposedly “intimidating” and see if it makes a bit of difference, well, unless all you want to do is make a case against this name without paying any attention to any other names just for the sake of complaining. Here we go, Nets, Knicks, Pistons, Nuggets, Jazz, Clippers, Lakers, etc., just the thought of a net attacking a nugget gives me chills. What makes a team with a non-intimidating name intimidating? Uh, let’s see, their play would be my guess.

    The colors/logo looks good, there is a basketball in the logo, what else could the NBA want?

    If people can get used to team names that do not end with an s, Jazz, Thunder, and Heat, then I think that we will get used to Pelicans.

    • december77 - Mar 10, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      I guess you’re right…their play will actually match the team name…boring and uninspiring.

  17. rickyspanish - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:07 PM


    Well said, this name change is for New Orleans, no one else. The feedback from New Orleans fans has been good, so Benson did the right thing for his city.

  18. deiong - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    why not the “my little pony’s” its about on that level…

  19. zacmonte - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    At first I hated the idea of the Pelicans name when the idea first came up, but over time I have actually come to like it.

    As far as the logo, it’s actually a really nice in my opinion. Very clean and it doesn’t look stupid or childish, but instead rather professional. The Pelican isn’t intimidating, but it is much better than names like the Magic, Thunder, Grizzlies, Bobcats, etc that sound really childish, cheezy, and unprofessional. It has a nice feel to it and has a local presence to it which is also awesome.

    Living in North Carolina my whole life before moving to Phoenix this past year, I must say that we need to get the Hornets back in Charlotte. The Bobcats sounds really childish, unprofessional, and I have never once understood the relation to it and the Charlotte/Carolina era, where as the backstory behind the Hornets name is awesome.

  20. scottheis82 - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    philidephia already has the “my little ponies”…Duh

  21. eagles512 - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Horrible-looks like the hawks. Stick with the teal.

  22. dhkr - Jan 24, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I recently moved to New Orleans and I have to root for the what now? Pelicans? Grr.. we’re the Pelicans.. Oh C’MON!

  23. bjerkrulez - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    It fits the city…btw, how the heck is a gorilla similar to a sun in phoenix lmao >.<
    charlotte should be able to go back to being the hornets (it sounds good)

  24. dannymac17 - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I actually like the colors and the logo.

    That is about as fierce as you are gonna make a damn pelican look anyway.

  25. ninthwardfriend - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    So the New Orleans Saints sound scary? C’mon people stuff like names worked in Pop Warner. California Angels? Just win baby.

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