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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. Corey Jeppesen - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    LOVE the design. I’m a graphic designer by career and whomever designed the logo should be proud. Very well done.

  2. giantssb42champs - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    We need the Charlotte hornets back.

  3. 8man - Jan 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    This isn’t my team, but it ain’t bad. Just a tad gaudy, but it is Nawleans.

    Eh, go Pelicans!

  4. j0esixpack - Jan 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom which could inspire both fear and respect you have to choose from, you guys go with the Pelican.

    If its not too late might I suggest an alternative?

    Simply change the name of the city from New Orleans to Charlottte and keep the name the same.

    Sure it’s a big more work for the municipality, but at least it avoids using the name “Pelicans”

    • philadelphiafan - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:08 AM

      Change the name of the city? I sure hope that was a joke.

      • j0esixpack - Jan 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Yes of course.

        But surely the name “Pelicans” is also a joke, isn’t it?

  5. raider8er - Jan 24, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    A favorite line from Scarface,

    “Come on, Pelican!”

    Little Tony Montana was intimidating.

  6. magicbucs - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    At least Orlando “magic” sounds dope. New orleans Pelicans sounds lame. It doesn’t flow but the logo is pretty bada$$.

  7. philadelphiafan - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    I didn’t like the name Thunder when it was first announced but it grew on me.

  8. monsterofyourgirlsmidway - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Anyone else really excited to see the Sonics come back?

  9. tyn27 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Ok so everyone on here is saying that its not an intimidating name. Where along the lines does it say a professional sports teams team name has to be intimidating. Look at these teams who overall has been good for the last 10 years, i said 10 years not 2 years.The Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Patriots, Colts, Packers, Steelers, Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Red Wings, Penguins. Hmmmm, real intimidating. A kick-ass nickname is irrelevant. All those teams I just named off are champions and have been intimidating from what they do in the court/field/ice. Not by there names.
    Pelicans is a fine nickname and in 5 years nobody is gonna think about it.

  10. yuwannano - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    “Fly Pelican, FLY!” They couldn’t have gone with The Gators, The Hurricanes or The Cajuns?

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