Posted December 05, 2012

Report: New Orleans Hornets to change name to Pelicans in 2013-14?

Ben Golliver, Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan, New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, Tom Benson
Hornets owner Tom Benson will reportedly change his franchise's name. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

Hornets owner Tom Benson will reportedly change his franchise’s name. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

By Ben Golliver

Tom Benson said that he would pursue a name change for the New Orleans Hornets when he purchased the franchise from the NBA and he reportedly could deliver on that promise as soon as next season.

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Hornets could be re-branded as the “Pelicans” for the 2013-14 season.

The New Orleans Hornets are expected to change their nickname to the Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season, numerous sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Hornets also considered the nicknames Krewe (groups of costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans) and Brass.

Louisiana is the Pelican State. The brown pelican is the state bird and appears on the state flag and seal, and official state painting. Moreover, the Pelicans played minor league baseball in New Orleans in all but nine seasons from 1887-1959 and in 1977.

Benson, who also owns the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, told the Times-Picayune in April that he would investigate the possibility of a new name.

“We need to find a name like (Jazz),” Benson said, referring to New Orleans first NBA team that relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979. “Whether we can get that or let us use that, you’ve got to know we’re working on it. We’d like to change it tomorrow. We have not gotten that approved, but we’re not letting up on it, either. Because we’ve got a good relationship with the commissioner and his people and we’re going to be on them daily to do something.”

Back in November, the Times-Picayune reported that Gayle Benson, wife of Tom,  said that she wants the team’s color scheme to be navy blue, red and gold. The paper reported Tuesday that Greg Bensel, a Hornets spokesperson, would not confirm plans for the name change.

“We’re not confirming that is the name,’’ Bensel said. “This is a process that’s ongoing and still in discussions. And it will be eventually decided by the NBA.’’

The Hornets name came with the franchise when former owner George Shinn relocated the team to New Orleans after 14 years in Charlotte. Shinn then sold the Hornets to the NBA in 2010.

The Pelicans moniker has been rumored as a possibility for some time, according to Hornets247.com. A Facebook fan page advocating for the name change was founded back in April and ESPN.com’s UniWatch even posted possible jersey designs and logos to support the name change in May.

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan told the Charlotte Observer in November that he would be interested in reacquiring the Hornets moniker, which existed in Charlotte from 1988-2002, if it became available.

“It’s definitely an interest down the road, but right now it’s the New Orleans Hornets,” Jordan told the 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.”

There’s no telling what the cost or lead time of a name change would entail. However, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said last April in Charlotte that this would be an easier process than other name changes because the league already owns the rights to the name “Charlotte Hornets.”

The Bobcats entered the Charlotte market as an expansion team following the Hornets’ departure for New Orleans.

49 comments
JoshGish
JoshGish

should have changed it to the New Orleans Beat

SportsChico
SportsChico

Why not change the whole name to LOUISIANA PELICANS instead of New Orleans PELICANS? IT SOUNDS BETTER LIKE THAT. What does everybody think?

todorojo
todorojo

Oh my gosh, you guys...

 

How about the New Orleans Brass?

durden
durden

If they can't get the Jazz back, how about the Zydecos?

troy r
troy r

NEW ORLEANS BOUNTY HUNTERS

 

MichaelSimmons
MichaelSimmons

The New Orleans Hurricane's  OR The New Orleans Magnolia's (Mags) are two representations of Louisiana period

MichaelS
MichaelS

I don't get the fascination with animal or insect names - that's high school.  Hornets?  Bobcats?  Is this cub scouts?  The Jazz is cool - adult and has regional flavor.  The NBA should never have allowed teams to take regional names with them.

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

They should all go back to their original names. Make the Lakers name go back where there are lakes in Minnesota, the Jazz back to New Orleans where there is actual jazz music played and the Hornets back to Charlotte. I'm surprised the NBA let the Hornets name go when they moved when they obviously had the full intention of putting another team back in Charlotte. I'm glad they wised up and we don't have the Oklahoma City Supersonics now.

durden
durden

They should call themselves the New Orleans Looters.

Julie1
Julie1

[TonyPC] I think that NO Jazz was one of the best, if not the best team name ever, and to show how the name needs to have a connection to the city, I think that Utah Jazz is the stupidest team name since the Baghdad Icebergs. Although "Pelicans" may not seem fearsome, the name has a connection, and as Atlanta showed with the Thrashers (a bird that strikes fear only into crickets), a creative logo can make the name work anyway.

AlbertTydings
AlbertTydings

What a golden opportunity for the used-car salesman owner of the team-  Great name for the team- The New Orleans "Rent a Cars"-   What could be more perfect for an NBA team.  Since all the players are basically a "Rent a Player" going to the highest ludicrous bidder for this now thug sport, the name is appropriate especially as the fan can relate to the other fine American sport of renting a car for an absurd price.   Can you picture the scene- thousands of snookered fans cheering on their over priced tattooed player screaming at the top of their worn out lungs  "There goes my "Rent a Car!"

 

MaryRiversong
MaryRiversong

Do they want their fans to throw dead fish at them or what? Float like a butterfly sting like a pellican?

John4
John4

Pelicans?  After the John Grisham novel?  And interestingly, not his best work.  If you haven't read any of Grisham's work, I recommend The Partner, The King of Torts, The Summons.  For those of you who want to read Grisham, but not a novel about lawyers, I recommend Playing for Pizza and The Painted House. 

Oh, sorry for the wildiy offbeat tangent.  The New Orleans Hornets, Pelicans, whatever.  It's the NBA so who cares?  Also, didn't they trade their best player to the Clippers about a year ago?  If you're looking for a name for the team which best expresses it's New Orleans home, neither Hornets or Pelicans does the trick.  I recommend "The blight", "The Multitude of Hookers". "The Ooh, let's get out of here", "The drug infested downtown", "The corrupt political capital of the country", (except for Chicago).  Oh, what can I say, I cannot think of any good names which truly express the "gist" of New Orleans.  Can I get a few suggestions, please?  

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

“We need to find a name... " The season is only 16 games old and the HORNETS are already 8 games out of first. Find a team first then worry about a name.

38 Special
38 Special

They've got the Saints, why not the Sinners? Millions would buy the merchandise just to say "Yup, I'm a Sinner!"

CrazyJon85
CrazyJon85

the nba might want to rethink this one hahahahahahaha

dt
dt

The New Orleans Bobby Bouchers

amolad
amolad

Brass is a better choice.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

Gotta go with the local flavors...New Orleans Hot Sauce or New Orleans Hangovers. For the truly bold out there: New Orleans Wombwreckers

Redwings1926
Redwings1926

Pelicans? If they do that, then they can run that clip from the movie 'Scarface' where Tony Montana says "Fly Pelicans" to get the fans amped up before, and during the games. 

dreynolds48941
dreynolds48941

This had better happen.  If New Orleans changes their name to the Pelicans, they will instantly become my favorite team.

Stitch
Stitch

Nothing fits the New Orleans teams more than the Saints and the Jazz.   Take it back from Utah!

Lars
Lars

Really?  The Pelicans?

I suppose the Pigeons was already taken.

brighat
brighat

Can you take a team branded the Pelicans seriously? Pelicans aren't exactly feared animals.

durden
durden

 @MichaelSimmons I'm thinking more like Hood Rat Looters or Toothless Swamp Dwellers.  Too wordy maybe?

durden
durden

 @MichaelS So true.  "Utah" and "Jazz" go together about as well as "New York" and "Hillbillies"

durden
durden

I agree.  Names should accurately reflect the regional realities...

 

Minnesota Lakers

Charlotte Wannabees

Oklahoma City Bοmbers

Washington Felons

Utah Weirdos

New Orleans Looters

Miami Αsshοles

Los Angeles Phonies

 

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

 @amolad Agreed.  Pelicans SOUNDS like a minor league baseball team from the turn of last century.  New Orleans Brass sounds good.  Brass for the musical flair of the place, but brass can also refer to attitude.

TimGrisham
TimGrisham

 @curtissvenn New Orleans VooDoo was an Arena Football team already.  NBA may not be able to get the rights to that one.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

 @Stitch You can't take back what isn't yours. Utah didn't *steal* the name from New Orleans, for crying out loud. The team moved and took its name with it. The team owns the name, not the city of New Orleans.

 

That said, everyone knows that "Jazz" is a ridiculous name for a team based in Utah. I used to live there, and it's sort of an embarrassment to the locals. They should be the Utah Brine Shrimp ... or the Utah Crickets ... or the Utah Garments ... or some such. If you've ever spent time in the great state of Utah, you'll get the reference to those names.

MichaelSimmons
MichaelSimmons

 @brighat Saints isn't a name you should fear either,But who seriously wanted to play them in 2009-2011? But JeremiahWalkr makes a good point...But I still don't care for the Pelicans.Sounds a little slow,such as that bird is.Although he can fly pretty high.Lol

ZackeryBaum
ZackeryBaum

@durden Your comment show a true lack of maturity, and as far as regional nicknames go it's to late for NO to get the Jazz back, 33 years of history now reside in Utah and that's where the name belongs now.

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

 @John NoLastName  @Stitch Stitch never said that Utah "stole" the name, you did. Stitch never said "trade" names, you did. Putting words in peoples' mouths so readily, if you used to live in Utah, you were the embarrassment. Your John NoLastName signature now makes perfect sense.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

 @UleNotknow  @John NoLastName  @Stitch You said "take it back from Utah". How are you going to "take back" (see the quote marks?) something that isn't yours to begin with, stitch? See how your logic is a little muddled, there? Especially since you somehow made a connection between my onscreen nickname and the name of an NBA team. Maybe your nickname should be "stretch", since that's what it is. Or were you just purposely being querulous?

sagasha
sagasha

 @UleNotknow  @John NoLastName  @Stitch John never said "stole" but he did say "*steal*". Please notice that John's use of the word steal is not in encased in quotation marks, but in asterisks. He also never mentioned the word "trade" (or even implied it for that matter) which makes YOU the one putting words in people's* mouths. Your UleNotknow signature now makes no sense whatsoever.

 

*See how MY apostrophe follows the possessor, in this case the word people, whereas your apostrophe in "peoples'" makes no sense at all grammar Nazi? Whose mouths? People's mouths. At least you're consistent in your use of made up words and random punctuation when you say, "Putting words in peoples' mouths so readily, if you used to live in Utah, you were the embarrassment." That's like three completely disjointed sentences all rolled up in one epic ball of stupidity. Congrats!

brighat
brighat

 @John4  The D played a fine game. They only allowed 8 points. Kaepernick, the coaching mistakes by Harbaugh and Greg Roman, the dropped pass by Delanie Walker and the missed FG by David Akers did them in. 

touseyd
touseyd

 @John4  @touseyd No poor play calling, Missed FG, Dropped Wide Open pass by Delanie Walker,and  bad time management cost them the game. Allowing 16 pts (6 pts off a kapernick fumble for TD) Cost them the game. Get your facts straight.

John4
John4

 @touseyd  their defense had a hard time vs. the Rams this past weekend, and it cost them the game.