The New Orleans Hornets will announce the team’s new name and colors Thursday afternoon. According to reports, the new name will be the Pelicans and the team’s colors will be blue, red, and gold.
It won’t be the first time the city has had a professional sports team with the Pelicans name. Depending upon your age, you may have seen the city’s minor league baseball team of the same name play.
The decision to go with Pelicans is getting mixed reviews from basketball fans in the city. No doubt, the latest trend in the NBA is to pick edgy names that are not plural. The Heat and Thunder are two of the most respected teams in the league.
At the corner of Magazine Street and Napoleon Avenue Wednesday night, about 20 people gathered at an outdoor basketball court to play pickup games.
“The Pelicans? They’re just gonna fly away. The Hornets sounds better ’cause they can sting,” said one man waiting for his turn to play.
According to reports, team owner Tom Benson also considered the names Swamp Dogs, Mosquitos, Bull Sharks, and Rougarou.
“It seems like there’s a lot [of names] thrown out there. A lot of them just seemed better than Pelicans really,” said another player while taking a break between games.
But other fans are embracing the new name. The pelican is, of course, the state bird and is on the Louisiana flag. Supporters of the new name say if the team becomes one of the best in the league, like Benson’s Saints, then respect for the name will grow.
“In a year or two, I mean, I think we’ll be a playoff team, a force to be reckoned with, hopefully,” another player said just before taking to the court.