On Tuesday Dec. 4, Yahoo! Sports announced that the New Orleans Hornets are expected to change their team name to the Pelicans.
Last year the Hornets had the best off-season any rebuilding team could ask for. Tom Benson, Saints owner, bought the team from the NBA. The team then won the NBA lottery and drafted college superstar Anthony Davis with the number one pick.
When Benson bought the team back in April, he said one of the first things he wanted to do as a new owner was to change the name of the team. Symbolically, hornets have nothing to do with New Orleans, and he wanted the team to be named after something that has to do with the city.
When all the talk about changing the team name was going around, locals suggested a variety of names, including the Krewe, the Voodoo, the Brass, the Soul, the Basketball Saints, the Bounce, the Hurricanes, and many more.
Now, sources say that the team has decided to go with the Pelicans as their name. The brown pelican is the state bird, and it appears on the state flag. Plus, Louisiana is often referred to as the “Pelican State,” so Benson may be on to something.
This wouldn’t be the first time a sports team in Louisiana has been named the Pelicans, however. New Orleans had a minor baseball team called the Pelicans from 1887-1959 and again in 1977.
The team colors for the Pelicans would be navy blue, red, and gold, which are the same three colors that appear on the New Orleans city flag.
Many fans, on the other hand, are in an uproar against the new name, saying it’s stupid and it makes the team look like a kids “rec” team.