Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Just when we thought the New Orleans Hornets were turning their franchise around comes the news of a name change. Various sports outlets reported that new owner Tom Benson will be ditching “Hornets” in favor of a new name… Pelicans. What’s in a name, we ask? We’ve got the Clippers, the Nets, the Pistons, the Magic, and the Wizards, not to mention the fiasco we endured a couple of years back when OKC were anointed as the Thunder. The difference here is that New Orleans was genuinely starting over. After winning last year’s lottery and selecting Anthony Davis–a destined-for-stardom power forward–it looks like this team is ready to move past the CP3 era. Let’s take a closer look at the name change:
Maybe the “Hornets” wasn’t working for Tom Benson and his wife (who is allegedly the one who advocated the change)? But at least there is a competitive connotation to the nickname. Hornets are pesky and in your face, the qualities you’d want in an NBA team (especially a young one). Pelicans? We have no idea what they do. Apparently, the bird was the former nickname of a New Orleans minor league baseball team and this is certainly a minor league nickname. We’re also a bit concerned about the team not doing well and being dubbed the “Pelican’ts” much like the Saints were called the “Ain’ts” back in the day.
The Hornets, er, the Pelicans are clearly rebuilding. What better way to wipe your hands clean of the past than with a good ol’ fashioned name change? We mentioned the Thunder earlier. When the news first hit about the nickname NBA fans shrugged in confusion. However, winning is the end-all cure for anything in sports. We believe the Hornets, er, the Pelicans will, in fact, be winners someday and no one will think twice about the name. The pelican is also the official state bird of Louisiana, so for all of us who live outside of the state, this is about unity through community. Go ‘Cans!