The New Orleans Hornets of the NBA will soon cease to exist, as new owner Tom Benson has announced that the New Orleans NBA franchise will be known as the Pelicans beginning in the 2013-2014 NBA season. David Stern and the rest of the league must still approve the name change, but the commissioner has already stated that he would not object to any nickname selected by Benson and his organization.
That means that the NBA could be without the Hornets nickname for the first time since the 1988-1989 season. That is when they were introduced in to the NBA in Charlotte. Back in the days of Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning and Mugsy Bogues. Younger NBA fans may not have known that the Hornets were originally based in Charlotte before relocating to New Orleans in 2002. This team was also relocated to Oklahoma City briefly following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but will now be in the Big Easy for the long haul following the sale of the team by the league to Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints of the NFL.
Of course, this does nothing to solve all of the nickname and mascot issues of the NBA. Not even close.
I have no problem with New Orleans selecting the Pelicans as its new moniker. It would not have been my first choice, but the city seems to like the decision. Personally, of the five nicknames trademarked by the team, I was quite fond of Bull Sharks. That would have brought a bit more fear than a Pelican, but what’s done is done.
But does anyone notice anything else with the new logo and colors? Such as, why are they not the colors of the city and Mardi Gras, which would have made more sense with a green and purple and gold theme? I get ditching the old Hornets colors, but does anyone else notice a very similar design in style and colors to that of the Atlanta Hawks? Sure, the Hawks were at their best when they were the original red and yellow in the days of Dominique Wilkins, but they underwent quite a few drastic cosmetic changes. Take a look at the two below:
Either way, it would be nice if all of the team’s would have the best nickname that best fits its NBA team. After all, the New Orleans NBA franchise first located in the Big Easy was nicknamed the Jazz, which made perfect sense. They played there from 1974-1979 before moving to Utah. While the Jazz made it clear they had no intention to give the nickname back to New Orleans, it is a shame as it makes absolutely no sense having any sort of link to Jazz in Utah. Seriously.
Of course, this goes back further than that. The Los Angeles Lakers were not always based in L.A. They were the Minneapolis Lakers, nicknamed after the Great Lakes. The nickname makes no sense in Los Angeles, but most people know no different.
But while those two things will never change, one certainly should.
The Charlotte Bobcats are a terrible team. It is not because of the nickname but, with the Hornets now up for grabs and fair game, Michael Jordan should make his first smart decision running the team and dropping the Bobcats and bringing back the buzz in Charlotte and going back to the old school days of the Charlotte Hornets. Get the same logo and colors that were worn by Grandmama and ‘Zo and bring some tradition back to a new who has little else to boast about these days.