The New Orleans Hornets are reportedly expected to change their team name to the Pelicans as early as next season.
Yahoo! Sports reports that since acquiring the NBA team in early April, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has had plans to change the team’s name. And he conveniently owns the rights to the name Pelicans.
While reportedly considering other names, the Pelicans seem to be getting the most attention. The pelican is Louisiana’s state bird, and the state is nicknamed “The Pelican State.”
New Orleans’ first NBA team, the Jazz, moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. The Hornets moved from Charlotte in 2002 to call New Orleans home.
Rumor has it if New Orleans drops the Hornets moniker, the Charlotte Bobcats will take it back.
“It’s definitely an interest down the road, but right now it’s the New Orleans Hornets,” team owner Michael Jordan told the Charlotte 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.”
As for the final decision, New Orleans Hornets’ spokesman Harold Kaufman told USA Today that the organization has been “getting flooded with calls. Telling everyone that any name and color changes are controlled by the NBA and that process has yet to take shape.”
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