The New Orleans Hornets are finally getting a nickname that is fitting and unique to the area that the basketball team represents.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, the organization is going to officially unveil a major mascot change on Thursday, as the team is set to become the New Orleans Pelicans:
Hornets to announce new nickname of Pelicans, new logo tomorrow,source told Y! Sports.Pelicans is state bird, environmental symbol for state— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 23, 2013
As per Spears, the name and logo will go into effect for the 2013-14 season, with merchandise availability not yet announced:
Pelicans name and logo go used next season. Merchandise availability to be determined. Pelicans also old name of Nawlins minor league teams.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 23, 2013
This also comes with a color change, as the team is reportedly (h/t Spears) ditching the gaudiness of their current digs and switching over to flashier, more modern colors:
NBA New Orleans Pelicans colors will be blue, gold and red.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 23, 2013
It’s a welcome change for a franchise that never elected to adopt a unique moniker upon moving from Charlotte to New Orleans in 2002.
The Pelicans make sense as a mascot, as the brown pelican is the state bird and is found in Louisiana's nickname, “The Pelican State.”
The name may not be as catchy as the Jazz (that organization was founded in NOLA back in 1974 before relocating to Utah in ’79), but the Pelicans are certainly a huge step up from the Hornets and bring some local flavor to one of the United States' most unique towns.
The New Orleans franchise also considered renaming the team, the Brass and the Krewe, a name associated with costumed Mardi Gras paraders.
New Orleans has never been afraid to flaunt the outrageousness of Mardi Gras, and in 2009, the craziness spread to the Hornets players’ uniforms.
It’s currently unknown if owner Tom Benson is planning to continue using these ridiculous—but cool—alternates with the new color system and team name, but there is certainly hope.
Some folks at 99 designs had plenty of interesting ideas about how the new Pelicans logo and jerseys should look.
What fans can be sure of is exciting change on the horizon for New Orleans basketball. The Pelicans’ presence will bring a buzz to the Big Easy in 2013-14 that will hopefully translate into great success on the court.