Hornets Beat: Pelican Powered

Published: December 10, 2012
Hugo Laying Cutely on the Court

Oh Hugo, we hardly knew ye. Our writers give their takes on Pelicans and other team names from around the NBA.

1. If the Hornets wind up being rebranded the Pelicans, I’ll be _____.

Michael McNamara: Happy that this is over with and we can now focus on basketball.  A year ago we were wondering about whether this team would even stay, then the drama over who the owner would be, now logos and colors. I just want to be like a fan/writer of any other NBA team and talk X’s and O’s, trades, draft, free agency, etc. Time to move forward.

Jason Calmes: Unchanged. They’ve been thinking about this for a while and will have a nice, fun, brand that is also worthy of respect. I think the importance of this rebrand is overstated in some circles, but I’ll be glad it’s over.

Chris Trew: Thrilled. The two most recognizable symbols in New Orleans are now directly associated with our two sports teams. What other city can say that besides Dallas?

Andrew Smith: Happy with it. Although Pelicans isn’t my favorite name, it has already started to grow on me. Now just don’t blow the jerseys and mascot…

Joe Gerrity: Content. I definitely don’t hate it, I don’t love it, but it’s sure a heck of a lot better than accidentally being called the Charlotte Hornets twice a week.

2. The best thing about the name Pelicans is _______.

MM: That it is unique. Angels and Blues were two rumored names but both of those belong to other sports franchises. Pelicans is unique in that aspect and it is unique to the state of Louisiana, so I am all about it.

JC: The cultural significance. It’s got local sports ties, it’s on many a state symbol, and they are pervasive. I’ve ridden along side many a Pelican taking trips across the Causeway.

CT: That not everyone else gets it. I’m being a total New Orleans hipster right now but I don’t care – I think it’s awesome that millions of people think Mardi Gras is about plastic beads and partying but really they just don’t get it. I think it’s awesome that millions of people don’t know that Pelicans are locally significant. It’s so local and anything this local makes us locals feel stronger about where we live and each other.

AS: It’s a part of the city and state. If you mention Pelicans to someone from Louisiana, the first thing that comes to mind is the state flag. Even still, if you mention Hornets to someone they sometimes think of Charlotte.

Joe: They exist in Louisiana. I truly saw about 100 on the golf course the day before the name change news broke on Yahoo! For those counting, I’ve seen a grand total one Hornet in Louisiana over the past eight years. It was in Ruston.

3. The worst thing about the name Pelicans is_______.

MM: That Chris Paul doesn’t like it. I was really hoping he would come back, but how could he leave a team with a name as cool as the “Clippers”?

JC: The idea that every other brand is flawless. I don’t mind the Hornets brand in itself, and it, like Pelicans, has flaws. Is it a step backwards in the long run? No. Are there better names? Sure, but if it’s Pelicans, we’ll all end up loving it.

CT: That it’s taken this long to rebrand. Bring it on Lord Benson. Let’s do it now. I’m ready to camp out all night to my hands on all that new merch.

AS: It seems like no one outside of Louisiana knows what it represents. During the Grizzlies game I was talking to a photographer from Kentucky that was getting pics of Anthony and Darius. She asked me “Why the pelicans? It’s such a random name.” I then had to explain the state flag & Louisiana being the “Pelican State”.

Joe: Pel-i-cans. Clap-Clap-Clap. Three syllable names are the pits, and the Pelicans will be one of two teams in the league that’s going to use one as their primary name. Sure the Knickerbockers, Trail Blazers, 76ers, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Mavericks are the same length or longer, but they can all be shortened. Only the Warriors are currently in the stuck-with-three-syllables-boat.

4. What is your favorite Pelican video, article, or photoshop?

MM:  Hornets to Pelicans? Where have I heard that before?

Jason’s favorite

JC:I’m partial to this one. It’s like there’s some sort of shakedown about to take place. Sorry, fellas, but I just don’t have your money.

CT: Deadspin. It’s got a cuss word in the title, though kiddos. Check out the number of people who facebook “like” the article – 93,000+. That’s a good number to remember when people say “everyone hates Pelicans. we are the laughingstock of sports.”

AS: My favorite Pelicans photoshop is a fan made design by Guru Design.

Joe:  This piece is from months before the news broke, and it will be relevant for months to come.


Dru’s favorite

5. Disregarding New Orleans, what is the worst franchise name currently in the NBA?

MM: The Lakers. At least there are Jazz players in Utah. Why would you move from Minnesota to LA and never rebrand?

JC: Nets. It’s the NBA equivalent of the NFL Really-Long-Upright-s. The nets are associated with the game, but only as a means to make scores more detectable by officials. They should have changed to the Brooklyn Courts. They’d be set up for their own Jail Blazers era, and the court is at least a necessary part of the game.

CT: This question would be a lot more fun if there was a W in NBA but I’ll say Knicks. The shortened version is better than the long version, yeah, but check it:

“Did you stub your toe?”

“Yeah, but it’s really just a knick”

See? It also implies “not a lot”.

AS: Clippers– They represented the boating and sailing that can be done off the coast of San Diego, but now that they’re in Los Angeles they are forced to sail in the non existent lakes that the Lakers represent.

Joe: Jazz, and it’s not at all because the name itself isn’t solid. As we say in real estate– location, location, location.


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