Pelicans “Brave New Court” Redesign Wish List

Published: September 24, 2014

When Grantland’s Zach Lowe revealed earlier this month in his court design power rankings that our New Orleans Pelicans were embarking on an ambitious redesign of the basketball court, the ears of Crescent City Basketball fans perked up. His words:

The Pelicans have a brave proposed court redesign that might be the league’s boldest, but they have not received final approval to deploy it this season, per several league sources. 

Since then, I haven’t slept much. What could it be? I’ve gone from dreams of having the best, weirdest court design in the NBA to nightmares of having the worst, weirdest court design in the NBA. Let’s analyze the possibilities.

The original. RIP.

The center piece of every NBA court design is, wait for it…center court. Some teams go traditional here with their primary logo (Boston) while some teams go with a secondary logo (San Antonio). Instincts tell me that the primary Pelicans logo will no longer be at center court like it previously was. Here’s hoping the Pels follow the Spurs’ lead (in more ways than this…a common thought among Pelicans fans, I know) and slap a large fleur-de-lis at center court.  It’s happened before with the Hornets, so why not again? The black and gold next door neighbors have the city symbol in the middle of their field. My only request is go big. Cleveland Cavalier “C” big. Also not opposed to a large Louisiana outline like this. Could a huge center court design be the brave request?

A skyline inspired court would be unique and it wouldn’t be unheard of in New Orleans. Will from The Bird Writes pointed this Sun Belt-beauty out to me on Twitter:

Likely not for everyone, but in my eyes this thing is beautiful. Combine this with the fleur-de-lis center court idea and you’ve got a winner that screams New Orleans. It’s also possible that the entire court is comprised of the wings from the primary logo. That seems like a brave move.


One of the best quirks about the courts in Sacramento and Toronto is the “hype slogans” in the bottom of the court. “Sacramento Proud” is cool, “We The North” is phenomenal. The New Orleans Pelicans better throw a hype slogan down there. We don’t have a predominate one currently, and these things are best left to being organically created or a common local saying. That said, here’s a list of candidates.

I’m In – The closest thing to a hype slogan the franchise has had doesn’t seem like an ideal choice, but I believe it could work. The campaign was successful. “I’m In” on the court could take back the slogan and add some permanence to the phrase. I still think the team should reissue those stickers and magnets with the new brand.

Let the Good Times Roll – It’s long, but it’s so New Orleans. Not a bad idea to make the general “buy tickets to basketball games” slogan be a classic New Orleans motto.

Who Dat – Unlikely, yes. Misplaced, maybe. But some think “Who Dat” will eventually make it’s way to the basketball court, though current fan attempts to fit it in feel forced. If the marketing department (and Tom Benson) have their eyes on sharing the Saints’ battle cry, putting it on the court is a great start. While they’re at it, have a player start the chant before every game too. It’s entirely possible another “dat” phrase is in the works (groan), as many local businesses have adopted it to varying degrees of success.

Bless You Boys – A generic nickname for the Saints could also apply to the Pelicans. Pro: it’s so New Orleans. Con: forcing a Saints trademark into the Pelicans would be frowned upon by some. But this is the internet and everything gets frowned upon. I’m all in for Bless You Boys.

Let’s Geaux Pels – It’s what the crowd chanted at Pelicans baseball games back in the day. It’s what voice of the Pelicans Joel Meyers signed off the rebrand press conference with. It’s simple. It could work. This is my favorite  of the bunch.

One Call That’s All – Since Lil Wayne is Lil Wayne and Sean Payton doesn’t count, Morris Bart is the most prominent Pelicans fan who calls New Orleans home.

Honorable Mention New Orleans References – Cha Ching, See the Special Man

Honorable Mention Generic Bird Terms – The Flock, Fly With Us, Bird Gang, This is the Nest


With every wish list, though, comes the dread list. Those things that we don’t want to see happen. Among those things is too much Smoothie King. Don’t get it twisted, I’m all aboard the Smoothie King Center train. I just don’t want to see the sponsor poured down our throats. Would much rather sip it through a straw. Crossing two fingers that the painted area is not just a Smoothie King cup. Crossing the rest of my fingers that the brave idea was not to have the Smoothie King logo in center court.

What about the floor? The Bucks, Magic, Nets, and, ahem, Hornets have brave floors. Will we see feathers integrated into the design? My guess is no, but I also would have never guessed what Pierre looked like pre-surgery.

Is the brave request to lift the floor up off the ground and add a protective net as an homage to the New Orleans Jazz? Reaching here, I know.

The team has not reported on if the court has been approved and when the new court will be revealed. We’ll have the information for you as soon as it becomes available.

Follow @Trew2theGame on Twitter and Listen to the Podcast



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.