Where should the Pelicans D-League team be based?

Published: July 22, 2015

[Listen to the latest episode of the Trew 2 the Game podcast for a playful overreaction to the Kendrick Perkins signing plus more D-League chat]

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants are not only the D-League affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans, they are also the affiliate for the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, and ten other franchises. I’m no development league specialist, but I know that being one of thirteen is not special. The Austin Spurs? That’s special. What’s stopping the Pelicans from going all San Antonio (metaphorically) and establishing a D-League affiliate down the (literal) road? Dell Demps got his general manager feet wet just an hour north of San Antonio for those Austin Spurs (previously known as the Toros) so you know that he knows the value of a good affiliate.

In fact, on a recent episode of NBA Lockdown Demps said the next step for the Pelicans is getting a D-League team to call their own and that the only thing stopping them from doing so a few years back was how young the team was. So what’s stopping us from speculating on the location for said team?

There are currently no D-League teams in the Gulf South and that’s a natural spot on the map to place our baby birds. It’s also an obvious choice to increase recognition of the brand, as the black and gold fleur-de-lis already covers bars and beach houses all along the Gulf Coast. Why not the Pelicans?

The Toronto Raptors are scoring their own D-League team that will simply be known as the “905 Raptors”, referring to the area code that covers a large swath of land in Ontario. The Pels could go a similar route, branding the team “Gulf Coast Pelicans” regardless of the exact location on the map. As far as exact locations go…

(2 hours west, hosted 2009 Training Camp for the New Orleans Hornets, has boudin)

Biloxi (90 minutes east, has a new minor league baseball team The Shuckers)

Gulf Shores (3 hours east, has beaches, every single person who grew up in New Orleans took at least one vacation to Gulf Shores)

Mobile (2 hours east, has New Orleans themed downtown, claims to have invented Mardi Gras which it kind of did but really Mobile, come on)

Baton Rouge (1 hour west or 6 hours west depending on traffic, people like Pistol Pete and Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Petti played there which is cool)

Lagniappe Choices 
Grand Isle 
(I want to see an arena built on big wooden logs stuck in the Gulf of Mexico)
Gulf of Mexico (just put the team in the middle of the Gulf and people can take cruises out to see them)
Mexico (The Pelican is the largest bird in Mexico so this is a No.Brainer.)

More Pelicans D-League speculation on the latest Trew 2 the Game podcast.

Chris Trew is a comedian and Pelicans season ticket holder. See him perform every Wednesday at 9:30p at the home for New Orleans comedy, The New Movement. Follow him on Instagram here.


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