Where should the Pelicans G-League Team Go and What Should Their Name Be?

Published: April 20, 2017

You know it’s coming, you know what it is, but you don’t know where it’s going. It’s true that nobody, really, knows the answer to that. But it’s the offseason and this is the kind of thing I devote brain space to because I want to. And frankly, I have to do whatever I want to do because that’s one of the big rules when it comes to living a happy life. Coincidentally, one of the big rules to having a G-League franchise is having a city to put it in as you cannot just put a team in a city that does not want it there (the only exception here is the Atlanta Hawks). We are behaving ourselves today so here I go, breaking down where this team should go, following a strict series of rules and regulations that, to be perfectly honest, I just made up.


Right off the bat we’re  eliminating St. Tammany Parish. It’s too close to New Orleans and there’s the risk of cannibalizing your own season ticket base. This, despite the name Northshore Nest being by far the best branding option I came up with as it only goes downhill from here.

Our next elimination is Baton Rouge for a lot of the same reasons. Not only is the 225 a little too close to our beloved 504 but it’s LSU territory. Add to the fact that the best name we have here is the Baton Rouge Beaks and this elimination just makes sense. The Baton Rouge Beaks merchandise would not, as they say, fly off the shelf.

Continuing the crawl down I-10 heading west, we hit Lafayette. It’s a comfortable distance from New Orleans, it’s a college town with a sports market I would describe as “catchable” and the idea of turning a bunch of cajuns on to the NBA has me giddy, though this assumes that no cajuns like basketball, which I have no way of proving. Regardless, whatever we can do to get a truckload of boudin-producing French Canadian descendants down to the Smoothie King Center once or twice a month I’m all for. Let’s give them their own section. Their own Smoothie. I’m all in on the Lafayette Egg Layers, despite that being, by far, the worst fake name I’ve come up with.

Continuing our trek towards the Texas state line by way of Beaumont, we hit Lake Charles. It’s got a lake (durr), a casino, and some above average Snapchat geotags. But it’s a little too west for a casual trip down to the G-League for Pelicans executives. It’s a contender only if Lafayette can’t deliver on available dates. Sorry, Lake Charles Long Water Birds.

Let’s knock off the far edge of the other side of I-10, Pensacola. Would a solid vacation destination for a lot of New Orleans families be a good spot for our development league team? Yes. Is there any chance at all they don’t go with Pensacola Pelicans if the team were to land there? No, that’s what they’ll name them. Would a better name be the Pensacola Pouch? Yes. If the team were to be called the Pensacola Pouch where does that put them on this list? All the way at the top. I’m fully aware of the contradiction web I’m spinning. But at least we’re in this together.

Heading back towards Nola, we have a solid contender. Mobile is like a baby New Orleans and DeMarcus Cousins is a native. Since his jersey will eventually be retired in New Orleans this feels like a sweet gesture. From a “grabbing fans” standpoint, Mobile makes a lot of sense. The name Mobile Merrits also makes sense if you’re a big fan of limericks and this popular one from 1910 composed by Dixon Lanier Merrit:

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

The Mississippi options cancel each other out, though plopping the squad in Jackson would potentially put some work towards converting those capital city folk from the Grizzlies to the Pelicans and would be an excellent play in my long term plan to start a blood feud with Grind City. Biloxi ain’t bad, ain’t bad at all – it just doesn’t have the firepower of Lafayette or Mobile. Plus, the Mississippi Miopelecanus Gracilis does not roll off any tongue I know. Yeah, it’s a reference to some pelican fossils but that doesn’t really have a place here, okay? Yeah, I know the Toronto Raptors exist. But did you know that everything you’ve heard about raptors are a lie?

The Shreveport Chin Sacks get tossed because while I would be first in line for a Chin Sack T-shirt, I don’t think the corporate sponsors are gonna play ball. The Monroe Mother Pelicans tried too hard. I know the Pelican on the state flag is the Mother Pelican but this isn’t the mother franchise to the Pelicans, this is the child franchise. Yes, it’s intriguing to think of the Pels sending DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis down to the G- League to go undefeated and hang a banner. Yes, that is against the rule. Yes, I would go to the championship parade even though it’s in Monroe. Finally, I really don’t want to give the Alexandria Hamiltons the time of day for opting to go with a pop culture reference as opposed to staying in the Pelican family. That has never worked. Yeah, I know the Toronto Raptors exist.

By these thorough, scientific, and thoughtful measures, looks to me like we’ve got a head-to-head matchup between baby New Orleans (Mobile) and our cajun counterpart (Lafayette). Either way, I’m making the trek as often as possible and adding this squad to my franchises I care about budget. Geaux Egg Layers!

Chris Trew is a comedian who works out of The New Movement, the home for comedy in New Orleans. Follow more of his writing at Chris Trew’s Medium.

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