Owner Tom Benson has made it official. The New Orleans Hornets will be the New Orleans Pelicans in the next NBA season. The change has already begun, Pelicans merchandise is now on sale at nba.com. Many were questioning the decision to change the name from the Hornets to the Pelicans, but Benson put together a pretty good argument with a nice colorway and logos to go with. The name “Pelicans” will be more than just a basketball team name to the state of Louisiana.
“Establishing the New Orleans Pelicans is a process of building a basketball legacy for our community that entwines our team image with the best qualities of our community,” said Hornets Owner/Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson LeBlanc. “The Pelican is not only the state bird of Louisiana, but it is also representative of teamwork, the positive synergy of group dynamics and, as we’ve experienced recently here on the Gulf Coast region, regeneration. The strength, resiliency and loyalty of a Pelican are the core values our fans and team can be proud of. This identity change was an investment we had to commit to, in order to provide a fresh beginning for our fans. Forging a new and bright future for the Pelicans will bring awareness to the best of New Orleans, the Gulf South, and provide our fans with a team that they can identify as their own.”
-Tom Benson via NBA.com