The short history of the number 25 in New Orleans Pelicans history has been lackluster. Only two players have worn 25 in the history of New Orleans basketball, and neither has left much of a permanent mark on the team. The two players wearing the number have been nothing more than role players, struggling to see much time on the court. While one is still currently on the team, the expectations fans and the front office had for both players coming in have not been met.
The First to Wear #25: Moochie Norris 2006
The Most Recent to Wear #25: Austin Rivers, 2012-2014
The #25’s in Between: None
The first player to wear #25 was none other than Moochie Norris. Norris, who was most recognized on the court for his massive afro, was acquired in a trade with the Houston Rockets in February of 2006 for Maciej Lampe. Moochie saw very little time on the court that season, stuck behind fellow point guards Chris Paul and Speedy Claxton in the depth chart. In 16 games, he averaged just 3.8 points and 1.3 assists in just 11.4 minutes per game. In the 2006 offseason, Norris was waived by New Orleans, and would go on to play overseas in China and Italy.
After Norris’ release, the only other 25 in New Orleans franchise history would appear in 2012. The team used the tenth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft on Duke guard Austin Rivers. The expectations were high for Austin in 2012 as he was supposed to be the answer at the point guard position. Rivers played 61 games in his first season, including 26 starts, yet failed to really showed much for New Orleans to get excited about. Rivers averaged 6.2 points and 2.1 assists per game while shooting a dismal 37.2 percent from the field in what was a lackluster rookie campaign.
Rivers’ sophomore season showed some minor improvements when he increased his points per game to 7.7, his assists per game to 2.3 and his field goal percentage to 40.5. However with the guard position already stacked on the team, it would be safe to assume Rivers will not be wearing the number long-term for the Pelicans.
The number 25 hasn’t had much of a reputation in New Orleans for basketball, as Norris and Rivers haven’t given much joy and excitement to the team in its history. Whether Rivers can show some promise this season or not, the number 25 will have to wait for the time it will shine in the blue, red and gold of New Orleans.