When was the last time the New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA championship?

Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Long-time fans of the team may look at the headline of this article in confusion, “the last time the New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA title? But they have never won an NBA title!”

Those fans would be correct. This iteration of an NBA team based in New Orleans has never secured an NBA title. However, that accomplishment (or, more precisely anti-accomplishment) isn’t as terrible when you consider the franchise has only existed since 2002-03.

The franchise came to fruition after George Shinn (then owner of the Charlotte Hornets) relocated the team to New Orleans, thereby giving rise to the organization’s original name: the New Orleans Hornets.

The team got off to a fast start, making the playoffs in each of their first two seasons in New Orleans. But the hot start didn’t last long, as the team failed to make the playoffs (or even eclipse the 40-win mark) in any of their next three seasons.

Since making the playoffs in their first two years as a team, New Orleans has only gained entrance to the game’s second season six times in the last 19 years.

Their most successful season as a franchise (and the closest they have ever come to hoisting the illustrious Larry O’Brien Trophy) came in 2007-08 when the team won 56 regular season games and was only one win away from the Western Conference Finals. That team was headlined by franchise icons Chris Paul, David West, and Tyson Chandler.

Since that beloved season, the team has only won one playoff series in the last 15 years (the first round of the 2018 West playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers).

Earlier, we specifically said “this iteration” of a team based in New Orleans because, over the course of five seasons from 1974 to 1979, the now Utah Jazz played home basketball in that city.

The New Orleans Jazz, headlined by Hall of Famer Pete Maravich (aka Pistol Pete), never reached the same heights as the Hornets/Pelicans. In their five seasons in New Orleans, the team never made the playoffs. Their best season came in 1977-78 when the team finished 39-43.

For those keeping score at home, that is 26 seasons of NBA basketball in New Orleans without an NBA title.

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