New Orleans Pelicans should always play on this holiday

Zion Williamson & Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson & Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The NBA will release the full 2023-24 schedule on Thursday, August 17, but the New Orleans Pelicans already know they will not be featured on two big league holidays.

The NBA schedule is slowly coming out. We already know the matchups for NBA Opening Night and Christmas Day. The New Orleans Pelicans will be watching from home, or some random hotel room, as the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Phoenix Suns kick off the NBA season.

New Orleans also will not appear on national television for any of the four NBA In-Season Tournament games. However, in anticipation of the NBA schedule release show on Thursday, we are here to propose a new rule. One that states that the Pelicans should always be featured on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In fact, New Orleans, along with the Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks, should all host games on that day. The fans that really care about carrying on that history and culture through basketball know the backstories. Let those Southern cities invite in fans from around the nation in on that one holiday at least.

The players being integrated into some educational content creation would also be a learning experience that engages a wider audience. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram’s voice goes a long way to keeping Dr. King’s message alive and the positive momentum going.

Dr. King was born in Atlanta and assassinated in Memphis. Those two cities are locks. If the league wanted to take celebrating the civil rights leader seriously, games in Washington D.C., and Philadelphia make sense too. If the Pelicans were to ever play a regular season game in Birmingham in black and gold jerseys, perhaps, Martin Luther King Jr. Day would be the day to do it.

The Pelicans may not always have the roster, or the health, for the networks to trust them with the two biggest days on the schedule, but the history will always deserve to be told. For that reason alone, the Pelicans should always play on the beloved minister’s holiday. It would be a hall-of-fame-level move by the franchise to push for it, and the NBA would be wise to take over another day in the streaming wars with the NFL, who are coming for Christmas.

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