Say goodbye to the Hornets – for now. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the New Orleans Hornets will be dropping their name next season, and changing to the New Orleans Pelicans. This comes thanks to new owner Tom Benson, who owns the rights to the “Pelicans” name.
They considered several other options, including “Krewe” and “Brass,” both nods to New Orleans culture, but the pelican has deep ties to Louisiana – it’s the state bird, and appears on the state flag.
The news is hardly a surprise. Benson’s wife recently told the media she wants the team to change colors to navy blue, red, and gold (sounds like a welcome change!) and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan recently hinted at a possible name change for his team – reverting to the old Hornets name, which was lost when the then-Charlotte Hornets moved down to NOLA.
If this comes to pass, it will help rectify one of the weirder names in the NBA. Of course, the BEST alternative would be for the Utah Jazz to give up their “Jazz” nickname and swap to the Hornets or Bees, given that NOLA is the birthplace of Jazz and Utah is the Beehive State. Seriously, that’s like a no-brainer.
Beyond that, the Memphis Grizzlies should probably give up their vestige of a name from Vancouver, and switch to something more musically inclined. Maybe the Memphis Elvises? The Memphis Ribs? If rumors are true and the Sacramento Kings move to Virginia Beach, VA, maybe they could exhume the old “Royals” name, or maybe switch to the Colonists, or Presidents (since eight US presidents have been born in VA).
Also, can we start calling the Knicks the “Knickerbockers” again? I don’t care if it’s unwieldy, it’s fun.