Wednesday, December 5, 2012
12/05/2012 04:25:00 PM | Posted by James Bucklin | Edit Post
With all of the recent nickname changes and introductions going around the NBA in the past two decades - like the Bobcats, the Grizzlies, the Raptors and the Thunder - apparently the Hornets just weren't cutting it for the city of New Orleans. They have a new owner (Saints owner Tom Benson) and a new superstar rookie center in Anthony Davis. They needed to get mean. They needed to be more intimidating. They needed to become ... Pelicans.
It's become common knowledge thanks to several sources that the Hornets will change their nickname to the Pelicans to start the 2013-14 season. Benson apparently owns the rights to the nickname and it has been a minor league baseball team in New Orleans in the past. The Pelican is the Louisiana state bird and yada yada yada.
There are two ways for people to take this. If you like silly things, as many of us new age NBA followers do, you absolutely love this move. Pelicans are a funny looking being and the name lends some silliness to the bird. If I'm an NBA fan that doesn't have a team in his or her city and wants a club to root for I'm jumping all over the Pelicans, especially with the young exciting talent.
If you're a Hornets fan who is serious about the team making a new professional turn and being serious about winning I'm not sure how you feel about this. Sure, it's the state bird and you've got to have Pelican Pride (t-shirt idea), but at first glance for most people the new name is kind of seen as a joke. People are laughing about this, asking themselves if it is for real, the franchise could be portrayed as a borderline laughing stock after making the name change.
However you feel about it, if the team starts winning everything will be fine. Winning solves any problem. Maybe if the New Orleans hoops team becomes a Pelican Powerhouse (I should be copyrighting these) the opposition will start fearing the deep-beaked bird. The Bucks already have "Fear the Deer" locked up though.
The Shrill Bill?
I can do better.