By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 7, 2012
The New Orleans Hornets beginning next season reportedly will change their team nickname to the Pelicans, paying homage to Louisiana’s state bird. A name change for the Hornets had been expected since Tom Benson purchased the team last April, and the Hornets also considered “Krewe” and “Brass” for the new moniker. NBA Commissioner David Stern supports the name change and the job Benson has done in his eight months as owner. Assuming the new name, logo, and color scheme is in place for the 2013-14 season, New Orleans will be the second NBA team to undergo a rebranding in the last two years. This season, the Nets moved to the Barclays Center, adopting the Brooklyn name and a black and white logo.
As an expansion franchise, the Charlotte Hornets entered the league in 1988, before relocating to New Orleans in 2002. With the Hornets now available, the new team in Charlotte, the Bobcats, could be interested in reacquiring its original nickname. Sources say an overhaul from Bobcats to Hornets, including new logo, color schemes, and jerseys, could cost $10 million.