New Orleans Pelicans Former Name: What Came Before Pelicans?

The New Orleans Pelicans weren’t always the Pelicans. What was the team’s former name and what is the history of basketball in the city?

It’s been almost a decade since the pelicans changed their name, which is a sign of how quickly time flies.

Some may not even remember what the New Orleans NBA franchise used to be called.

To be fair, professional basketball in the city has gone through a number of different changes. It can be difficult to keep track.

New Orleans Pelicans Former Name: What Was New Orleans Before Pelicans?

The team was formerly the New Orleans Hornets. They changed their brand identity in 2013 after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson bought the franchise. The idea was to adopt a mascot that has a clearer connection to the city.

The state bird of Louisiana is the brown pelican, while pelicans had a history as a New Orleans sports mascot associated with several baseball teams.

The franchise originated in 1987 as the Hornets in Charlotte. Then, in 2002, owner George Shinn moved the team from Charlotte and brought them to New Orleans.

New Orleans was the original home of today’s Utah Jazz. The franchise was founded in 1974 but quickly left the company and went to Salt Lake City in 1979. It was almost a decade before the city again had an NBA team in the city.

From Anthony Davis to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, New Orleans has tried to establish household names in the league, but they’re still looking for their first championship. New Orleans Pelicans Former Name: What Came Before Pelicans?

John Verrall

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