Log on to the old New Orleans Hornets Web site today and you are redirected to a new site with a dramatic change:
As of today, they are the New Orleans Pelicans.
The change was announced earlier this season to mixed reviews — people in New Orleans seemed to like it while people outside the city just shook their heads — but it became official on Thursday (after the end of last season for the team).
“We have been looking forward to this day since we announced the Pelicans as the new name,” owner Tom Benson said in a released statement. “The Pelican is a symbol for our city and region and we’re excited to start a new era in Louisiana basketball history. This off-season is going to be a special time for the Pelicans.”
As I’ve said before, I’m good with this. I like names that fit a local team and this is a much better fit — it’s just when these teams with local names move they should consider a switch immediately. It’s a little late for the Lakers brand to change, but that fit in Minneapolis and not so much in the converted desert of Los Angeles. There’s the Jazz in Salt Lake and… you get the idea.
The question now is do the Bobcats shift the team name back to Hornets. The name Hornets is tied to Charlotte all the way back to the Revolutionary War, it’s a great fit, but ownership studied this and seems reluctant to make the move.