The NBA New Orleans Pelicans’ History and Name

New Orleans Pelicans pic
New Orleans Pelicans
Image: nba.com

Andre Dobison is an Alexandria, Louisiana, resident who has held regional leadership responsibilities with Primerica for decades. An avid basketball fan, Andre Dobison is a longtime supporter of the New Orleans Pelicans. Formerly known as the Hornets, the Pelicans compete in the NBA Western Conference’s Southwest Division.

The team was relocated from Charlotte to New Orleans before the 2002-03 season by owner George Shinn and competed in Louisiana until 2005, when Hurricane Katrina caused a temporary relocation to Oklahoma City. Returning to the Big Easy for the 2007-2008 season, the team played as the Hornets for several seasons until Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan expressed interest in bringing the NBA name back to North Carolina.

The New Orleans franchise conceded the name before the 2013-14 season and selected Pelicans as a replacement. As Louisiana’s state bird, the pelican figures prominently on the state seal and flag. In announcing its decision, the team also brought attention to the pelican’s importance as a symbol representing the health of the state’s coastal wetlands and wildlife, which are being actively restored following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill.