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New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans
2015–16 New Orleans Pelicans season
New Orleans Pelicans logo
Conference Western
Division Southwest
Founded 2002
History New Orleans Hornets
2002–2005, 2007–2013
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
New Orleans Pelicans
Arena Smoothie King Center
Location New Orleans, Louisiana
Team colors Navy, gold, red, white[1][2]
Team manager Dell Demps
Head coach Alvin Gentry
Ownership Tom Benson
Affiliation(s) None
Championships 0
Conference titles 0
Division titles 1 (2008)
Retired numbers 1 (7)
Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours
Alternate jersey
Team colours
Smoothie King Center - Home of the New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Pelicans are a member club of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team plays their home games in the Smoothie King Center (formerly known as the New Orleans Arena).

The Pelicans were established as the New Orleans Hornets in the Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the franchise temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, where they spent two seasons officially known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. The team returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–08 season. On January 24, 2013, the franchise announced it would rename itself the Pelicans.[3] The name change to the Pelicans took effect after the conclusion of the 2012–13 season. The Charlotte Hornets name, history and records from 1988–2002 were returned to its original city to be used by the then-Charlotte Bobcats franchise, which subsequently became the Charlotte Hornets, starting May 20, 2014.[4]

In 13 seasons of play since the original franchise relocated from the Carolinas, the Louisiana franchise has achieved an overall regular season record of 498–552, and has qualified for the playoffs six times. Their achievements include one playoff series victory and one division title.


  • Franchise history 1
    • Relocation to New Orleans 1.1
    • 2002–05: Early years in New Orleans 1.2
    • 2005–11: The Chris Paul era 1.3
    • 2011–13: CP3's departure; beginning the Anthony Davis era in earnest 1.4
    • 2013–present: The Pelicans take flight 1.5
      • 2015: Return to the playoffs 1.5.1
  • Logos and uniforms 2
  • Players 3
    • Current roster 3.1
    • Retained draft rights 3.2
    • Retired numbers 3.3
  • Franchise awards and honors 4
    • Individual awards 4.1
  • Seasons 5
    • Head coaches 5.1
  • Home arenas 6
  • Mascot 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Franchise history

Relocation to New Orleans

While the Charlotte Hornets put a competitive team on the court throughout the 1990s, the team's attendance began falling dramatically. Many attributed this lapse in popularity to the team's owner, Georgia in 1968.

Finally, a new arena in Uptown, which would eventually become the Charlotte Bobcats Arena (now known as Time Warner Cable Arena), was included in a non-binding referendum for a larger arts-related package, and Shinn withdrew his application to move the team. Polls showed the referendum on its way to passage. However, just days before the referendum, Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance. The veto prompted many of the city's black ministers to oppose the referendum; they felt it was immoral for the city to build a new arena when city employees weren't paid enough to make a living.[7] After the referendum failed, city leaders devised a plan to build a new arena in a way that did not require voter support, but made it known that they would not even consider building it unless Shinn sold the team. While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger other owners.[8] The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to request a move to New Orleans - a move which would eventually return the NBA to that city since the Jazz moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1979. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the move. As part of a deal, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years later as the Charlotte Bobcats.

In a 2008 interview with the Charlotte Observer, Shinn, who has not returned to Charlotte since the Hornets moved, admitted that the "bad judgment I made in my life" played a role in the Hornets' departure. He also said that if he had it to do all over again, he would not have withdrawn from the public after the sexual assault trial. Shinn emphasized how he was making amends by committing to New Orleans saying, "I've made enough mistakes in my life. I'm not going to make one here. This city needs us here. We're going to make this (New Orleans) thing work."[9]

2002–05: Early years in New Orleans

The Hornets opened their inaugural season in New Orleans on October 30, 2002, against New Orleans' original NBA franchise, the now-Utah Jazz. In the first regular season NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17 years,[10] the Hornets defeated the Jazz 100–75, and posthumously retired #7 of "Pistol" Pete Maravich during halftime. The Hornets finished the season with a 47–35 record but were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. Following the season, the team unexpectedly fired head coach Paul Silas and replaced him with Tim Floyd. The Hornets began the 2003–04 season strong with a 17–7 start but sputtered at the end and finished 41–41. They lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2004 playoffs. After the season, Floyd was fired and the team hired Byron Scott as its new head coach.

During the previous two seasons the Hornets competed in the NBA's Eastern Conference. The 2004–05 season saw the team moved to the Western Conference's Southwest Division. In a season marred by injury to the team's three all-stars, the team finished the year with a franchise-worst record of 18–64.

2005–11: The Chris Paul era

In the subsequent draft, the Hornets used their first round pick to select point guard Chris Paul out of Wake Forest University.

Chris Paul, selected by the Hornets as the 4th pick of the 2005 NBA draft

Because of the catastrophic devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina upon the communities of southeastern Louisiana, the Hornets franchise temporarily relocated its base of operations to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2005–06 and 2006–07, posting records of 38–44 and 39–43 respectively.[11] During this time, the franchise was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. In these two seasons, most home games were played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, while a few remained at New Orleans Arena. One year after the Hornets moved back to New Orleans permanently, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

The Hornets franchise returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–08 season, with all 41 home games in the New Orleans Arena. The 2008 NBA All-Star Game and its accompanying festivities were awarded to New Orleans and a serious marketing campaign was commenced in February 2007. Healthier than previous seasons, the Hornets raced to a 29–12 record at the halfway mark, completing the regular season with a record of 56–26, making the season their most successful ever. The Hornets also won their first-ever division title, winning the Southwest Division. Having clinched the 2nd overall seed for the Western Conference in the 2008 playoffs, the Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks in the first round but eventually lost to the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs in seven games in the conference semifinals.

In August 2008 the Hornets unveiled a modified logo and new uniforms with the colors of Creole blue, purple, and Mardi Gras gold. Pinstripes were also added to the uniforms. The Hornets also introduced a new gold alternate uniform in 2010 which was used mostly in games played on Saturday at home and on the road. The Hornets finished the 2008–09 season with a 49–33 record. Paired up with the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, the Hornets were eliminated in five games. The Hornets started the 2009–10 season in a disappointing fashion, and head coach Byron Scott was fired after a 3–6 start to the season. General manager Jeff Bower took over the head coaching duties for the remainder of the season. The Hornets finished the season with a 37–45 record, finishing last in the Southwest division they had won only two seasons before. Jeff Bower later resigned as head coach, and Monty Williams was brought in as new head coach. The team finished the 2010–11 season with a 46–36 record and qualified for the 2011 NBA Playoffs, where they lost to the Lakers 4–2.

In December 2010 the NBA purchased the Hornets from

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ "2014-15 New Orleans Pelicans Media Guide" (PDF). New Orleans Pelicans. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans Reproduction Guideline Sheet" (PDF). NBA Media Central. June 25, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ a b c "Benson Family Unveils New Orleans Pelicans Colors and Logos". New Orleans Pelicans. January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Charlotte Hornets Name Returns to Carolinas". Charlotte Hornets. May 20, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Charlotte Hornets (1988-2002)". February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ " - NBA Basketball - Hornets to apply for relocation to Memphis - Monday March 26, 2001 05:47 PM". March 26, 2001. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ World Class City, Third World Paycheck. Creative Loafing, 2001-12-29
  8. ^ Associated Press (2002-02-16). " - Council willing to amend 'new owner' statement". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  9. ^ Green, Ron Jr. Shinn: I messed up in Charlotte. Charlotte Observer, 2008-11-01.
  10. ^ " Eye for victory". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  11. ^ "Hornets to Play in Oklahoma City". National Basketball Association. September 21, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2005. 
  12. ^ Bennett, Dashiell (January 7, 2011). "Larry Ellison Confirms He Tried To Buy The New Orleans Hornets, But Was Beaten Back By The NBA". Business Insider. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  13. ^ "NBA completes Hornets purchase". National Basketball Association. December 20, 2010. Retrieved December 20, 2010. 
  14. ^ Beck, Howard (8 December 2011). "N.B.A. Rejects Trade Sending Paul to Lakers". New York Times. 
  15. ^ a b "Saints owner Benson buys Hornets from NBA". National Basketball Association.  
  16. ^ Smith, Jimmy (April 13, 2012). "New Orleans Hornets to be purchased by New Orleans Saints' owner Tom Benson for $338 million".  
  17. ^ "Hornets seeking name change, set to build new practice facility".  
  18. ^ We Beelive: Charlotte...take back your Hornets! Facebook Page
  19. ^ "Mickey Loomis takes on top New Orleans Hornets job". Associated Press. 19 June 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Moore, Matt (2008-06-11). "Report: Hornets to change name to New Orleans Pelicans in 2013-14". Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  21. ^ a b "List of Louisiana State symbols". Louisiana Division of Administration. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  22. ^ Eichenhofer, Jim (27 September 2013). "Pelicans nickname has century-plus history in New Orleans". New Orleans Pelicans. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "New Orleans Pelicans Logos Unveiled". New Orleans Pelicans. January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "New Orleans Pelicans Officially Adopt New Namesake". New Orleans Pelicans. April 18, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Bobcats Sports & Entertainment Applies to Change Team's Name to Hornets". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Jordan: Bobcats changing name to Hornets". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ "NBA approves Charlotte's name change". Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. July 18, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  28. ^ Keith Pompey; Marc Narducci (October 17, 2013). "Holiday-Noel trade becomes official".  
  29. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans Name Alvin Gentry Head Coach". New Orleans Pelicans. Retrieved 2015-05-31. 
  30. ^ "Pelicans Uniform Unveiling". New Orleans Pelicans. August 1, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2015. 
  31. ^ "NEW ORLEANS PELICANS UNVEIL NEW UNIFORMS" (Press release). New Orleans Pelicans. August 1, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2015. 
  32. ^ Creamer, Chris (August 1, 2013). "New Orleans Pelicans Unveil New Uniforms". Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ Lukas, Paul (August 1, 2013). "Uni Watch on Pelicans' jersey reveal".  
  34. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans Unveil Alternate Red Uniform" (Press release). New Orleans Pelicans. September 23, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  35. ^ "New NBA Swingman Jersey Features - Guide to New 2014-2015 Swingman Jerseys". National Basketball Association. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  36. ^ Lukas, Paul (June 19, 2014). "NBA to move league logo to back of jerseys".  
  37. ^ "Pelicans Unveil Pride Uniforms in Celebration of the Spirit of Mardi Gras" (Press release). New Orleans Pelicans. September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  38. ^  
  39. ^ "Pelicans Acquire Ish Smith". February 19, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  40. ^ Ben Golliver (October 31, 2013). "New Orleans Pelicans introduce new mascot ‘Pierre’ as part of rebranding effort". Retrieved January 6, 2013. 


Pierre the Pelican is the official mascot for the Pelicans. He was introduced on October 30, 2013, the opening night of regular season for the team at home against the Charlotte Hornets starting with the 2014–15 season.


Home arenas

Name Start End Totals Regular season Playoffs
Paul Silas 2002 2003 88 49 39 .557 82 47 35 .573 6 2 4 .333
Tim Floyd 2003 2004 89 44 45 .494 82 41 41 .500 7 3 4 .429
Byron Scott 2004 2009 436 211 225 .484 419 203 216 .484 17 8 9 .471
Jeff Bower 2009 2010 73 34 39 .487 73 34 39 .487 0 0 0
Monty Williams 2010 2015 404 175 229 .433 394 173 221 .439 10 2 8 .200
Alvin Gentry 2015 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Head coaches


NBA All-Star

Individual awards

Franchise awards and honors

  • 1 The New Orleans Hornets retired Maravich's number during their first game in New Orleans in honor of his basketball contributions to the state of Louisiana, both during his college career at Louisiana State University (LSU) and his professional career with the city's former NBA team, the New Orleans Jazz.
New Orleans Pelicans retired numbers
Player Position Tenure
7 "Pistol" Pete Maravich G 1974-1979 1

Retired numbers

Draft Round Pick Player Pos. Nationality Current team Note(s) Ref
2010 2 48 Williams, LataviousLatavious Williams F  United States UNICS Kazan (Russia) Acquired from the Miami Heat (via Oklahoma City) [39]

The Pelicans hold the draft rights to the following unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA. A drafted player, either an international draftee or a college draftee who isn't signed by the team that drafted him, is allowed to sign with any non-NBA teams. In this case, the team retains the player's draft rights in the NBA until one year after the player's contract with the non-NBA team ends.[38] This list includes draft rights that were acquired from trades with other teams.

Retained draft rights

Current roster


On September 17, 2015, the Pelicans unveiled a new alternate uniform, introduced as part of the NBA’s "Pride" uniforms for the 2015–16 season. The short-sleeved uniforms feature Mardi Gras' signature colors – purple, green and gold. The tops are purple with green accents on the sleeves and sport 'NOLA' (a local acronym for New Orleans) across the chest in the Pelicans’ signature font in gold letters trimmed in green. The Pelicans 'NO' logo is featured at the bottom of the v-neck and the Crescent City basketball logo is on the left sleeve in Mardi Gras colors. Additionally, the trim around the neckline is purple, green and gold-striped. Additionally, on the back of the jersey, the players’ numbers will be gold with green trim, last name in white traditional lettering and the NBA logo will be featured at the base of the neck. The purple shorts will have green and gold stripes down the side with a small secondary logo – the "Bird-de-Lis" in gold centered on the waistband. The Pelicans’ partial logo is on both sides of the shorts in Mardi Gras colors.[37]

On September 23, 2014, the Pelicans unveiled a red alternate uniform for the 2014–15 season that will be worn four (4) times in the year.[34] Prior to the red alternate uniform unveiling, the NBA announced that its league logo would be moved to the back neck of game jerseys for all 30 clubs; as a result, the NBA league logo replaced the "Bird-de-Lis" logo on the back neck.[35][36]

On August 1, 2013, the Pelicans released their new uniforms. The 'New Orleans' wordmark logo across the front of the jerseys is inspired by French Quarter street signs; the Pelicans are one of three NBA teams to wear the city name across the front of both home and road jerseys. The partial logo is featured on the sides of the shorts, and the "Bird-de-Lis" logo (a combination mark of the pelican, fleur-de-lis and crescent basketball shape) is featured on the back neck.[30][31][32][33] NBA teams were not allowed to have alternate uniforms during their first season of operation.

The New Orleans Hornets were sold to Tom Benson on April 13, 2012.[15] After purchasing the team, Benson indicated that he wanted to change the club's nickname to something more regionally appropriate. On December 14, 2012, it was reported that the Hornets would change their nickname to the New Orleans Pelicans.[20] On January 24, 2013, the team held a press conference, where it unveiled its new nickname, logos and colors. The name Pelicans is a reference to the brown pelican, the state bird of Louisiana.[21][3] The team said in a press release that its colors would be navy, gold and red; each color is represented in the city flag of New Orleans.[23] The team formally adopted its new brand identity at the end of the 2012–13 NBA season.[24]

Logos and uniforms

On May 31, 2015, the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry as the franchise's 6th head coach.[29]

For the first time under the name Pelicans, the team qualified for the playoffs with a 45-37 record as the number 8 seed in the Western Conference. They owned the tie-breaker over the Oklahoma City Thunder by winning the regular season head-to-head series 3-1, and they faced the Golden State Warriors in the first round; the Warriors swept the Pelicans in four games. After the season, the Pelicans fired coach Monty Williams despite qualifying for the playoffs.

Alvin Gentry is the New Orleans Pelicans current head coach.

2015: Return to the playoffs

On June 27, 2013, during the 2013 NBA draft, the Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel 6th overall, and traded him along with a 2014 protected first-round pick for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers and the 42nd pick, Pierre Jackson.[28] At a May 20, 2014 press conference announcing the Charlotte Bobcats' official team nickname change to Hornets, it was also announced that the Pelicans agreed to transfer the records and statistics of the original Hornets (1988–2002) to the current Charlotte franchise, thus unifying Charlotte NBA basketball history under one franchise; the team records and statistics since the 2002 move to New Orleans would be retained by the Pelicans, retroactively turning the Pelicans into a 2002 expansion team.[4]

Following the New Orleans franchise's 2013 disestablishment of the "Hornets" name, on May 21, 2013, NBA season pending a majority vote for approval by the NBA Board of Governors at a meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 18, 2013.[25] Then-NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Adam Silver had previously pointed out the fact that the league owns the rights to the name Hornets and that could speed up the process.[26] The NBA unanimously approved the name change starting with 2014-15.[27]

[24] On April 18, 2013, after the end of the team's 2012–13 season, the team's name was officially changed to the Pelicans.[23][3] The name "Pelicans" previously had been used by a

However, on December 4, 2012, it was reported that the Hornets would change their name to the New Orleans Pelicans beginning with the 2013-14 season.[20] The team name is inspired by Louisiana's state bird, the brown pelican.[21]

New owner Tom Benson had indicated early in his ownership that he wished to change the team's name to something more local, even preferring that the Utah Jazz - founded in New Orleans in 1974 and played there until 1979, give up the "Jazz" name. But the Jazz indicated they had no interest in returning the name due to over 30 years of history associated with it. Benson had also heavily favored the names "Brass" and "Krewe".

2013–present: The Pelicans take flight

On July 11, 2012, Ryan Anderson, 2012's Most Improved Player and three-point field goals leader, was acquired in a sign-and-trade by the New Orleans Hornets, with the Orlando Magic, for Gustavo Ayón.

On May 30, 2012, the Hornets were awarded the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft and subsequently drafted Anthony Davis. They also drafted Austin Rivers with the 10th pick (acquired from the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade).

The Hornets traded Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to the Wizards for Rashard Lewis, whom they bought out, and a draft pick.

On April 13, 2012, it was announced that Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, had purchased the franchise from the NBA for $338 million.[15][16] In addition, Benson announced that he would change the team name to something that would better suit the region, fueling rumors that the Hornets name could one day return to Charlotte, where the Bobcats play.[17][18] In June 2012, Benson appointed two senior Saints executives to supervise the Hornets as well: Saints general manager Mickey Loomis became head of basketball operations, overseeing general manager Dell Demps, and Saints business operations head Dennis Lauscha took on the same role with the Hornets.[19]

At the end of the 66-game lockout-shortened 2011–12 NBA season, the Hornets had the worst record in the West, 21–45.

Before the 2011–12 NBA season, the Hornets were considering trade offers for Chris Paul. Paul eventually requested a trade to the New York Knicks. The Hornets looked at many teams, including the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors as trade partners, but Paul had made it clear he wanted to be traded to New York or Los Angeles. A three-team trade involving the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets was agreed upon, but commissioner David Stern vetoed the trade.[14] On December 14, 2011, the Hornets agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers that would send Paul to L.A. in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and a first-round draft pick acquired by the Clippers from a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2004.

2011–13: CP3's departure; beginning the Anthony Davis era in earnest


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