New Orleans, LA — The New Orleans Hornets are no more.
A day after the team finished its 2012-13 regular season, the franchise has changed its name to the New Orleans Pelicans.
“We have been looking forward to this day since we announced the Pelicans as the new name,” owner Tom Benson wrote in a press release posted on the team’s new website. “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.”
The team’s Twitter handle has also changed to @PelicansNBA. The first tweet under the new handle was a link to an interview with Hugo the Hornet, the team’s now-former mascot, in which he looks back at his time with the franchise and looks forward to the future.
The team announced that it would be changing its name — in honor of the Louisiana state bird — last December. The team also considered the name Brass as an homage to the city’s music scene, as well as Krewe, named for the paraders who march down the streets during Mardi Gras.
The new logo for the team was unveiled in January, and features a basketball underneath the beak of a pelican with its wings spread. A fleur de lis, which was made the official symbol of the state by Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2008, is also incorporated into the logo. The colors chosen were blue, which represents the state flag, gold, which represents an embelished New Orleans lifestyle and ties the team in with the New Orleans Saints — who are also owned by Benson — and red, which represents brotherhood.
Are you going to miss the New Orleans Hornets? Or do you think the New Orleans Pelicans is a better name given the bird’s importance to the state?