Wanting to build an identity that mimicked their city, the former New Orleans Hornets decided on a new nickname. With the rich history of the city filled with vibrant figures, imagery and culture, selecting a nickname to fit the city should have ended with a neat and quality result. Instead they ended up with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Starting with the 2013-2014 NBA season, the Hornets name is no more in New Orleans and the Pelicans are alive. The new nickname has been met by plenty of laughs and jokes from the general public and from some of the players. In fairness, a Pelican doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of many, no matter what you choose to make the logo or the jerseys look like.
The public and Pelicans players aren’t alone with their feelings about the new nickname, though. In a recent piece by John Reid of The New Orleans Times-Picayune, legendary center and Inside the NBA panelist Shaquille O’Neal said that the new nickname was “terrible.” Shaq went on, saying “I would have named them the Tigers, Crawfish or something. Pelicans—no. But I wish them well.” Obviously, it’s not surprising the always candid Shaq didn’t hold his tongue here.
Shaq isn’t wrong. Not only are there more fitting nicknames for the city of New Orleans, but there are also ones that are far less comical. However, with the additions of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans this summer and the further development of their talented young core this season, it’s going to be hard to laugh at this team, Pelicans or no Pelicans.
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