New Orleans Hornets Changing Nickname

If the Hornets' new owner has his way, the NBA would get just a little bit funnier.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Move over Lakers, Celtics and Knicks, there's a new team name on the horizon that is sure to send fear into the hearts of opponents across the NBA. Say hello to the Pelicans, or formerly known as the New Orleans Hornets.

Before you start rushing out to purchase these Pelicans jerseys, there is a little matter of New Orleans getting the potential name change approved.

When New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson bought the Hornets in April, he said he wanted to change the team's nickname. After careful deliberation and the narrowing of names, the team reportedly considered the nicknames Krewe (groups of costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans) and Brass; the team settled on the Pelicans.

For those not steeped in Louisianan lore, the brown pelican is the state bird and makes an appearance on the state flag and seal as well as the official state painting.

With the potential name chosen and all the appropriate copyrights owned, Benson is only waiting for league approval before moving ahead with the wanted change.

Hornets/Pelicans spokesman Harold Kaufman clarified this in a statement given Tuesday.

"Been getting flooded with calls. Telling everyone that any name and color changes are controlled by the NBA and that process has yet to take shape," Kaufman said.

As reported by Yahoo! Sports, the Hornets would change their name as early as next season with the league approval.

If the name change occurs, then their will be a host of Charlotte fans clamoring for their team to snatch it up. The Hornets began playing in Charlotte back in 1988 and it is being reported that Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has told The Charlotte Observer he would consider changing it back to Hornets if the name was available.

James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on

Photo Credit: Getty

By: Nick Laham
Collection: Getty Images Sport