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New Orleans Pelicans not official yet

Of all the animals to strike terror into the hearts of your opponent, no mascot shall be more feared than the mighty … pelican?

Well… maybe.

A Yahoo! Sports report claims that New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson wants to change the name of the team to the Pelicans as early as next season. The Hornet as a mascot is left over from when the team was in Charlotte, and Benson has reportedly wanted to change it ever since he bought the team last year.

However, Hornets spokesperson Greg Bensel says not so fast.

"We’re not confirming that is the name,’’ Bensel said. "This is a process that’s ongoing and still in discussions. And it will be eventually decided by the NBA.’’

NBA commissioner David Stern says he has no problem with the name change, but it might not happen as soon as Benson would like.

"Knowing Tom he'd probably wrestle me to the ground tomorrow but I'm not going to give in that soon,” said Stern in a phone interview.

SportsLogos.netThe Pelicans were a minor league baseball team in New Orleans all the way back in 1887, and it is the state bird of Louisiana, so I guess the name would have some history. It is also important to note that Benson already owns the rights to the Pelican nickname (however that works). And there is a Pelicans minor league baseball franchise located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

But Pelicans? Really?

Is the mascot going to be the bird from “Finding Nemo?” I understand the history and tradition of the name, but New Orleans is a cool city, with a lot of unique cultural aspects. Surely they can come up with something that represents the area just as well but maybe comes off a little more intimidating than a pelican.

Again, this is not a done deal, but I have a feeling that’s because the Hornets want to have some sort of special unveiling or want to announce it themselves. I guess I just have to get used to typing, "… travel to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans." 

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