And just like that, the New Orleans Hornets are no more. Well, technically they still exist for the remainder of 2012-2013 season, but yesterday’s announcement and official unveiling of the colors and logos was the final nail in the coffin of a franchise that has lacked an identity to go along with the uniqueness of the gulf coast region and New Orleans.
I have to say, I wasn’t a fan of the name change originally. Like most, the idea of calling a professional basketball team the “Pelicans” didn’t seem all that intimidating. But now with the unveiling of the teams new brand, I’m beginning to see the image the new ownership regime has in mind with this team. Yes, red and blue are horribly overused in sports, especially together, but with the gold really helps tie it all together.
Of course, you could also argue that the Pelicans might be able to recycle the Cavs’ old blue road alternates and not only use them as their primary roads but also invert the colors, create a set of home whites and a set of red alternates. Boom! Done… You’re welcome.
Uniforms aside, this is a big step for NBA basketball in New Orleans. There’s a chance that maybe… just maybe… this change combined with the youth movement that is happening could finally be the catalyst for NBA basketball to take off in the Crescent City. Perhaps this is what David Stern had in mind when he decided to keep the Hornets in New Orleans rather than uprooting them to Seattle after the sale of the team back tot he NBA by George Shinn. Even still I don’t agree with that decision especially now that Sacramento has been screwed out of an NBA team so that Seattle can have it’s team back.
For the record, I totally agree that Seattle should have an NBA team. It’s a great basketball city and the way the team was moved to OKC was completely shady. The Hornets were the perfect candidate to move. No one in New Orleans really care about them. They fall in line behind the Saints, drinking, LSU Football, drinking, LSU Baseball, drinking, Mardi Gras, drinking, parades, drinking, craw fish boils, drinking, fishing and hunting, drinking, drinking, more drinking and then finally the Hornets.
Meanwhile, Sacramento has a rabid fan base that has two of the longest consecutive sell-out streaks in NBA history and is losing it’s team not because the fans don’t care, but because Stern wants every NBA city to have a state of the art building (something Sacramento can’t figure out) and the once beloved Maloof brothers are broker than broke. Now Sacramento gets to fill the role of disgruntled NBA city desperate to get a team back and good luck, it might be a few years before we get another desperate team.
So like I said, there’s a chance that this new identity stirs up some fan fare. No not everyone is crazy about the name, but they’re excited about the idea behind the name and sometimes that’s just as important. So we’ll see.
The only thing I do hope comes of this is that the Hornets name and colors go back to Charlotte where they belong. The Bobcats are a joke, unless you don’t think a team named after its original owner isn’t a joke. That team needs to find a new identity and they might just find it in the past. If Michael Jordan was smart he needs to bring back the name, bring back the colors and the iconic mid-90’s uniforms and start things over. Here’s hoping.
Now where did I put my LJ jersey and Converse Gels?