New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have technically only been an NBA team since 2012, but their history traces back to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1988. So how did a team with absolutely no NBA titles to its name sell out home games with no problem? To completely understand how that happened, you’ll have to take a look at the complete history of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Beginning Years
The team we now know as the New Orleans Pelicans was once recognized as the Charlotte Hornets (not the same Hornets that play in the NBA today). In 1988, the NBA was looking to add a few teams to the league across the country. That was when a North Carolina entrepreneur by the name of George Shinn decided it was time to bring professional basketball to Charlotte. He saw the popularity of college basketball and an increasing population as a good sign.
In 1988, the NBA approved a team for Charlotte, North Carolina. The team name was once supposed to be the “Spirit,” but was eventually left up to a public naming contest that led to the name “Hornets” being coined. The 1988 inaugural season for the Charlotte Hornets brought on head coach Dick Harter and veteran NBA players to get the team off to a good start. In fact, the first team was able to capture a victory against the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan.
While in North Carolina, the Hornets were able to draw massive crowds and continuously set NBA records for the number of tickets sold. This continued into the early 1990s when the Hornets signed future Rookie of the Year Larry Johnson in 1991 and Alonzo Mourning in 1992. The 1993 season brought the Hornets their first winning season in their 5th year as a professional NBA team.
In the 14 years that the Charlotte Hornets spent in North Carolina, they were able to advance to the playoffs on 7 different occasions. However, a lack of support for team owner George Shinn and dwindling ticket sales led the team to relocate to New Orleans. The team now known as the Charlotte Hornets were once named the Charlotte Bobcats, retaining the rights to the “Hornets” name in 2014.
The team now known as the New Orleans Pelicans have gone through quite the array of team logos over the course of the franchise’s history.
2002 - 2008
The first jersey worn after the move to New Orleans in 2002 was mostly white with “Hornets” and the player number in a teal color.
2008 - 2013
From 2008 to 2013, Pelicans players wore a mostly blue jersey with dark blue and white pinstripes. The name “New Orleans” was written on the front in gold lettering and dark borders.
2013 - 2017
This one was designed in 2013. The pelicans wear a jersey that’s dark blue with gold accents here and there. The lettering is white with a gold border and the font is the same that’s used in the logo.
2017 - Today
The current Pelicans jersey, introduced in 2017, is slightly altered from the Adidas version. The biggest difference is in the font in “New Orleans.”