Hornets and Pelicans and Jazz, oh my!
The past few days have witnessed a flurry of news and rumors regarding a potential name change for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets. According to numerous reports, the franchise is expected to be rechristened as the New Orleans Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season.
NBA Commissioner David Stern chimed in today with the following:
"If it works for them, it works for me," Stern said. " don't have any objections to anything that the Hornets want to do name-wise because I'm sure it'll be sensible. … I'm sure whatever it is, it'll be good. If (Pelicans) is what it is, that's fine. … I think everything sounds good. I think Lakers, have you seen any lakes in Los Angeles? There's the same amount of lakes in L.A. as there is jazz in Utah, or grizzlies in Memphis. I'm out of that business. Whatever works for a team works for me."
A "New Orleans Pelicans" designation would presumably free up the Hornets nickname for the Charlotte Bobcats, a tribute to the original Charlotte Hornets franchise, which moved to the Crescent City in 2002. And, as Stern noted, an additional twist involves the current Utah Jazz, originally the New Orleans Jazz—seemingly a team in need of a more locally appropriate nickname.
Prior to the Hornets' move to Louisiana in 2002, then NBA Creative Director Tom O'Grady called me in to put forth some options for a new franchise identity. The mandate was fun, funky, and retro-inspired.
These were but a few of the variations presented, none of which ever saw the light of day. The Todd Radom Design cutting room floor contains many such orphans, but these rank among my favorites.