The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team and are based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They compete as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division in the National Basketball Association. They play their home games at Smoothie King Center which was formerly known as the New Orleans Arena.
This team was initially owned by George Shinn and was then named Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. It was all a dream of George Shinn, an entrepreneur from Kannapolis, North Carolina who badly needed to bring an NBA team to the Charlotte area.
But things didn’t take the right turn; soon the people of the city slowly began to despise George Shinn. It made him bother for a proper play arena which kind of always put the team in a dilemma. The team applied for relocation from Charlotte to Memphis, Tennessee which they lost to Vancouver Grizzlies. Thus after a lot of commotion the team got relocated to New Orleans, where they established themselves as the New Orleans Hornets in the year 2002-03. Therefore officially the team got founded in the year 2002.
In the year 2005, the Hornets had to relocate their team again, but this time it was the natural disaster named Hurricane Katrina which had damaged the area completely and so the team had to move to Oklahoma City temporarily. The relocation made the team get named as New Orleans/ Oklahoma City Hornets. Later, in the year 2007-2008 seasons, the team returned back to New Orleans full time. In the year 2013, the New Orleans Hornets officially renamed to New Orleans Pelicans.
In the first regular season game in the year 2002, the game which was played in New Orleans in more than 17 years, the Hornets played against Utah Jazz where they defeated them by the score of 100-75. Though the team finished the season with a 47-35 record, they got defeated in the first round of playoffs by Philadelphia 76ers. But following the season the head coach Paul Silas was unexpectedly fired. He wasn’t the last head coach to get fired, but again in the year 2004 Floyd got fired, and the team then hired Byron Scott as the new head coach.
After the devastation caused by the hurricane Katrina, the team relocated back to New Orleans for the 2007-08 season which further on made the team lucky to win. The NBA All-star game and many more coming games were awarded to New Orleans. The Hornets won their first division title by winning the Southwest Division.
In the year 2012, Tom Benson purchased the team, and it was his idea to modify the name of the team to something that is regionally more appropriate. Thus, in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats wanted to officially change their name to Hornets as the (now) Pelicans were finally ready to transfer the records and statistics since 2002 when the team moved to New Orleans. Thus they got renamed as Pelicans, as a 2002 expansion team.
For love for New Orleans, the uniform of the Pelicans featured the Mardi gras signature colors – Purple, Green and Gold. Pierre the Pelican is the Pelicans' official mascot which got introduced on October 30th, 2013. Chris Paul was the backbone behind the success of the team with his game in 2007-2008, and he also came second in the voting of NBA Most Valuable Player Award voting.