Saints owner Tom Benson has officially gained control of the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA. The completion Friday of the $338 million sale of the NBA club comes two days after the league’s board of governors approved the decision to sell to Benson. As part of the deal, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has approved the Hornets’ lease extension at the state-owned New Orleans Arena, which runs through 2024 and provides for $50 million in improvements. Benson agreed in April to buy the Hornets. The team had been owned by the NBA since December of 2010.
New owner Tom Benson had indicated early in his ownership that he wished to change the team’s name to something more local. He preferred that the Utah Jazz, who had been founded in New Orleans in 1974 and played there until 1979, give up the “Jazz” nickname. However, the Jazz indicated they had no interest in returning the name due to over 30 years of history associated with it. Benson had also heavily favored the names “Brass” and “Krewe.”
However, on December 4, 2012, it was reported that the Hornets would change their name to the New Orleans Pelicans beginning with the 2013 – 2014 season. The team name is inspired by Louisiana’s state bird, the Brown Pelican.
The name “Pelicans” previously had been used by a minor-league baseball team that played in New Orleans from 1901 to 1957. The Hornets organization officially confirmed the name change in a press conference held on January 24, 2013, where officials unveiled the team’s new logos and navy blue-gold-red color scheme. On April 18, 2013, after the end of the team’s 2012 – 2013 season, the team’s name was officially changed to the Pelicans.
Davis declared for the 2012 NBA draft alongside the rest of the national championship team starting five: fellow freshmen Kidd-Gilchrist and Teague, and sophomores Jones and Doron Lamb. At the 2012 NBA Draft Combine, Davis measured at 6 feet 9.25 inches (2.06 m), 221.8 pounds (100.6 kg) and had the second longest wingspan—7 feet 5.5 inches (2.27 m) of any player participating. On June 28, the New Orleans Hornets selected Davis with the first overall pick. Davis became the fifth Chicago-area first overall selection following Cazzie Russell (1966), LaRue Martin (1972), Mark Aguirre (1981) and Derrick Rose (2008). On July 24, 2012, Davis signed a three-year $16 million guaranteed contract with the Hornets as prescribed by the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans. The Pelicans compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays their home games in the Smoothie King Center (formerly known as the New Orleans Arena).
Charlotte – New Orleans
1988 – Present / National Basketball Association
2013 – Present / New Orleans Pelicans
2007 – 2013 / New Orleans Hornets
2005 – 2007 / New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
2002 – 2005 / New Orleans Hornets
1988 – 2002 / Charlotte Hornets
Pelicans – After purchasing the team, Benson indicated that he wanted to change the club’s nickname to something more regionally appropriate. On December 14, 2012, it was reported that the Hornets would change their nickname to the New Orleans Pelicans. The team name is inspired by Louisiana’s state bird, the Brown Pelican.
NBA Championships 0
2014 – Present / Smoothie King Center
2002 – 2013 / New Orleans Arena
2005 – 2007 / Ford Center
2006 / Lloyd Noble Center
2005 / Pete Maravich Assembly Center
1988 – 2002 / Charlotte Coliseum
2018 – Present / Gayle Benson
2012 – 2018 / Tom Benson
2010 – 2012 / National Basketball Association
2007 – 2010 / Shinn and Gary Chouest
1988 – 2007 / George Shinn
7 / “Pistol” Pete Maravich
*Blue is this team’s history