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New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans

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Pelicans Corner

The New Orleans Pelicans are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (the NBA).  The New Orleans Pelicans play in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with four other teams: the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies.  Pelicans tickets will surely be hard to come by during the 2014-2015 NBA schedule.

New Orleans Pelicans 2014-2015 Outlook

The New Orleans Pelicans finished 14 games under .500 last year, but the 2014-15 campaign should see them vault above the break-even mark.

That’s a significant improvement, though it’s as much a statement on the franchise’s rotten luck a year ago as anything else. Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday missed huge portions of the season with back and knee injuries, respectively. Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon lost time as well.

Better fortune on the injury front, along with the huge addition of Omer Asik in the middle, should propel the Pelicans forward as they develop into a team worthy of Davis’ presence. This season marks a critical developmental milestone for The Brow and the organization.

Smoothie King Center

The Smoothie King Center (originally New Orleans Arena) is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is located in the city’s Central Business District, adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It has been home to the New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Hornets) of the NBA since 2002.

Since February 2004, the New Orleans VooDoo, of the Arena Football League, played their home games in the arena until the team disbanded in 2008. The VooDoo resumed play at the arena in March 2011.

The arena was completed in 1999 at a cost of $114 million and officially opened on October 19, 1999. The arena seats 17,805 for concerts, 17,003 for Pelicans games and hockey, 18,500 for basketball, and 16,900 for arena football. It has 2,800 club seats and 56 luxury suites.

The arena as a concert venue can seat 7,500 for half-stage shows, 17,221 for end-stage shows and 17,805 for a center-stage shows. For trade shows and conventions the arena features 17,000 square feet of space. The ceiling is 65 feet to beam and roof, 70 feet to the top of the arena.

Smoothie King Center
1501 Dave Dixon Drive
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113

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2011–2013: Last years as the Hornets

Before the 2011–12 NBA season the Hornets were considering trade offers for Chris Paul. Paul eventually requested a trade to the New York Knicks. The Hornets looked at many teams including the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors as trade partners, but Paul had made it clear he would only re-sign with the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Los Angeles Clippers.

On December 14, 2011, the Hornets agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers that would send Paul to Los Angeles in exchange for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu, and a first-round draft pick acquired by the Clippers from a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2004. At the end of the 2011–12 NBA season, the Hornets had the worst record in the West, 21–45.

On April 13, 2012, it was announced that Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, had purchased the franchise from the NBA for $338 million. In addition, Benson has announced that he will change the team name to something that would better suit the region, fueling rumors that the Hornets name could one day return to Charlotte, where the Bobcats play. In June 2012, Benson appointed two senior Saints executives to supervise the Hornets as well: Saints general manager Mickey Loomis became head of basketball operations, overseeing general manager Dell Demps, and Saints business operations head Dennis Lauscha took on the same role with the Hornets.

The Hornets traded Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to the Wizards for Rashard Lewis, whom they bought out, and a draft pick.

On May 30, 2012, the Hornets were awarded the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and subsequently drafted Anthony Davis. It was the first time since 1991 (when the team was located in Charlotte) that the Hornets won the draft lottery. They also drafted Austin Rivers with the 10th pick (acquired from the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade).

On July 11, 2012, Ryan Anderson, 2012’s Most Improved Player and 3-point field goals leader, was acquired in a sign-and-trade by the New Orleans Hornets, with the Orlando Magic, for Gustavo Ayón.

2013–present: Reborn as the Pelicans

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 meeting held on January 24, 2013, where officials unveiled the team’s new logos and 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.

Following the New Orleans franchise’s 2013 disestablishment of the "Hornets" name, on May 21, 2013, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan officially announced the organization had submitted an application to change the name of his franchise to the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–2015 NBA season pending a majority vote for approval by the NBA Board of Governors at a meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 18, 2013. Then-NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Adam Silver had previously pointed out the fact that the league owns the rights to the name Hornets and that could speed up the process. The NBA unanimously approved the name change starting with 2014-15.

On June 27, 2013, during the 2013 NBA Draft, the Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel 6th overall, and traded him along with a 2014 protected first-round pick for All-Star Point Guard Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers and the 42nd pick, Pierre Jackson. At a May 20, 2014 press conference making the Charlotte Bobcats’ renaming to Hornets official, it was announced that the Pelicans agreed to transfer the records and statistics of the Charlotte Hornets from the 1988 through 2002 seasons to the current Charlotte franchise, thus unifying Charlotte NBA basketball history under one franchise; the team records and statistics since the 2002 move to New Orleans would be retained by the Pelicans.