Pelicans is just fine

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

What's wrong with the Pelicans? As NBA commissioner David Stern said, as long as the owner is fine with it, he's fine with it. It's the state bird. It's actually a strong species, even though many are mocking the nickname for its alleged weakness or clumsiness.

The thing about these team nicknames is that most negative reaction is based on unfamiliarity. Heard much Jazz lately in Utah? Seen many grizzly bears in Memphis? These nicknames traveled with these franchises from their original homes of New Orleans and Vancouver. And they're accepted now because of familiarity.

Yes, Pelicans sounds a bit jarring, but more for reasons of unfamiliarity than anything else. Once the name change happens — and it should — everyone will get used to it. And people might even learn more about a misunderstood bird.

Reclaim the Jazz

Brian Schmitz

Orlando Sentinel

Should we crow about the New Orleans, uh, Pelicans?

Doesn't sound like a good nickname for a serious sports team, even if the pelican is the Louisiana state bird.

It would be funny just to hear stoic Spurs coach Gregg Popovich say, "We couldn't stop the Pelicans."

I'd keep the nickname "Hornets" if I were New Orleans, but I'm not in the business of marketing new shirts, hats, etc.

Maybe New Orleans needs to make a trade, dealing "Hornets" to Utah to reclaim "Jazz." Utah is known as "The Beehive State." Throw in Hugo, a two-time MVM (Most Valuable Mascot). There you go.

Get a flavor of the region

Ben Bolch

Los Angeles Times

Some of the possible new nicknames being tossed around for the New Orleans Hornets aren't bad.