New Orleans Pelicans Details
The Pelicans moved from Charlotte to New Orleans in 2002, and NBA basketball returned to the city for the first time since the New Orleans Jazz relocated to Utah at the end of the 1970s. The Pelicans originally kept their previous name, the Hornets, after they moved. The New Orleans Hornets made the playoffs in their first two years back in Louisiana.
Because of damage to their arena and surrounding floods following Hurricane Katrina, the Hornets were forced to play most of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 in Oklahoma City, and the team called itself the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. They moved back to New Orleans full time for the 2007-08 season, and the Pelicans currently play at the Smoothie King Center.
For the 2013-14 season, the team changed its name to the New Orleans Pelicans, after the state bird of Louisiana. In the meantime, a new team—the Bobcats—had formed in Charlotte. The Bobcats reassumed the Hornets’ name and the history of the original franchise when it was located in Charlotte from 1988-2002). The NBA officially recognizes the Pelicans as having formed in 2002, when the team moved to New Orleans.
The Pelicans last made the playoffs in the 2014-15 season. Last year, they finished in the 10th seed in the Western Conference. The Pelicans acquired all-star DeMarcus Cousins in a trade after the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. The 2017-18 season will be Cousins’ first full season in New Orleans, the Pelicans hope he’ll make it to the playoffs for the first time in his career. He’ll join fellow big man Anthony Davis, who set a record with 52 points in the 2017 All-Star game and won All-Star MVP. The Pelicans also signed Cousins’ former teammate, veteran Rajon Rondo, in the offseason, and resigned point guard Jrue Holiday. The Pelicans have star power for the 2017-18 season, and fans hope it’s enough to return to the playoffs in a powerful Western conference.