New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are members of the Western Conference, Southwest Division.
History and League Success
Originally the Pelicans began play as the Charlotte Hornets, an expansion team, in 1988. However, the team relocated in 2002 to New Orleans, keeping the Hornets name; two years later Charlotte would get another expansion team which was originally named the Charlotte Bobcats.
But in 2013 the Hornets -- desiring a team name more closely associated with Louisiana, and unable to reclaim the Jazz name from Utah -- elected to rebrand itself as the Pelicans (as the brown pelican is the Louisiana state bird), surrendering the Hornets name back to the league. The Bobcats then petitioned to reclaim the Hornets name, which the NBA granted in 2014. At the press conference announcing the name change, the NBA also announced that the Pelicans would officially transfer all the records and statistics of the original Charlotte Hornets (during the period when they were in Charlotte) back to the Hornets organization, thus unifying all Charlotte records under one franchise (the franchise records while in New Orleans remain with the Pelicans).
As such, the NBA retroactively considers the Charlotte Hornets to have existed from 1984-2002, then having suspended operations from 2002-2004, and then restarting in 2004, with the Pelicans considered an expansion team beginning in 2002.
After the damage to New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina, the team played some of their home games in Oklahoma City at the Ford Center for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons (and temporarily rebranded the team as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets; the popularity of NBA basketball in Oklahoma City ultimately led an Oklahoma-based group to purchase the Seattle SuperSonics and relocate the team to Oklahoma City in 2008).
The Pelicans have never appeared in the NBA Finals.
NBA Southwest Division Rivals
No player having played for the Pelicans has had his number retired by the team.
In addition to #6, retired league-wide for Bill Russell, the Pelicans retired the number 7 in honor of Pete Maravich, who played for the city's original franchise (the New Orleans Jazz) as well as for Louisiana State University during which he became the NCAA's all-time leading scorer.
Official Team Website