NEW ORLEANS PELICANS FRANCHISE HISTORY
Previous Franchise Names: New Orleans Hornets, Oklahoma City Hornets
Principal Owner: Tom Benson
EVP: Mickey Loomis
General Manager: Dell Demps
Head Coach: Alvin Gentry
Best Season: 2007-08 (56-26, .683)
Playoff Appearances: 6
NBA Championships: 0
The New Orleans Pelicans, despite their roots springing from the original Charlotte Hornets franchise that launched in 1988, are technically the NBA’s youngest franchise.
The NBA’s decision to split the history of the Hornets between Charlotte and New Orleans left the Pelicans, who changed their name from Hornets in 2013, as having been “born” in 2002-03, when the original Hornets left Charlotte for The Big Easy.
The club has six postseason appearances in 14 years and has advanced beyond the first round just once, losing a Game 7 at home in the 2008 Western Conference semifinals.
It is New Orleans’ third attempt at hosting pro basketball. The ABA’s Buccaneers played in New Orleans from 1967-70 before moving to Memphis and the expansion Jazz called New Orleans home from 1974-79 before moving to Salt Lake City, where they are now the Utah Jazz (one of the great oxymorons in professional sports history).
The New Orleans club’s biggest star arrived in 2005, when Chris Paul was drafted. But his debut seasons were mostly spent in Oklahoma City, where the then-Hornets took refuge after the New Orleans Arena (now the Smoothie King Center) was damaged in Hurricane Katrina.
The team’s star player now is 2012 first overall pick Anthony Davis, who led New Orleans to the playoffs as the Pelicans for the first time in 2015.
Byron Scott, who coached the Hornets from 2004-05 until he was fired nine games into the 2009-10 campaign, is the franchise’s winningest coach with a mark of 203-216, going 8-9 in the playoffs.
The franchise’s lone retired number belongs to Pete Maravich, who played for the Jazz from 1974-79 and never suited up for the Pelicans. Given the team’s odd, disjointed history, it makes perfect sense.
New Orleans Pelicans Career Leaders (as of 3/9/2016)
- Games, David West, 530
- Points, David West, 8690
- Rebounds, David West, 3853
- Assists, Chris Paul, 4228
- Steals, Chris Paul, 1010
- Blocks, Anthony Davis, 621
New Orleans Pelicans Retired Numbers
- 7, Pete Maravich
New Orleans Pelicans Official Links
Official Team Site: nba.com/pelicans
Official Twitter Handle: @pelicansnba
Official Facebook Page: New Orleans Pelicans
Official Instagram Page: New Orleans Pelicans
Official Arena Page: Smoothie King Center
New Orleans Pelicans Beat Writers
John Reid, New Orleans Times Picayune
Ted Lewis, The Advocate
Brett Dawson, The Advocate
Related New Orleans Pelicans Blogs and Links
New Orleans Pelicans Logo History, courtesy of Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net
Salary Page: New Orleans Pelicans Salaries at Spotrac
FanSided New Orleans Pelicans: Pelican Debrief
SB Nation New Orleans Pelicans: The Bird Writes
ESPN TrueHoop New Orleans Pelicans: Bourbon Street Shots
HoopsHabit New Orleans Pelicans Archive: New Orleans Pelicans
Bleacher Report New Orleans Pelicans Team Stream: New Orleans Pelicans
RealGM New Orleans Pelicans Page: New Orleans Pelicans
Stats and retired number information courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com