New Orleans Pelicans

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For the former minor league baseball team, see New Orleans Pelicans (baseball).
New Orleans Pelicans
2015–16 New Orleans Pelicans season
New Orleans Pelicans logo
Conference Western
Division Southwest
Founded 2002
History New Orleans Hornets
2002–2005, 2007–2013
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
New Orleans Pelicans
Arena Smoothie King Center
City New Orleans, Louisiana
Team colors Navy, Gold, Red, White[1][2]
Owner(s) Tom Benson
General manager Dell Demps
Head coach Alvin Gentry
Championships 0
Conference titles 0
Division titles 1 (2008)
Retired numbers 1 (7)
Official website
Smoothie King Center - Home of the New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana, that competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA). They play in the Southwest Division of the league's Western Conference. The team plays their home games in the Smoothie King Center (formerly known as the New Orleans Arena).

The Pelicans were established in the 1988–89 season as the original Charlotte Hornets, in Charlotte, North Carolina; the franchise moved to New Orleans in the 2002–03 season . Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the franchise temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, where they spent two seasons officially known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. The team returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–08 season, eventually becoming Pelicans in the 2013–14 season.[3] The Charlotte Hornets' heritage was returned to its original city to be used by the then-Charlotte Bobcats franchise, which subsequently became the second incarnation of the Charlotte Hornets, starting May 20, 2014. This also retroactively deemed the Pelicans as a separate Hornets team from the original Hornets.[4]

In 13 seasons of play since the original franchise relocated from the Carolinas, the Louisiana franchise has achieved an overall regular season record of 498–552, and has qualified for the postseason six times. Their achievements include one playoff series victory and one division title.

Franchise history[edit]

The original Charlotte Hornets[edit]

1985–88: Birth of the Hornets[edit]

In 1985, the NBA, then at 23 teams, was planning to expand by four teams by the 1988-1989 season. George Shinn, an entrepreneur from Kannapolis, North Carolina, wanted to bring an NBA team to the Charlotte area, and he assembled a group of prominent local businessmen to head the prospective franchise. The Charlotte area had long been a hotbed for college basketball. The Atlantic Coast Conference's four North Carolina teams, as well as local teams UNC Charlotte, Davidson, and Johnson C. Smith, had large and loyal fan bases in the city. Charlotte was also one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and was previously one of the three in-state regional homes to the American Basketball Association's Carolina Cougars, from 1969 to 1974.

Some critics doubted that Charlotte could support an NBA team; one Sacramento Bee columnist joked, "The only franchise Charlotte is going to get is one with golden arches."[5] However, Shinn's ace in the hole was the Charlotte Coliseum, a state-of-the-art arena under construction that would seat almost 24,000 spectators – the largest basketball-specific arena ever to serve as a full-time home for an NBA team. On April 5, 1987, NBA Commissioner David Stern called Shinn to tell him that his group had been awarded the 24th franchise of the NBA, to begin play in 1988. Franchises were also granted to Miami, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and Orlando.

Originally, the new team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but a name-the-team contest yielded "Hornets" as the winning choice. The name was derived from the city's fierce resistance to British occupation during the Revolutionary War, which prompted the British commander, Lord Cornwallis, to refer to it as "a veritable hornet's nest of rebellion".[6][7] The name had been used for Charlotte sports teams before, including a minor league baseball team that was located in the city from 1901 to 1972, as well as a World Football League team that played there from 1974 to 1975. In addition the Charlotte 49ers and Davidson Wildcats of the NCAA play annually for the Hornets' Nest Trophy.

The team received attention when it chose teal as its primary color, setting off a sports fashion craze in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with many pro and amateur clubs soon following with teal in their color schemes.[citation needed] The team's uniforms were designed by international designer and North Carolina native Alexander Julian, and featured a first for NBA uniforms—pin stripes. Similar designs by the Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers followed soon after.

Shinn hired Carl Scheer, a longtime NBA executive, as the team's first general manager. Scheer preferred a roster of veteran players, hoping to put together a competitive team as soon as possible, with a goal of making the playoffs in five years. Former college coach and veteran NBA assistant Dick Harter was also hired, becoming the team's first head coach.

In 1988, the Hornets and the Miami Heat were part of the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft. Unlike many expansion franchises that invest in the future with a team composed entirely of young players, Charlotte stocked its inaugural roster with several veterans in hopes of putting a competitive lineup on the court right away. The team also had three draft picks at the 1988 NBA Draft.


Season tickets for the Hornets' inaugural season.

In its inaugural season the Hornets were led by ex-Pistons guard Kelly Tripucka, who provided instant offense and was Charlotte's top scorer for the franchise's first two seasons. Other notable players included sharpshooting rookie and first-ever draft choice Rex Chapman, a long-distance scoring threat, and floor general Muggsy Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history at 5'3". The Hornets' first NBA game took place on November 4, 1988, at the Charlotte Coliseum, and was a 133–93 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.[8] Four days later, the team notched their first-ever victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, 117–105.[9] On December 23, 1988, the Hornets really gave their fans something to cheer about, beating Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls 103–101 at the buzzer in Jordan's first return to North Carolina as a professional.[10] The Hornets finished their inaugural season with a record of 20 wins and 62 losses.

Despite initial concerns that the Coliseum was too big, the Hornets were a runaway hit in their first season, leading the NBA in attendance, a feat they would achieve seven more times in Charlotte. Eventually, the Hornets would sell out 364 consecutive games—almost nine consecutive seasons.

The Hornets' second season was a struggle from start to finish. Members of the team rebelled against Dick Harter's defense-oriented style, and he was replaced mid-season by assistant Gene Littles following a dismal 8–32 start. Despite the change, the team continued to struggle during the second half of the season, suffering through a 3–31 stretch from January through March. In the end, the team took a step backwards, finishing the season with a disappointing 19–63 record – one game worse than their previous season.

In the 1990 NBA Draft, the Hornets selected guard Kendall Gill with the 5th overall pick. The team showed improvement during the 1990–91 season. They won eight of their first fifteen games, including a 120–105 victory over the Washington Bullets. However, the team went cold, losing their next eleven games and falling to an 8–18 record. The Hornets, who hosted the 1991 NBA All-Star Game, finished their third season with a 26–56 record. Despite the team's seven-game improvement over the previous season, Gene Littles was fired at the end of the season and replaced by general manager Allan Bristow.


With the first pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, the Hornets drafted power forward Larry Johnson from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Johnson had an impact season, finishing among the league leaders in points and rebounds, and winning the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Additionally, Guard Kendall Gill led the club in scoring, averaging over 20 points per game. The team stayed in contention for a playoff spot until March, but in the end, they finished the season with a record of 31–51. Despite continuing to improve, the Hornets failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

The Hornets were in the lottery again in 1992 and won the second overall pick in the draft, using it to select Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning. The Hornets now had two 20–10 threats in Johnson and Mourning, who with Kendall Gill, formed perhaps the league's top young trio. The team finished their fifth season at 44–38, their first-ever winning record and good enough for the first playoff berth in franchise history. Finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, the Hornets upset the Boston Celtics in the first round, with Mourning winning the series with a 20-footer in game four.[11] However, the Hornets lacked the experience and depth to defeat the New York Knicks, falling in five games in the second round.

The Hornets finished the 1993–94 season with a 41–41 record, narrowly missing the playoffs. Despite injuries to both Johnson and Mourning, the two led the team in points-per-game. The following season, the Hornets finished the regular season with 50 wins and 32 losses, and returned to the playoffs. Johnson and Mourning again led the team in points-per-game, while also leading the club in rebounding. However, Charlotte was bounced from the playoffs in the first round, falling to the Chicago Bulls in four games. Following the season, the Johnson–Mourning era would come to an end, as the Hornets traded Mourning to the Miami Heat for forward Glen Rice, center Matt Geiger, and guard Khalid Reeves.


Glen Rice would make an immediate impact after joining the Hornets, leading the team in scoring and points-per-game during the 1995–96 season. While Rice and Johnson provided high-powered scoring, Geiger tied with Johnson for the team lead in rebounds, and All-Star guard Kenny Anderson ran the point for the injured Muggsy Bogues. The Hornets were competitive, but failed to qualify for the playoffs during the season, again finishing with a 41–41 record. Head Coach Allan Bristow resigned at the end of the season, and was replaced by NBA legend Dave Cowens.

The 1996 off-season was again marked by vast changes: Anderson declined to re-sign, Johnson was shipped to the Knicks for power forward Anthony Mason, and the team made a trade on draft day 1996. They acquired center Vlade Divac from the Los Angeles Lakers for the rights to Kobe Bryant, who the Hornets picked 13th in the draft. The new-look Hornets were successful, with Divac and Geiger providing the center combination, Mason averaging a double-double, Bogues back at the point, and Rice having the finest season of his career. The team achieved the best season in its history at the time, finishing with 54 victories compared to only 28 losses, and making it back to the playoffs. Rice finishing third in the league in scoring, earning all-NBA second team honors, and was also the All-Star Game MVP, setting several scoring records. Despite the success during the regular season, the Hornets went down rather meekly to the Knicks in three straight games.

The 1997–98 season was also successful. Muggsy Bogues was traded two games into the season, and the team picked up point guard David Wesley and shooting guard Bobby Phills. With Wesley, Phills, Rice, Mason, and Divac, the Hornets romped through the regular season, finishing with a 51–31 record; Rice had another good season, as he finished sixth in league scoring and earned all-NBA third team honors. The Hornets made it to back-to-back playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and advanced to the second round, only to again be stopped by the Bulls.

1998–2002: Final years of original Hornets[edit]

Players warming up prior to an April 2000 game between the Hornets and the Indiana Pacers at the Charlotte Coliseum.

The 1998–99 season was turbulent. The season didn't start until February, as the lockout shortened the regular season to only 50 games. Additionally, Glen Rice was traded to the Lakers for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell, and Dave Cowens resigned midway through the season. He was replaced by former Celtics teammate Paul Silas, who became the franchises fifth Head Coach. The team finished the season with a 26–24 record, but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The 1999–2000 season saw a return to prominence, with the addition of Jamal Mashburn and point guard Baron Davis, the third overall draft pick. The Hornets tore through much of the season, but tragedy struck on January 12, 2000, when fan favorite and top reserve Bobby Phills was killed in an automobile accident; the Hornets retired his No. 13 on February 9, 2000. After finishing the regular season with a 49–33 record, the team was able to return to the playoffs, where they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. The season, however, was overshadowed by events off the court. The team's popularity had begun to sag due to fan discontent with owner George Shinn's personnel moves; he had reportedly traded Mourning and several other stars out of an unwillingness to pay them market value. Additionally, Michael Jordan, a North Carolina native, began negotiations to become part-owner of the team, but talks collapsed when Shinn refused to grant Jordan total control over the basketball side of the operation. Because of this, the team's attendance dropped to eleventh in the league for the season.

In the 2000–01 season, the Hornets managed to return to the playoffs, finishing the season with a 46–36 record. While they upset the third-seeded Heat in the first round and made it to the conference semifinals for just the third time in franchise history, they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. Despite the team continuing to play well, their popularity continued to fall, with the team finishing twenty-first in the league in attendance for the season.

The Hornets returned to the playoffs the following season, finishing the regular season at 44–38. After defeating the Orlando Magic in the first round, they were upended by the New Jersey Nets in five games in the Conference Semifinals. The team finished the season twenty-ninth (last) in the league in attendance, a stark contrast to their earlier years in Charlotte. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved a deal for the team to move to New Orleans following the season.

Relocation to New Orleans[edit]

While the Charlotte Hornets put a competitive team on the court throughout the 1990s, the team's attendance began falling dramatically. Many attributed this lapse in popularity to the team's owner, George Shinn, who was slowly becoming despised by the people of the city.[12] In 1997, a Charlotte woman claimed that Shinn had raped her, and the resulting trial severely tarnished his reputation in the city. The consensus was that while Charlotte was as basketball-crazy as ever, fans took out their anger at Shinn on the team. Shinn had also become discontented with the Charlotte Coliseum, which, although considered state-of-the-art when it opened in 1988, had by then been considered obsolete due to a limited number of luxury boxes. On March 26, 2001, both the Hornets and the Vancouver Grizzlies applied for relocation to Memphis, Tennessee,[13] which was ultimately won by the Grizzlies. Shinn issued an ultimatum: unless the city built a new arena at no cost to him, the Hornets would leave town. The city initially refused, leading Shinn to consider moving the team to either Norfolk, Louisville, or St. Louis. Of the cities in the running, only St. Louis was a larger media market than Charlotte at the time; also, it was the only one of the four to have previously had an NBA franchise — the St. Louis Hawks, who moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1968.

Finally, a new arena in Uptown, which would eventually become the Charlotte Bobcats Arena (now known as Time Warner Cable Arena), was included in a non-binding referendum for a larger arts-related package, and Shinn withdrew his application to move the team. Polls showed the referendum on its way to passage. However, just days before the referendum, Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance. The veto prompted many of the city's black ministers to oppose the referendum; they felt it was immoral for the city to build a new arena when city employees weren't paid enough to make a living.[14] After the referendum failed, city leaders devised a plan to build a new arena in a way that did not require voter support, but made it known that they would not even consider building it unless Shinn sold the team. While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger other owners.[15] The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to request a move to New Orleans - a move that would eventually return the NBA to that city since the then-New Orleans Jazz moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1979. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the move. As part of a deal, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years later as the Charlotte Bobcats.

In a 2008 interview with the Charlotte Observer, Shinn, who has not returned to Charlotte since the Hornets moved, admitted that the "bad judgment I made in my life" played a role in the Hornets' departure. He also said that if he had it to do all over again, he would not have withdrawn from the public after the sexual assault trial. Shinn emphasized how he was making amends by committing to New Orleans saying, "I've made enough mistakes in my life. I'm not going to make one here. This city needs us here. We're going to make this (New Orleans) thing work."[16]

2002–05: Early years in New Orleans[edit]

The Hornets opened their inaugural season in New Orleans on October 30, 2002, against New Orleans' original NBA franchise, the now-Utah Jazz. In the first regular season NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17 years,[17] the Hornets defeated the Jazz 100–75, and posthumously retired #7 of "Pistol" Pete Maravich during halftime. The Hornets finished the season with a 47–35 record but were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. Following the season, the team unexpectedly fired head coach Paul Silas and replaced him with Tim Floyd. The Hornets began the 2003–04 season strong with a 17–7 start but sputtered at the end and finished 41–41. They lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2004 playoffs. After the season, Floyd was fired and the team hired Byron Scott as its new head coach.

During the previous two seasons the Hornets competed in the NBA's Eastern Conference. The 2004–05 season saw the team moved to the Western Conference's Southwest Division. In a season marred by injury to the team's three all-stars, the team finished the year with a franchise-worst record of 18–64.

2005–11: The Chris Paul Era[edit]

In the subsequent draft, the Hornets used their first round pick to select point guard Chris Paul out of Wake Forest University.

Chris Paul, selected by the Hornets as the 4th pick of the 2005 NBA draft

Because of the catastrophic devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina upon the communities of southeastern Louisiana, the Hornets franchise temporarily relocated its base of operations to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2005–06 and 2006–07, posting records of 38–44 and 39–43 respectively.[18] During this time, the franchise was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. In these two seasons, most home games were played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, while a few remained at New Orleans Arena. One year after the Hornets moved back to New Orleans permanently, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

The Hornets franchise returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–08 season, with all 41 home games in the New Orleans Arena. The 2008 NBA All-Star Game and its accompanying festivities were awarded to New Orleans and a serious marketing campaign was commenced in February 2007. Healthier than previous seasons, the Hornets raced to a 29–12 record at the halfway mark, completing the regular season with a record of 56–26, making the season their most successful ever. The Hornets also won their first-ever division title, winning the Southwest Division. Having clinched the 2nd overall seed for the Western Conference in the 2008 playoffs, the Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks in the first round but eventually lost to the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs in seven games in the conference semifinals.

In August 2008 the Hornets unveiled a modified logo and new uniforms with the colors of Creole blue, purple, and Mardi Gras gold. Pinstripes were also added to the uniforms. The Hornets also introduced a new gold alternate uniform in 2010 which was used mostly in games played on Saturday at home and on the road. The Hornets finished the 2008–09 season with a 49–33 record. Paired up with the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2009 NBA Playoffs, the Hornets were eliminated in five games. The Hornets started the 2009–10 season in a disappointing fashion, and head coach Byron Scott was fired after a 3–6 start to the season. General manager Jeff Bower took over the head coaching duties for the remainder of the season. The Hornets finished the season with a 37–45 record, finishing last in the Southwest division they had won only two seasons before. Jeff Bower later resigned as head coach, and Monty Williams was brought in as new head coach. The team finished the 2010–11 season with a 46–36 record and qualified for the 2011 NBA Playoffs, where they lost to the Lakers 4–2.

In December 2010 the NBA purchased the Hornets from George Shinn for an estimated $300 million.[19][20]

2011–13: CP3's Departure and the Davis Era Begins in Earnest[edit]

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 sign with the Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Los Angeles Clippers.[citation needed]

On December 14, 2011, the Hornets agreed to a deal with the 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.[21][22] 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.[23][24] 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.[25]

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. 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 three-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: Pelicans Take Flight[edit]

New owner Tom Benson had indicated early in his ownership that he wished to change the team's name to something more local, even preferring that the Utah Jazz - founded in New Orleans in 1974 and played there until 1979, give up the "Jazz" name. But 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 2013-14 season.[26] The team name is inspired by Louisiana's state bird, the brown pelican.[27]

The name "Pelicans" previously had been used by a minor-league baseball team that played in New Orleans from 1901 to 1957.[28] 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 navy blue-gold-red color scheme.[3][29] On April 18, 2013, after the end of the team's 2012–13 season, the team's name was officially changed to the Pelicans.[30]

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 2014–15 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.[31] 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.[32] The NBA unanimously approved the name change starting with 2014-15.[33]

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.[34] 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 original Charlotte Hornets(1988-2002) 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, retroactively turning the Pelicans into a 2002 expansion team.

2015: Return to the playoffs[edit]

Alvin Gentry is the New Orleans Pelicans current head coach.

For the first time under the name Pelicans, the team qualified for the playoffs with a 45-37 record as the 8th seed. They owned the tiebreaker over the Oklahoma City Thunder by winning the regular season head-to-head series 3-1, and they faced the Golden State Warriors in the first round and were swept. After the season, the Pelicans fired coach Monty Williams despite making the playoffs.

On May 31, 2015, the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry as the franchise's 6th head coach.[35]

Logo and uniforms[edit]

On August 1, 2013, the Pelicans released their new uniforms.[36][37] NBA teams were not allowed to have alternate uniforms during their first season of operation. They have added a red alternate for the 2014–15 season that will be worn 4 times in the year.[38][39]


Current roster[edit]

New Orleans Pelicans roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
C 42 Ajinça, Alexis 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 248 lb (112 kg) 1988–05–06 INSEP (FRA)
F 33 Anderson, Ryan 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1988–05–06 California
C 3 Aşık, Ömer 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 255 lb (116 kg) 1986–07–04 Turkey
F 8 Babbitt, Luke (FA) 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1989–06–20 Nevada
G 30 Cole, Norris (FA) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1988–10–13 Cleveland State
F 44 Cunningham, Dante 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 221 lb (100 kg) 1987–04–22 Villanova
F/C 23 Davis, Anthony (C) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1993–03–11 Kentucky
G 16 Douglas, Toney 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1986–03–16 Florida State
G/F 1 Evans, Tyreke 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1989–09–19 Memphis
G 32 Fredette, Jimmer (FA) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1989–02–25 Brigham Young
G 10 Gordon, Eric 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1988–12–25 Indiana
G 11 Holiday, Jrue 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1990–06–12 UCLA
G/F 20 Pondexter, Quincy 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1988–03–10 Washington
C 5 Withey, Jeff (FA) 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1990–03–07 Kansas
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)
  • Duane Brooks

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (DL) On assignment to D-League affiliate
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 2015–06–25

Retained draft rights[edit]

The Pelicans hold the draft rights to the following unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA. A drafted player, either an international draftee or a college draftee who isn't signed by the team that drafted him, is allowed to sign with any non-NBA teams. In this case, the team retains the player's draft rights in the NBA until one year after the player's contract with the non-NBA team ends.[40] This list includes draft rights that were acquired from trades with other teams.

Draft Round Pick Player Pos. Nationality Current team Note(s) Ref
2010 2 48 Williams, LataviousLatavious Williams F  United States Vaqueros de Bayamón (Puerto Rico) Acquired from the Miami Heat (via Oklahoma City) [41]

Retired numbers[edit]

New Orleans Pelicans retired numbers
Player Position Tenure
7 "Pistol" Pete Maravich G 1974–1979 1
  • 1 The New Orleans Hornets retired Maravich's number during their first game in New Orleans in honor of his basketball contributions to the state of Louisiana, both during his college career at Louisiana State University (LSU) and his professional career with the city's former NBA team, the New Orleans Jazz.

Franchise awards and honors[edit]

Individual awards[edit]

NBA All-Star


Head coaches[edit]

Name Start End Totals Regular season Playoffs
Paul Silas 2002 2003 88 49 39 .557 82 47 35 .573 6 2 4 .333
Tim Floyd 2003 2004 89 44 45 .494 82 41 41 .500 7 3 4 .429
Byron Scott 2004 2009 436 211 225 .484 419 203 216 .484 17 8 9 .471
Jeff Bower 2009 2010 73 34 39 .487 73 34 39 .487 0 0 0
Monty Williams 2010 2015 404 175 229 .433 394 173 221 .439 10 2 8 .200
Alvin Gentry 2015 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Home arenas[edit]


Pierre the Pelican is the official mascot for the Pelicans. He was introduced on October 30, 2013, the opening night of regular season for the team at home against the Indiana Pacers.[42] The name for the mascot was selected by the fans through an online poll on the team's website. However, Pierre's unconventional design frightened some fans. The mascot's redesigned head was released on February 11. The Pelicans' former mascot when the organization was formerly the Hornets was Hugo the Hornet who was part of the organization from 2002–13. Hugo returned as the mascot for the Charlotte Hornets starting with the 2014–15 season.


  1. ^ "2014-15 New Orleans Pelicans Media Guide" (PDF). New Orleans Pelicans. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans Reproduction Guideline Sheet" (PDF). NBA Media Central (username:nbamedia, password:nbamedia). June 25, 2013. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Benson Family Unveils New Orleans Pelicans Colors and Logos". New Orleans Pelicans. January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Charlotte Hornets Name Returns to Carolinas". May 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Montpelier - James Madison University Magazine". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  6. ^ Lassiter, Emily (August 24, 2009). "Charlotte Hornets". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ Posnanski, Joe (May 22, 2013). "A brief history of the Charlotte Hornets (and other things)". NBC Sports. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Cleveland Cavaliers 133, Charlotte Hornets 93". 1988-11-04. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  9. ^ "Los Angeles Clippers 105, Charlotte Hornets 117". 1988-11-08. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  10. ^ Jennifer Armstrong (March 14, 2009). "1988 Charlotte Hornets started off with a bang, became wildly popular with their fans". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  11. ^ Smith, Jr., Pat (June 23, 2006). "ESPN - The Mourning After - Classic". Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Charlotte Hornets (1988-2002)". February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ " - NBA Basketball - Hornets to apply for relocation to Memphis - Monday March 26, 2001 05:47 PM". March 26, 2001. Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ World Class City, Third World Paycheck. Creative Loafing, 2001-12-29
  15. ^ Associated Press (2002-02-16). " - Council willing to amend 'new owner' statement". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  16. ^ Green, Ron Jr. Shinn: I messed up in Charlotte. Charlotte Observer, 2008-11-01.
  17. ^ " Eye for victory". Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  18. ^ "Hornets to Play in Oklahoma City". National Basketball Association. September 21, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2005. 
  19. ^ Bennett, Dashiell (January 7, 2011). "Larry Ellison Confirms He Tried To Buy The New Orleans Hornets, But Was Beaten Back By The NBA". Business Insider. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
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