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When the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans in 2002, they became known as the New Orleans Pelicans. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the team was forced to play their home games in Oklahoma City, leading to them being known as the New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets. Back in the Big Easy full time, the franchise decided to rebrand themselves as the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013. The city of Charlotte started a new NBA team and took back their Hornets history prior to 2002.
Despite the changes to team history, the New Orleans Pelicans team continues their valiant efforts on the court each night in pursuit of their first championship. Only one division title has been earned by this group, that coming in 2008. Their lone retired number, 7, in honor of Pete Maravich, dates back to his time playing with the New Orleans Jazz in the 1970s. That said, this organization is looking to the future for the story of their team. The greatest years for the New Orleans Pelicans are yet to be played.
Despite some decent seasons and playoff appearances, the Pelicans are still looking for their first big playoff run. The 2007-2008 season saw them come within one game of the Western Conference Finals before being sent home by San Antonio in seven games. Their biggest star at this time was Chris Paul, who had just won Rookie of the Year honors just two seasons prior. He would leave for the Clippers in 2011.
Luckily for New Orleans, a new superstar was on the way in Anthony Davis. The number one overall draft pick in 2012, he quickly became the face of the franchise. Professional accolades would follow as he would lead this team back into the second round of the playoffs in 2017-2018 before being eliminated by Golden State in five games.
The relationship with Anthony Davis and New Orleans, however, has eroded over time and he informed the team that he would not sign an extension. Requesting a trade, the strained connection became a public mess. His time in Louisiana seems to be coming to an end soon.
The organization had a stroke of luck in the draft lottery, coming up with the number one pick and using it to select Zion Williamson out of Duke. This young superstar seems destined to leave a mark on the NBA with his impressive skillset. Pelicans fans cannot wait to see him on the floor.
An organization with a short history, Chris Paul and Anthony Davis are the biggest names to have played for the Pelicans. Will Zion Williamson live up to the hype and be the next name on this Mount Rushmore of the New Orleans Pelicans? Additional information about this franchise can be found by clicking here.