The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Pelicans compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays their home games in the Smoothie King Center (formerly known as the New Orleans Arena). In 16 seasons of play since the original franchise relocated from North Carolina, the Louisiana franchise has achieved an overall regular season record of 610–686, and has qualified for the playoffs seven times. Their achievements include two playoff series victories and one division title.
The Pelicans were established as the New Orleans Hornets in the 2002–03 season when then-owner of the Charlotte Hornets, George Shinn, relocated the franchise to New Orleans. 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. On January 24, 2013, the franchise announced it would rename itself the Pelicans, effective after the conclusion of the 2012–13 season. The Charlotte Hornets’ name, history, and records from 1988 to 2002 were returned to its original city to be used by the then–Charlotte Bobcats franchise, which subsequently became the Charlotte Hornets, starting May 20, 2014.
New Orleans Pelicans News
On February 20, 2017, the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins in a trade with the Sacramento Kings when they traded Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick, and a 2017 second-round pick in exchange for Cousins and Omri Casspi.
On February 1, 2018, the Pelicans acquired Nikola Mirotić in a trade with the Chicago Bulls. Though the trade went through, a previous trade for Mirotić to the Pelicans was called off when New Orleans did not want to pay for Mirotić’s 2019 team option contract, that Mirotić signed with the Bulls during the off-season in 2017. The Pelicans received Mirotić and a 2018 second-round pick for veterans Ömer Aşık, Jameer Nelson, and Tony Allen. Mirotić demanded a trade when former teammate Bobby Portis punched Mirotić in the face during an off-season practice. At the time of the trade, Mirotić was the Bulls’ leading scorer, and DeMarcus Cousins was injured. Mirotić played well for the Pelicans after the trade, and meshed well with the rest of the team.
On March 15, 2018, Tom Benson died from complications of the flu. Ownership of the Pelicans and the Saints were transferred to Benson’s widow, Gayle Benson. The Pelicans clinched the playoff spot on April 9, 2018. In the First Round they swept the Portland Trail Blazers 4–0, and then lost to the Golden State Warriors 4–1.