7:01pm: A Hornets spokesman said the name change is not finalized and "still in discussions," noting that the NBA will make the final call, according John Reid of The Times-Picayune. Commissioner David Stern, speaking to Reid before Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports broke the news about the Pelicans nickname, said he would support a change of names for the New Orleans franchise, though it might not happen next season.
"Knowing (owner) Tom (Benson) he'd probably wrestle me to the ground tomorrow but I'm not going to give in that soon,'' Stern said.
5:36pm: The Hornets will become the New Orleans Pelicans as early as next season, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The new name, which mirrors Louisiana's moniker as the Pelican State, was selected over the Krewe and the Brass. There was also a minor league baseball team known as the New Orleans Pelicans in town for much of the 20th century. Owner Tom Benson has wanted to change the name since he took over the team earlier this year, and he owns the rights to the Pelicans name, as Spears points out.
The Hornets nickname might not disappear from the NBA, however, since Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has expressed a willingness to change his team's name to the Hornets. The current Hornets franchise played in Charlotte before moving to New Orleans in 2002.