Hornets To Change Nickname To Pelicans

5:33pm: NBA Vice President Mike Bass says that the league is continuing to work with the Bobcats to determine whether a name change would make sense for the franchise long-term, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. 

THURSDAY, 2:34pm: Owner Tom Benson made it official today, announcing that the Hornets will become the Pelicans for the 2013/14 season, and unveiling the team's new colors and logo.

WEDNESDAY, 10:49am: The Hornets have scheduled a press conference for 3:00pm tomorrow to make a "special announcement," according to a team release. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter) reports that the team press conference was lined up to announce that the team is changing its nickname to the Pelicans. The club will also unveil a new logo, which figures to feature the club's new colors: blue, gold, and red (Twitter link via Spears).

Spears reported back in December that the Hornets were expected to change their nickname to the Pelicans for the 2013/14 season. The new ownership group, led by Tom Benson, is responsible for the decision to change the Hornets moniker, which came to New Orleans from Charlotte.

The pelican is Louisana's state bird, making it a more suitable symbol for a New Orleans franchise, as it has been in the past — the New Orleans Pelicans were a minor league baseball team that existed at various points in the 19th and 20th centuries.

When the Hornets officially become the Pelicans, the Charlotte Bobcats will have the opportunity to reclaim the Hornets nickname. According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter), the Bobcats will conduct deliberate market research before deciding whether or not to make a change.

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