When the New Orleans Hornets initially changed their name to the Pelicans a few months back, the move was met with some skepticism. Sure, Pelicans may be fierce and ferocious, and there are a lot of them in New Orleans, but still, ‘Pelicans’ isn’t the most intimidating moniker.
At the time the name change originally occurred, Jrue Holiday was still the centerpiece of a struggling Sixers franchise, and didn’t have to pay too much attention to New Orleans’ new nickname, as the Sixers only play the Pelicans a couple times a year.
A shocking draft day trade however saw Holiday shipped south in exchange for the rights to Nerlens Noel, who was selected sixth overall by New Orleans. Suddenly Holiday was part of the Pelicans.
Although the trade went down almost a month ago, Holiday is still getting accustomed to his new team’s ‘funny’ nickname.
“I mean, it’s funny, I’m not going to lie,” Holiday admitted to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver.
“It’s funny saying it. We’re the Pelicans.”
In order to get accustomed to his new team’s name, Holiday has apparently been practicing.
“I’ve said it about half a million times now, so I’m used to it,” he joked.
The expectations for New Orleans’ new look roster are no joke however.
“[Ownership and management] want us to be competitors,” Holiday continued.
“Starting off this year being the Pelicans, starting off something new, I think we’re doing it the right way. We want to make the playoffs, especially with the moves that we made.”
These are quite lofty goals for a team that was at the bottom of the barrel of the Western Conference last season.
Holiday for one however, is doing his best to embrace the new look and the fresh start.
“I love it, the Pelicans, [Louisiana's] state bird,” he said. “Our colors are nice, our logo is nice, we just started on a new slate.”