NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Hornets owner Tom Benson says changing his team's nickname to the Pelicans will create a bond with the city that could lead to a championship.
The Hornets announced Thursday they are going ahead with the name change. The NBA has to approve it, but Commissioner David Stern has said he wouldn't object to any name Benson chose. The league is expected to expedite the change at the start of next season.
The new color scheme is blue, gold and red, a departure from the Hornets' teal, purple, gold and white.
The Hornets have been in New Orleans since moving from Charlotte for the 2002-03 season, although they were relocated temporarily to Oklahoma City from 2005-2007 due to Hurricane Katrina. Benson, who also owns the Saints, bought the team last spring.