Anil V. George, the attorney who typically handles the trademarks involving NBA brand names, filed trademarks on five new potential franchise names on behalf of the New Orleans Hornets NBA Limited Partnership.
The five names included the favorite Pelicans, a mascot that ties into the state bird as well as a minor league baseball team that existed from 1887 to 1959, but the four others also have strong Louisiana ties.
- New Orleans Pelicans
- New Orleans Rougarou
- New Orleans Mosquitos
- New Orleans Swamp Dogs
- New Orleans Bullsharks
UrbanDictionary.com has swamp dog listed as a Cajun nickname for an alligator. Bullsharks live, among other places, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The term ‘Rougarou’ refers to a beast from Louisiana folklore, a monster from oral traditions that varies — depending on the tale — from a werewolf-like blood-seeking beast to a boogeyman.
In a Dec. 5 interview with the news media, NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he would support any proposed name changes by new owner Tom Benson.
“If it works for them, it works for me,” Stern said. “I don’t have any objections to anything that the Hornets want to do name-wise because I’m sure it’ll be sensible. … I’m sure whatever it is, it’ll be good. If (Pelicans) is what it is, that’s fine. … I think everything sounds good. I think Lakers, have you seen any lakes in Los Angeles? There’s the same amount of lakes in L.A. as there is jazz in Utah, or grizzlies in Memphis. I’m out of that business. Whatever works for a team works for me.”
Yahoo.com Sports originally broke the news that the team would change its name to ‘Pelicans’ as early as next season.
Benson’s wife, Gayle, recently told Fox Sports New Orleans that she would prefer a red, blue and gold color scheme as part of the new design.