Public response to the New Orleans Pelicans' new nickname has mostly been positive, but at least one NBA legend doesn't like the name. Couched in some positive words about owner Tom Benson, former MVP Shaquille O'Neal criticized the new Pelicans moniker to John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
"It’s a terrible name. I told Charles on TNT, I don’t think I’ve seen a Pelican before. Pelicans, are they that big white bird? I would had named them Tigers, Crawfish or something. Pelicans -- no. But I wish them well. I’ll be anxious to see how many jerseys they sell."
When Benson bought the team and decided to move on from the old Hornets nickname brought from Charlotte, the hope was to find a more locally-flavored nickname. Eventually, all sides settled on Pelicans, a kind of large bird peppered throughout the region.
For the most part, the public reaction to the new nickname and logos has been positive. The uniforms are relatively uninteresting, but that could always change year to year. Hopefully, Shaq will get on board with the Pellies nickname in time, because it's really rather cool.
(Hat tip: The Score)