NBA Commissioner David Stern indicated before Wednesday night’s game against the Lakers that the New Orleans Hornets’ application to change their nickname likely will be expedited and he will support whatever change owner Tom Benson wants.
A report by Yahoo! Sports Tuesday, based on multiple unnamed sources, said Benson plans to change the nickname of his NBA franchise from Hornets to Pelicans. But Hornets spokesman Greg Bensel said they are not confirming the name change.
Stern, who visited the Hornets offices at the Saints' complex and met with team corporate sponsors and team officials Wednesday, shed no light on the possibility the Hornets could be changed to the Pelicans.
"Everyone seems to know about this but me,’’ Stern said. "I’m sure whatever it is, I’m sure it will be good. If that’s (Pelicans) what it is, that’s fine, too.’’
Based on recent Twitter activity, a high percentage of Hornets fans apparently are not in favor of Pelicans as the team's nickname. A large percentage have suggested such names as Krewe, Brass, Jesters and Revelers. Some tweeted that it should stay the Hornets.
"I think the Hornets may have a friend in the league office that might help expedite the process when they decide on a name,’’ Stern said. "That’s what I heard. I don’t remember his name and I’m sure it will happen faster.’’