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Archive for January, 2013
New Orleans changing its NBA nickname from Hornets to Pelicans was not a secret.
But the logo and color scheme was, until today. New Orleans on Thursday officially unveiled its new nickname, logo and color scheme, capturing the essence of New Orleans and the Gulf and spotlighting the ecological concerns of the region.
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The pelican, Louisiana’s state bird, symbolizes the city and region’s return from the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina and reminds fans of two major issues: coastal restoration and wildlife conservation.
The logo depicts a menacing pelican, wings spread, with a basketball under its beak, a fleur de lis and a font reminiscent of the Crescent City. The new colors are blue, red and gold.
The team will remain the Hornets for the rest of this season and will become the Pelicans after the season. The team’s new uniforms will be unveiled at another time.
Video: Why the team picked Pelicans
Team owner and New Orleans management took the rebranding seriously and set out to make it more than just a nickname and logo change.
Environmental change is at the top of the list.
“This logo and this brand also enables us to do more than just a name and more than just a logo. … You talk about the pelican and its resiliency,” team president Dennis Lauscha said. “It was essentially on the endangered list and came off the endangered list five days before the BP oil spill. During the course of the BP oil spill, the species was again under immense pressures. But it’s a resilient bird and the bird came back to reflect the resiliency of the people of the Gulf Coast.
“It’s also way to educate and bring awareness to what’s happening on our Gulf Coast and how we can fix it over the next couple of years.”
New Orleans enlisted the help of the Audubon Nature Institute president and CEO Ron Forman, who applauded what the franchise wanted to do with the nickname and logo.
Forman said coastal erosion and wetlands loss is a problem, and said, “If we don’t do something soon in Louisiana, soon the city of New Orleans is going to be waterfront and it’ll be devastating to our children and our children’s children.”
When Benson, who also owns the NFL’s Saints, bought the team from the NBA in April, the New Orleans native indicated a name change was forthcoming.
“It was a priority to change the name to reflect our culture, our community and our resolve. The Pelican does that,” Benson said in a statement. “Our region has been hard hit in recent years, and the one thing that stands out is the resiliency and determination to come back, to fight and overcome. The Pelican symbolizes that.
“The synergy of this name, this bird and the future of our state and region are intertwined and in three, five, 10 years from now, it will be not only be a name of a sports franchise but it will also be the face of the continued recovery of our region. We will promote healthy habitats, not only for our youth but for our community, our coast and our wildlife. The Pelican name will do that. It is more than a name. It represents our way of life.”
In December, NBA Commissioner David Stern said, “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.”
It is the second time in NBA history a team changed its name without relocating. Washington went from Bullets to Wizards after the 1996-97 season.
A limited supply of Pelicans merchandise is available at the team store at New Orleans Arena and online at www.hornetsonline.com.
When the Hornets moved from Charlotte to New Orleans, it kept the nickname. Now that Hornets will be free after this season, Charlotte may consider changing its name from Bobcats back to Hornets.
“We are aware of the impending change regarding the team nickname in New Orleans,” Bobcats President and COO said in a statement. “We are currently in contact with the NBA and conducting our own due diligence relative to this matter. We will not have any further comment until we have completed this process.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said: “The New Orleans franchise will continue to use Hornets throughout the remainder of the season. We are excited about the new identity selected by Tom Benson and look forward to continuing to work with the Charlotte Bobcats on exploring whether a name change is in the long-term interest of their team.”
Mike Scott Reporting
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team will try to add another win to their Region 16 record tonight, Jan. 22, when they host rival State Fair Community College of Sedalia, Mo., in a 7 p.m. contest at the West Plains Civic Center.
The Grizzlies (13-8) picked up their first Region 16 win Saturday, Jan. 19, by holding off the Three Rivers College Raiders 81-78 in Poplar Bluff, Mo. The Grizzlies will enter tonight’s game with a 1-1 region record, as will the State Fair Roadrunners. The Roadrunners are 14-6 overall for the season.
Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker called Saturday’s win “hard fought,” adding “we are very fortunate to have held on for the win. We kept saying that, even though we had a big lead, this game was going to come down to the wire, and it did. Three Rivers is a tough place to win, but we were able to persevere through all kinds of adversity.”
The Raiders jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but the Grizzlies came roaring back with a series of scoring runs to go up 46-27 at halftime. Three Rivers made several offensive adjustments at halftime and outscored the Grizzlies 51-35 in the second half, but the Grizzlies played well enough to hold on for the win.
“For little over a half, our effort on defense was very good. They struggled from the outside, and we kept them off of the free throw line,” Walker said. “They threw everything at us with their presses and their trapping. When we attacked, we scored; when we didn’t, we played into their hands. It felt like there was a stretch where we were playing not to lose instead of to win.
“We also did a poor job late with our shot selection, our transition defense and controlling the factors that we could control,” he added.
Statistically, the game was pretty close. The Grizzlies shot 49.1 percent from the field, connecting on 27 of 55 attempts. They only hit two of 13 attempts from 3-point range, however, for 15.4 percent and 21 of 40 shots from the free throw line for 52.5 percent. They also recorded 57 rebounds, including 26 off the offensive glass, 17 assists, 13 turnovers and three blocks.
Leading the Grizzlies on the scoreboard were freshman guard Jon Tshibuy with 18 points, followed by freshman guards Desmond Buerge with 17 and Arroyo Edwards with 14, and sophomore forward Keaton Jackson with 11. Both Tshibuy and Jackson recorded double-doubles with their rebound totals of 18 and 11, respectively, added in.
The Raiders hit 15 of 38 from the field for 39 percent, nine of 22 from 3-point range for 41 percent and 21 of 43 from the free throw line for 49 percent. They also had 47 rebounds, including 19 offensive, 15 assists, 11 turnovers and seven blocks. Leading the Raiders were Ayindle Sprewell with 16 points, Eli Sample 15, John Meyer 13 and Ibrahim Djambo 10.
“Jon gave us a nice lift off the bench,” Walker said. “Keaton also did a good job on Ibrahim Djambo. Desmond did a very good job attacking the basket most of the game.
“It’s hard to go into Poplar Bluff and win, but these guys did it,” the coach added. “For that, they deserve a lot of credit.”
Walker also said he wanted to thank the Grizzly fans who made the trip to Poplar Bluff. “You were outstanding, and your energy gave us a huge lift,” he said.
The coach noted a change in opponent for the Grizzlies’ Jan. 25 home game. “Pulaski Technical College wasn’t able to fulfill its commitment for Friday’s game, so we have replaced them with Quakerdale Prep from Iowa,” Walker said. “Our fans will probably remember that they really pushed us at the Coffeyville, Kan., tournament at the end of November.”
The game will get underway at 7 p.m. in the civic center arena.
“I also want to encourage area residents to get a team together and participate in our 10th annual trivia night Jan. 26,” the coach said. Contact Dean of Student Services/Athletic Director Dr. Herb Lunday at 417-255-7225 or HerbLunday@MissouriState.edu for details.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.
January 23, 2013
(West Plains) State Fair point guard Kenny Cherry has committed to play at Baylor University next season. Anyone who doubts his ability to play at the next level obviously wasn’t at the West Plains Civic Center Tuesday night.
The Montreal, Canada, native torched the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies for 28 points, including 6 3-pointers, and paced State Fair to a 96-67 rout Tuesday evening.
But it wasn’t a one-man-show. State Fair scorched the nets, regardless of who was taking the shots. Five players scored in double figures with two others with 8 and 9 points, respectively.
The Grizzlies tried to get back into the game with the help of Arroyo Edwards, who scored all of his 13 points in the first half. But the offense never got going, with the Grizzlies trailing by 16 at the break.
The second half picked up where the first half left off, and saw the Roadrunners widen the lead to as many as 39 points at times.
Jonathan Tshibuy scored 18 points off the bench for the second straight game for the Grizzlies.
The loss drops the Grizzlies to 1-2 in region play and 13-9 overall. State Fair is now 15-6 overall and 2-1 in the region.
MSU-West Plains will host Quakerdale Prep from New Providence, Iowa, Friday at 7 pm.
(Photo- Kenny Cherry, State Fair Community College)