NBA Team Profiles: New Orleans Pelicans

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The NBA playoffs are not far off, and the championships are fast approaching. What will happen this year? Who will be taking home the championship titles this time around? 

Well, there is so much to be said, but we have hope for the New Orleans Pelicans’ championship odds. Sure, they’re not the best in the Western Conference, but with 40-38 as their win-loss rate, they are doing very well and are on par with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Pelicans have had a very up-and-down history, from tragic losses and bad slumps to winning streaks and great stats, so, if you are wondering what the future holds for the Pelicans, it is great to look at their past. 

We have compiled all there is to know about their past. Take a look! 

The Hornets

The New Orleans Pelicans are an American pro basketball team based in New Orleans in the Western Conference of the NBA. They were founded in 1988 and were originally located in Charlotte, North Carolina, known there as the Hornets.

The early team featured players such as Mugsy Bogues and Dell Curry, but they just won few games like many other expansion teams. Eventually, they drafted Larry Johnson in 1991, as well as Alonzo Mourning in 1992. 

They were able to make it to the playoffs on 3 occasions in the 90s, but they never went past the 2nd round!

A Low Point

In the 1999-2000 season, the Hornets, behind the epic play of guard Baron Davis started a stretch of five consecutive postseason appearances. However, they failed to make it any further than a single series win per year. 

In spite of their team’s success on the court, they were failing when it came to game attendance, having the lowest attendance numbers in the whole league, partly due to the personal unpopularity of the team owner George Shinn.

George Shinn, himself, has lobbied for a new and more profitable publicly funded arena soon after having had to defend himself against a nationally televised sexual assault charge, in which he was acquitted. 

Shinn ended up moving the team to New Orleans in 2002 after his final bid to get a new arena was rejected by voters in Charlotte.

Temporary Relocation

After the team had played only 3 years in New Orleans, they were forced to temporarily relocate to Oklahoma City for the 2005-2006 and 2006–2007 seasons due to the extensive damage caused to their home arena by viscous, destructive Hurricane Katrina. 

Upon their return to New Orleans for the 2007-2008 season, the team, who was coming off of 2 consecutive 4th-place finishes, managed to post an awesome 56-26 record, finally winning the first-ever division title in the history of the franchise. 

They were led by Chris Paul, a budding star point guard, as well as David West, and finally advanced to the conference semifinals in that season, but sadly, they lost in seven games. 

Then in 2010, Shinn’s continuing financial difficulties forced him into selling the team, however, no viable buyer was found, and the NBA bought the franchise instead. 

Then in 2011, the franchise traded Paul to the Clippers, and the Hornets were sold to Benson, who owned the New Orleans Saints in 2012. 


NBA news and rumors were hooked on the new ownership, and as the franchise wanted to cement its ties within its home city, they changed their names to the Pelicans in 2013. 

On the court, they took a huge step toward contention when they managed to win the lottery of the NBA Draft, selecting forward-center Anthony Davis as the first overall draft selection. 

Davis took the league by storm, leading the team to return to the playoffs in 2014-2015. Things finally looked better!


The Pelicans suffered 1st round elimination in the 2014-2015 postseason, and the following year, in the 2015-2016 season they struggled through endless injuries and only posted a 30-52 record. 

However, in the 2017-2018 season, they rebounded and won 48 games in order to qualify for the playoffs. It was here that the team won their very first postseason series in the Davis era. This was before they ultimately got eliminated in the 2nd round of course. 

During the 2018-2019 season, a frustrated Davis demanded a trade be made from New Orleans, noting that the team had actually failed to build a consistent winner around him over the course of his career. 

Yet, this never came to pass, and the off-court drama started to affect the on-court play of the team, as they ended up posting a poor 33-49 record. 


The Pelicans have not seen a lot of success, struggling to make divisional and conference games for the most part since their inception. Even when given a great team or good players, there has always been another issue there to plague them. 

Perhaps the Pelicans are just waiting for their moment to shine, and who knows, perhaps this year will end up being their year, or maybe we are yet to see their success streak really shine. 

Whatever the case, we are certain that the Pelicans will eventually make it to their well-deserved glory! 

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