In 2010, Shinn and the Hornets ownership team sold the franchise to the league, who then flipped it to Saints owner Tom Benson this April. Benson refitted the Hornets by implanting Saints executives to run the team and announcing early on his intentions to ditch the Hornets moniker.
Ideally, Benson wanted the name Jazz from Utah, but Commissioner Stern swiftly put the kibosh on that thought.
Last night, according to Yahoo Sports, the Hornets told sources that the team will become the Pelicans perhaps as early as next season.
The Pelican makes sense. Louisiana is the Pelican State, and pelicans are the state's official bird. Furthermore, the New Orleans Pelicans were a minor league baseball team in the city for more than 60 years.
Benson also considered Krewe -- the term for costumed paraders at Mardi Gras -- and Brass as team names.
Benson's wife, Yahoo reports, has a preference for navy blue, red and gold as the new team colors.
The Hornets transformation could affect one other franchise as well: the Charlotte Bobcats. With the Hornets name vacated, Charlotte could swoop in and reclaim its old moniker. Team owner Michael Jordan told the Charlotte Observer recently that if the Hornet name was available, the city would definitely reconsider it.