The “Hornets” nickname is one step closer to buzzing its way out of New Orleans. Per RealGM.com, the NBA has filed trademarks for five potential nicknames for the New Orleans Hornets, including New Orleans Pelicans, Rougarou, Mosquitos, Bullsharks, and Swamp Dogs. RealGM reports that a swamp dog is a Cajun name for alligator, while Rougarou is a reference to an animal from Louisiana folk stories. K.L. Chouinard of Behind the Buck Pass says that the Pelicans mascot is the favorite to win out over the others because the name is tied to the Louisiana state bird and was formerly associated with a minor league baseball team in Louisiana from 1887 to 1959.
New Orleans owner Tom Benson has wanted to change New Orleans’ nickname to a name that is more representative of Louisiana since he bought the team. If New Orleans abandons the Hornets nickname, Michael Jordan could bring it back to Charlotte.