The New Orleans Hornets are expected to change their nickname to the Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season, numerous sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The name would be a "throwback" and it is a direct representation of the State of Louisiana. Louisiana is the Pelican State, and the bird is on the state flag. In the late 1800's; all the way to the mid 1900's, a minor league baseball team carried the name: Pelicans.
Saints and New Orleans Owner Tom Benson has been working on a name change since he bought the team earlier this year. He even explored the possibility of getting the "Jazz" name back. The NBA wouldn't allow that.
This isn't new news to many in Louisiana, as the possible name change has been talked about in the Bayou State for almost a year.