Word around the Interwebs is that the National Basketball Association (NBA) has filed for trademark protection for five different nicknames for the New Orleans franchise.
The applications, as first reported by a Milwaukee Bucks fan site, Behind the Buck Pass, list the following names: Pelicans, Rougarou, Mosquitos, Swamp Dogs, and Bullsharks, and were filed by Anil V. George, “the attorney who typically handles the trademarks involving NBA brand names.”
As explained at Behind the Buck Pass, the pelican is the state bird, crowd favorite, and name of a minor league baseball franchise of old in the city. Louisiana is also known as the Pelican State (and the Bayou State, among others).
But the other names also have connections with the state. The most unique of the bunch is surely “Rougarou,” a monster from Louisiana oral folklore that varies depending on who has passed down the story. It could be anything “from a werewolf-like blood-seeking beast to a boogeyman.” The sound of it would certainly lend itself to fun fan cheers, no?
At this point, New Orleans Hornets new owner Tom Benson definitely seems set to change the name — and since NBA Commissioner David Stern has said he won’t stop any such name change, it looks like the road is clear and being paved with trademark applications.
So which do you think is the best name for the New Orleans’ NBA team?