- NBA Championships: 0
- Last NBA Championship: N/A
- Claim to Fame: New Orleans is the only franchise to survive Byron Scott and a hurricane. We’ll let you decide which was worse.
- Claim to Shame: New Orleans traded future Hall of Famer Chris Paul in his prime for what amounts to spare parts.
Few franchises have bounced around more than the Pelicans, who sprung into existence as the Charlotte Hornets in 1988 and briefly spent time in Oklahoma City for two seasons after Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
The Pelicans returned to the Big Easy for good in 2007 and proceeded to have their best season in franchise history, winning 56 games and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals. That squad was led by All-Stars Chris Paul, David West, and Peja Stojakovic, and featured Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler in the middle.
Paul later forced his way out of New Orleans in 2011, and the team struggled to remain competitive, winning fewer than 30 games in back-to-back seasons.
Those poor finishes weren’t a total waste, however, as they allowed the Pelicans to land the #1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, and the team wisely selected Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis. The long-limbed pivot has since averaged 23.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in six seasons in NOLA, and has led the Pelicans to the postseason twice.
Just as Paul did before him, Davis forced his way out of town last season by hitting the Klutch Sports eject button and ending up in Los Angeles with LeBron. It’s not all doom and gloom however as the franchise was rewarded with the #1 pick in the lottery and selected Zion Williamson.
While they await Williamson’s debut as he recovers from surgery for a torn meniscus, the Pels still have a chance to be one of the most fun rosters in the league, as Jrue Holiday will be joined by former Lakers Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, as well as JJ Redick who came over from Philly, as well as fellow promising rookies Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes.
Playing at a breakneck speed under Alvin Gentry, New Orleans will be must-see tv this season.