Report: Hornets becoming Pelicans

The New Orleans Hornets are expected to become the New Orleans Pelicans, perhaps as early as the 2013-14 season, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

Yahoo! Sports, citing numerous sources, reports the team also considered Krewe and Brass as potential nicknames.

The Hornets have planned to change their name since New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who also owns the rights to the Pelicans nickname, bought the team in April.

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said in November he'd be interested in bringing the Hornets' name back to Charlotte.

"It's definitely an interest down the road, but right now it's the New Orleans Hornets," Jordan told the Charlotte Observer. "We would definitely entertain the opportunity. That's as much as we can say right now. We've heard the community ask the question, and we would listen."

The pelican is Louisiana's state bird and appears on both the state seal and flag. A New Orleans minor league baseball team held the Pelicans nickname in all but nine seasons from 1887-1959, and again in 1977.

The Hornets moved to New Orleans from Charlotte in 2002, and when Benson bought the team earlier this year, he said he would like to change the name to something more fitting of Louisiana. His wife, Gayle, reiterated that idea and added that the franchise also would like to change the team colors from teal and purple to red, gold and navy blue.

"I don't have any objection to anything that the Hornets want to do name-wise because I'm sure it will be sensible," NBA commissioner David Stern told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday. "... There are lots of things that need to be filed. In fact, I do know that the Hornets filed to protect five names -- trademark protection -- and they have to apply to us.

"They have to pay certain fees. There's a timing schedule. But, I think the Hornets might have a friend in the league office to help expedite the process when they decide on a name."

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.