The Pelican Blog

Pelicans notebook: New numbers, NBA TV schedule show

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

For some NBA players, selecting a uniform number is an important process, with the digits representing something extremely meaningful. New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson chose No. 33 partly due to its historical significance to Jesus Christ, who is believed to have died at age 33. Guard Austin Rivers wears No. 25 to honor his father, Doc Rivers, who wore it throughout his 13-year pro career.

Other players don’t attach much significance to their jersey number. Jason Smith wears No. 14 simply because he it was the last number available when his high school basketball team handed out uniforms.

When players join a new NBA team, the randomness of number availability sometimes impacts their decisions. That’s the case for New Orleans swingman Tyreke Evans, who will don No. 1 for the first time in his NBA career next season. Evans sported No. 13 during his four seasons with the Sacramento Kings, but that number is retired by New Orleans for the late Bobby Phills.

Meanwhile, Anthony Morrow had always been No. 22 with each of his first three NBA teams, the Warriors, Nets and Hawks (he sported No. 23 with the Mavericks because No. 22 is retired for Rolando Blackman). In New Orleans, Morrow is unable to wear No. 22 because Brian Roberts already has that number. As a result, Morrow is switching to No. 3.

For the Pelicans’ other four summer additions, no such change was required. Jrue Holiday was able to keep the No. 11 jersey he wore during his four seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. He also wore 11 in his NBA All-Star Game debut in Houston last season. Fellow NBA veteran Greg Stiemsma will continue to wear No. 34 for the Pelicans, after wearing those digits in 2012-13 with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Pelicans rookies Jeff Withey and Pierre Jackson were given No. 5 and No. 55, respectively, the same digits each player wore in college at Kansas and Baylor.

None of the team’s returning players have plans to change their numbers, a process that requires notification of the NBA. Those players include Al-Farouq Aminu (0), Darius Miller (2), Eric Gordon (10) and Anthony Davis (23).

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Over the past few years, NBA TV has done an excellent job of expanding the coverage of the league’s annual schedule release, one of the most anticipated days of each summer for avid fans. According to NBA.com, NBA TV will broadcast its one-hour 2013-14 NBA schedule release special on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 5 p.m. Central. If you miss the first airing, it will be rebroadcast by NBA TV repeatedly later in the evening Aug. 6, as well as on the morning of Aug. 7.