Pelicans players assess team's new uniforms
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
METAIRIE - As he seems to do with just about everything, Ryan Anderson thoroughly enjoyed himself during Thursday’s New Orleans Pelicans uniform unveiling, making exaggerated poses and playing to the audience while strutting across the stage.
Afterward, when asked specifically to choose a favorite among the team’s two new uniforms, he explained to New Orleans media why he prefers the navy set.
“I like the blue better,” Anderson said. “This kind of sounds corny, but blue brings confidence. When you’re out on the court and playing (in) blue or a little darker color, it might give you a little bit more confidence.”
The explanation received mostly blank stares from reporters.
“Come on, it’s a proven (fact), guys!” Anderson jokingly said. “Google it when you get home.”
Although his theory on color scheme may not exactly have been rooted in scientific research, Anderson and his teammates also took note of some of the more subtle aspects of the new uniforms. For instance, the game gear includes three of the Pelicans’ six logos. The front of the waistband features the brand-new “ligature” logo, with a basketball encircling the letters “NO.” The sides of the shorts include the partial “flying Pelican” logo, while the back of the jersey below the neckline has the “Bird de lis” emblem.
New Orleans center/forward Jason Smith said one aspect of the new uniforms he was most interested to see was how the franchise’s various new symbols were used. This isn’t based on thorough research, either, but it’s possible that no major professional sports franchise has as many logos as the Pelicans now do. The three logos not depicted on the uniforms are the primary logo; the circular “Crescent City Basketball” emblem; and the “NOLA Pelicans” symbol.
“We have a lot of alternate logos,” Smith said. “I was curious to see what they were and weren’t going to put on the jerseys. Overall, looking at it, I think they did a great job.”
In addition, the side-panel stripes on both the home and away uniforms both ascend to under the shoulders, where they form a pelican’s beak. Smith said he enjoyed seeing some of the finer details of the apparel: “The little touches are kind of surprising.”
Players also noted the cleaner, classic look of the uniforms. The jerseys are similar in their simplicity to what Jrue Holiday wore during his first four NBA seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia’s current uniforms are basic red, white and royal blue with a minimalistic “SIXERS” across the chest.
“I like it,” Holiday said of the New Orleans design. “It’s obviously pretty simple. It represents the city well. It’s classy.”
On the opposite end of the uniform spectrum, the new Pelicans uniforms are much different from what Anderson wore with the Orlando Magic. Orlando sports flashy black and blue jerseys, with a background of white or black pinstripes. With New Orleans going away from its previous pinstriped look, the Magic are now the only NBA team to use that fashion characteristic.
Anderson said with each recent development related to the Pelicans’ nickname, starting with the logos and now the uniforms, it’s become easier for players and fans to understand the connection between the city and the choice. The 25-year-old also believes the name is fitting given the franchise’s recent adversity and 2013-14 goal of improvement based on individual development and a revamped roster.
“Everybody was really surprised about the Pelican name,” Anderson said of the January announcement. “When the logo came out, everybody loved it. I love it and think it’s awesome to have on a jersey. I love how it represents the city. I love the colors.
“I definitely think Pelicans was the best (option for a name). There were a lot of crazy names being thrown around. A lot of them had some sort of (tie-in) to what the city’s about, but the Pelican name really embodies the city. Obviously, it’s the state bird. It’s a resilient bird. I think it’s pretty cool, because what the pelican embodies is what this team embodies.”