Pelicans Uniform Unveiling Transcript

Mr. Tom Benson:
“First of all, I’d like to thank Mr. Paul Flowers the contractor whose company built this fine facility. I want to welcome all of you to this beautiful facility. The best thing that could happen to all of us, you and me, is when a facility like this is built, there’s no reason we can’t bring home a championship. When we came out with the new name, the Pelicans, maybe for some of you youngsters don’t even know what that is. But the Pelican is the state bird of Louisiana. We found this name when we went down during the oil spill to the Gulf (of Mexico) and we saw the Pelicans there full of oil but surviving through this. Anybody that can go through that provides for one great name, and that’s why we have got the Pelicans name today. It’s going to help us bring a championship; with a great name and a great people we’ll do it. Thank you all for being here.”

“As I said earlier, this is second to none and we can all be very proud of our team as they work hard to become champions. We’re going to have two champions, the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. You can’t beat that.”

On what he likes best about the uniforms…
“What I like most is that they’ve got a clean look to them that just stands out. That’s what we worked on very hard.”

On how important was it that the jerseys had New Orleans on the front of them…
“That’s right, we wanted to make sure that they represented the city and the whole region. New Orleans does that and I think that was very important to us.”

Rita Benson LeBlanc:
On the appeal of the new uniforms…
“Clearly my grandfather likes some things that are more conservative. There are other things that I liked that are more edgy, the Bird-de-Lis looks kind of rock-and-roll. The lettering comes from the street signs of the city, whether it’s ‘NOLA’ or the ‘Crescent City’ these are our elements and things that are city and community really own. That’s what we wanted to convey to the world and we’re doing it through our uniforms.”

On the rebranding as a rebirth for the franchise…
“Absolutely, we share the Hornets history for the 10 years that it was here, but this is really a rebirth and a big new opportunity for us. We have a new generation of Pelicans that are excited and enjoying everything about this new team. We are very excited, the first impressions have been thrilling and we are ready to fill the arena and wow the fans.”

Jrue Holiday
On the city of New Orleans and his thoughts of the jersey…
“I’ve really enjoyed the city so far. I like how genuine and nice everyone is and you can just tell that they really care about their sports teams here. I really think the jerseys represent this city very well.”

On whether or not the jersey helps him realize that he’s at his new home…
“It does. It didn’t really feel real for a while. You get a call, and you just kind of go. Now, putting on a uniform and wearing what you are going to work in, it feels really good.”

On how he feels about his new team and the direction of the organization…
“I’m real excited. You could name any piece on this team and we have a threat at every position. I guess me being a part of this, the coaching staff, ownership and being next to the Saints, makes me really excited to be a part of something new that’s going to grow and be really good down the line.”

On having the chance to get out and experience New Orleans…
“I’ve heard of Oceana and Bourbon House. I’ve heard of a couple of places. I’m really excited. I’ve heard that there aren’t a lot of chain restaurants in the city, which is really good and means the food is authentic. I’m going to try to keep the weight off. Obviously, with Monty here he’ll definitely keep the weight off of me. I’ve heard the food here is awesome though.”

Anthony Davis:
On the new uniforms and the new beginnings with the Pelicans organization…
“We’ve got new colors, new name and a new logo. I’m excited to play in these during a game.”

On his experience with Team USA so far and how it helps to have familiar faces there…
“It’s shaping up great. Coach Monty (Williams) and Coach (Randy) Ayers were there, as well as me, Ryan (Anderson) and Jrue (Holiday). It gave us a chance to learn each other’s game and take the stuff from Team USA (practice) and apply it to the Pelicans. We kind of got a jump start on everything. We’re having fun and can’t wait for the season to start.”

On his thoughts of Jrue Holiday’s game…
“He plays so smooth. Jrue is such a smooth player that can score the ball, pass it and defend. He brings a lot of talent to this team. I’m excited to play with him and I’m pretty sure everyone else is too.”

On Jrue Holiday’s compliment of Anthony’s jump shot…
“Not really. It’s just something I’ve been working on and I’m just trying to apply it to every situation I can. He told me about it, but I try not to get too bigheaded about it. I’ve got to just keep working.”

On if he feels like he’s representing the city of New Orleans when he is with Team USA…
“It’s the team I play for. I try to represent it in everything I do, just like the city tries to represent us. I’m always trying to do my best to represent this city, and I’m pretty sure everyone else on the team and the staff is as well. We’ve been doing a great job so far. Anything you do, it’s not going to be ‘Anthony Davis, Team USA.’ It’s going to say ‘Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans,’ so I try to always represent New Orleans positively.”

Ryan Anderson:
On the uniforms…
“I love them. I love the colors. I love the logo. That’s what kind of caught me off guard was the Pelicans and this new wave. Everybody was really surprised about the Pelicans name. Ever since this logo came out, everybody loves it. I love it. I think it’s awesome to have on the jersey. It’s just great. I love how it represents the city. It’s a great jersey.”

On whether he likes the blue or white jersey more…
“I like the blue better. I don’t know why, but I just like the look of it. I know this sounds corny, but I feel like blue brings out confidence a little bit. When you’re on the court and you’re playing against a team with blue or a darker color, it might bring out a little more confidence when you go out and play with these.”

On whether he likes the Pelicans name…
“I definitely think the Pelicans decision was the best one. There were a lot of crazy names being thrown out there. A lot of them had some sort of similarity to what the city is about, but the Pelican name really embodies the city. Obviously it’s the state bird. You can go down the line. I think it’s pretty cool because what a pelican embodies is sort of what this team embodies. We are a young team that wants to win. We put together a group that wants to win and we have that this year. There’s a lot of excitement around here in regards to our team. The people in New Orleans are really excited about it.”

Jason Smith:
On the uniforms:
“I think that they did a really good job with the uniforms. It hit home when you finally get to see it and put it on, and I took a deep breath. I knew that they would do a great job with the jerseys but once you finally put it on it really justifies it.”

On his favorite part of the uniforms:
“You know I haven’t really gotten a chance to look at it all, but overall I think they did a really good job. I have no complaints whatsoever.”

On how he feels about the changes in the organization:
“We have a lot of new things. We’ve got new players, we’ve got new talent, young talent, a new practice facility. There’s a lot of new things with this team and this organization. I think it’s time to get a winning mentality and get back to the playoffs.”

On the new energy the uniforms create:
“It feels good! You feel confident, like Jrue (Holiday) said, you’re as good as what you wear and if you look good, you feel good, you go out there with some confidence, I think he said it very well.”

Rodney Richardson (Logo and Uniform Designer)
On the uniforms…
"That’s what we wanted to bring to life and represent, and that’s why I think once people even when they first maybe questioned the validity of the name itself, once they hear the story you know it’s right, and you know that there really is no other moniker that’s going to fit them as well. Even as we take that into the uniforms and bring in those discoverable elements like the beak on the side, there’s fun and just like we discover those elements about the pelican itself we tried to layer those things into the design of both the identity and the uniform."

On when he began working on the uniforms…
“We worked on it all last summer, and so like everything that’s on an escalated time line, from the time that Mr. Benson bought the team and said we’re going to change the name and going to make it more relevant to the city, and we’re going to do it sooner rather than later.”

So when was it finished? When did you arrive at this design?
“The NBA… you really don’t finish the uniform because once we designed it on paper it has to go to Adidas to build it and figure out how the fabrication works and then do camera testing to make sure that on the court and in broadcast it’s going to work well. I think they finished that just a few months ago, but the design of it happened in concert with the primary unveiling itself.”