Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson is providing periodic blog updates on Pelicans.com, delving into many of his experiences as a resident of New Orleans and other topics. In his fifth update, Anderson delves into the team’s historic change in nickname to Pelicans and one other major development that will take place later this summer.
It’s funny, because when it first started being discussed that the team was going to change to the Pelicans, it seemed like people weren’t very excited about the name. There were all of these blogs, and everything people were reading was critical of it. But lately it’s completely turned around, with everyone thinking it’s cool now. The logos are great. I’m really glad everyone’s getting on board.
The cool thing is, when the players watched the video in January that showed us what the pelican animal is about and why we’re going to be the Pelicans, it made the name of the team much more relevant to the city. The pelican thrived through tough times. It was a bird that survived through adversity and is doing incredibly well now. That’s also kind of our story. We’ve struggled this year, but we want to be that thriving team and we want to do something great for this city. It all kind of ties together very well.
It seems like everyone in New Orleans is really excited about the name change, the guys on the team included. I think we’re incredibly optimistic about pushing forward next year with a new and improved mentality.
We fought and worked really hard this year, whether it was through youth or injuries or a lot of other things. We tried to build a foundation for what kind of team this is going to be and how hard we need to work to get there. I think this Pelicans movement is going to be really refreshing, really nice to see. I think it’s gotten the fans excited, to bring a new brand and a new aura to this city around this basketball team.
Obviously it’s a Saints city, and we need to do something to get the fans in here – we need to win games. But I think all the new things, including the renovated arena and the new logos, are making people look forward to next season. It’s really fun to see a lot of the fans already wearing the Pelicans logos and the shirts and hats. I’m making a little collection, too. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.
It seems like people in the city have already accepted the Pelicans name. That’s what this city is all about: they support and back what they have here. They back their own people. When you build a new, talented team like we’re doing, I know that this city is going to back it so much. I can just hear the crowd here being so loud, one of the loudest in the NBA. It’s great to think about.
NEW PRACTICE HOME FOR PELICANS
It’s exciting to know that we’re going to be moving into a brand-new practice facility next season, on the same grounds where the New Orleans Saints are headquartered. New is always great, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win. So we need to really come in and work hard this summer. Until the new facility is ready, we’re still going to spend a lot of time in the Alario Center and work out and get better there. We have a responsibility to get better next year. Management is doing everything they can to make this a better team. It’s our job to make that happen.
And it’s great to be around a winning organization like the Saints and be able to kind of see how they do things. It’ll be an amazing experience that I’m really looking forward to. The situation we’re going to have – where players from a city’s NBA and NFL teams are training and practicing in the same place – will be one of the most unique in sports. For example, we’ll be eating together, sharing the same cafeteria space. Coach Monty was saying that on some days we might stretch out on their outdoor practice field, spend a little time outside away from the gym and take advantage of their whole facility. I’m really looking forward to seeing what it will be like when our two seasons begin later this year.