A memorable season: Favorite moment from 2017-18 Pelicans season from the staff of Pelicans.com
Beth Blackburn manages Pelicans.com and the team app delivered by Waitr
While we had a plethora of amazing moments to choose from this season - playoff fever spreading throughout the city, countless fist pumps for amazing crunch time plays, and even Jrue Holiday's ever-changing hair styles - the one that sticks out show the bond between this season's squad and no question one of the keys to their success.
On Feb. 18, Anthony Davis took the floor in Los Angeles as the first Pelicans player to be named an All-Star starter for the third time. However, something was different. The Pelicans forward had pulled a wardrobe change for tip-off, wearing No. 0 in honor of his teammate DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins was also named a starter alongside Davis on Team LeBron but had to miss the game after rupturing his Achilles' tendon in January.
"I just wanted to go out there and support him," Davis said after the game. "I know he wanted to play so I wanted to kind of make that come true and pay my respects to him."
Zero doubt that this 2017-18 Pelicans team had a special bond and it showed in their on-the-court chemistry and in little moments like this.
Caroline Gonzalez is a Pelicans digital media coordinator
This was my first season with the Pelicans and it will stick with me throughout my life.
As a former basketball player, I craved the adrenaline of playing in a neck-and-neck game which the Pelicans had plenty of this season.
By far, my favorite memory was during the first round of playoffs when we played Portland in Game 3 in the Smoothie King Center. I was fortunate to go to the game as a fan instead of an employee so I was able to soak everything in and get the full “fan experience.”
I’ll never forget the eruption from the crowd when the first shot was hit, it sent chills through my body and I quickly realized this was as close as I was going to get to being a part of the game again.
As the game went on, the Pelicans didn’t let up and neither did the crowd. In the fourth quarter, the score was 109-79 with about seven minutes left and Anthony Davis just went absolutely bananas and threw down a monster dunk. As the crowd’s energy took over the arena, I looked to my left to the complete stranger sitting next to me. We were screaming at the top of our lungs and we almost instinctively chest-bumped each other. It was weird and glorious all at the same time, but I just remember being so happy that we were going to be up 3-0 in the first round, I couldn’t hold back the excitement.
The passion and fight that the Pelicans exemplified all season is what great basketball is all about. The team was put through the wringer this season and the players didn’t skip a beat. I’m grateful for the opportunity to stay close to the game that has always had my heart.
Sean Haspel is a Pelicans digital media coordinator
After stunning everyone by taking the first two games of the series on the road in Portland, the Pelicans returned to the Smoothie King Center with hopes of taking the historically insurmountable 3-0 lead over the Blazers.
The energy in the Smoothie King Center was palpable and from the opening tip, the Pelicans went right at the Blazers with a barrage of threes from Niko and crushing dunks from AD. The offensive barrage combined with another smothering defensive effort that stymied the Blazers’ star guards, quickly demoralized Portland and the rout was on. Portland would make a mini-run from time to time, but the Pelicans would quickly stamp out any hope of a comeback with vicious authority.
The most iconic image from the game was Jrue mockingly pointing at a dazed Jusuf Nurkic after AD ferociously dunked on him. Personally, I loved this display of aggressive swagger and the picture of the moment hangs by my desk still today.
Another special moment was when the Smoothie King Center crowd serenaded the injured DeMarcus Cousins with chants of “BOO-GIE, BOO-GIE…”. Though the big man would have given anything to be playing in his first playoff game, and it must have been frustratingly difficult to watch, I’m sure he appreciated the gesture from the Pelicans faithful.
Also, the halftime show featuring Mannie Fresh and Juvenile was another special, uniquely NOLA moment. It was a nostalgic show for those like myself who are NOLA-born and raised and did a great job of highlighting the connection between the Pelicans and the culture of the city they call home. It was an incredible night that helped show that the Pelicans were a serious playoff team and that NOLA knows how to throw a playoff party.