The New Orleans Pelicans joined the NBA for the 1988-1989 season, originally as the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte’s first four seasons in the NBA weren’t entirely successful, as the team won no more than 31 games in a single season. Then, in the 1992-1993 season, the Hornets set a franchise record for wins in a season with 44 while riding Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues to the second round of the playoffs. From 1997 to 2004 the Hornets—who moved to New Orleans full-time in 2002—made the playoffs six of seven seasons. After three years of missing the playoffs, New Orleans reappeared on the NBA radar with All-Star point guard Chris Paul. Paul’s Hornets won 56 games in the 2007-2008 season, but couldn’t bring home the franchise’s first NBA title. Now in the post-Paul era, the newly renamed Pelicans are ready for a run to the playoffs with a totally reworked roster, including former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis. New Orleans has retired the numbers of two players through the franchise’s history. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for NOLA Pelicans basketball tickets.
2016 Pelicans Season Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans reached the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2011, and put together one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA. The 2015-16 New Orleans Pelicans roster will look much the same as a year ago. Anthony Davis has evolved into a legitimate superstar in the NBA and will be the focus for the Pelicans on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. The Pelicans were able to retain both Davis and Eric Gordon in the offseason, and also added reserve point guard Ish Smith, who will help distribute the ball to scorers like Gordon, Tyreke Evans, and Dante Cunningham. While Davis has emerged as a top tier talent in New Orleans, the question remains if there are enough pieces around him for the Pelicans to contend in 2015-16. Look for the New Orleans Pelicans to be a tough draw again in the Western Conference this season.
Check out our New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview History page for previews of previous Pelicans seasons.
New Orleans Pelicans Basketball at Smoothie King Center Address: 1501 Girod St, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70113
The Pelicans play their home games at the Smoothie King Center, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. When filled to capacity, Smoothie King Center holds more than 17 thousand screaming Pelicans fans. The site of the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, Smoothie King Center is sure to be a popular destination this season as New Orleans enters the first season after rebranding the franchise as the Pelicans. The New Orleans Pelicans home bench is on the Smoothie King Center court side in front of sections 111-112. Smoothie King Center parking information is covered in our Pelicans event guide.
Pelicans vs. Rockets
The Pelicans and the Rockets have the potential to form one of the better rivalries in the NBA in the upcoming seasons. As inner-division foes and with both rosters featuring up-and-coming stars, this match-up will only gain relevance. The two teams have played over 65 times dating back to the days when the Pelicans were in Charlotte.
Pelicans vs. Spurs
The Pelicans and the Spurs are in neighboring states, but the clubs aren’t quite so neighborly on the court. The highlight of the rivalry came in 2008 when the teams met in the Western Conference Semifinals. The series went the distance with the Pelicans eventually falling to the Spurs, but the hard fought games gave a glimpse of what this rivalry could become on a regular basis.
Pelicans vs. Mavericks
With over 70 total games played between the Pelicans and the Mavericks, the rivalry continues to become more intense. This rivalry peaked in 2008 when the two teams met in the Western Conference first round with New Orleans defeating Dallas in five games. As division foes, this rivalry will only increase in the years to come.
Pelicans in the NBA Finals, Western Conference Championships and NBA Playoffs
The Pelicans are hopeful that a name change will lead to more success on the basketball court. New Orleans is still searching for their first NBA and Conference championship to go along with their one division title. The franchise has made the playoffs over 10 times since entering the league and will only to that number in future seasons.
New Orleans Pelicans Event Guide
What time do gates open prior to tipoff at a Pelicans game?
Doors open 1 hour before game time to the general public.
Where are good places to eat before a Pelicans game?
Not too far from Smoothie King Center is Champions Square that is home to numerous great restaurants. There really isn’t a bad choice in Champions Square, but WOW Wingery, Pigeon’s Catering, and Drago’s are three great options. New Orleans is known for having some of the best French food in the country. We recommend trying Ste. Marie. If you are a fan of seafood, try Borgne, The Red Maple or Deanie’s Seafood. No New Orleans food guide is complete without Cajun food. It is quite hard to find a bad Cajun restaurant in New Orleans, but Cafe Reconcile and Bon Ton Café are two of the best anywhere. Other good dining options are Palace Café, Port of Call, or Three Muses.
Where is the best place to park at Smoothie King Center?
Smoothie King Center is conveniently located just south of the Superdome. Surrounding the Superdome are 6 large parking garages and numerous outdoor lots that have ample room for fans going to the Pelicans game. Prices run from $10 to $15 and it is always best to arrive early to guarantee yourself a convenient spot.
Does my child need a ticket to go to a Pelicans game?
Children 3 years old and older will be required to have a ticket to enter Smoothie King Center. Any child under the age of 3 will be allowed to sit on a guardians lap for the duration of the game. It is best to bring proof of your child’s age to the gate to ensure they are allowed to enter the game.