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NBA Commissioner Stern On The Hornets, Pelicans

NBA Commissioner David Stern attended Wednesday night’s matchup between the Hornets and the Lakers, touring the new Hornets facility under construction at the Saints complex on Airline Highway earlier in the day and meeting with Hornets staff and owner Tom Benson.

Stern answered questions during a pregame press conference on his take on the Hornets organization, and on the possible team name change that has transfixed fans on social media throughout the day.

“I had a great time meeting the entire Hornets staff today,” Stern said. "On behalf of the NBA we are very pleased to see what they are doing out there at the Saints practice facility. They are building a headquarters to house the Hornets staff, they are building a new practice facility for the Hornets, and they are using both organizations to help one-another — and I think that is very well for the Hornets. We couldn’t be happier that they are here.”

On the possibility of changing the name of the team from the Hornets to the Pelicans — which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports Tuesday afternoon, but has yet to be confirmed by the team or ownership — Stern said he doesn’t have any objections to anything the team might do, since he’s sure it will be a sensible decision.

“I’m sure whatever it is will be good,” Stern said. “There is a lot that goes into changing the name. I do know that the Hornets filed to protect five names with trademark protection and they have to apply to us, pay certain fees, and there is a timing schedule.”

Stern says the Hornets have “a friend in the front office that may get them a chance to expedite the process,” allowing the team to make the change sooner than the normal period mandated by the NBA.

Gayle Benson, Tom Benson’s wife, recently told Fox Sports New Orleans she would like the new team colors to be navy blue, red and gold.

Jason Saul served as WWNO's Director of Digital Services. In 2017 he took a position at BirdNote, in Seattle.

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