Coming and going
The fairly newly named New Orleans Pelicans made their Target Center debut last week, just nine days before the Charlotte Bobcats visit for the last time.
New owner Tom Benson chose a new name for a team formerly known as the New Orleans Hornets and before that, the Charlotte Hornets. He picked the pelican because it’s a symbol for the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, no matter if many think the funny-looking seabird was a goofy choice.
With the Hornets name available, the Charlotte team reclaimed it after it was lost long ago when the city’s original expansion franchise moved to New Orleans in 2002. The franchise will return next season as the Hornets with an updated logo not far removed from the one that represented the team that entered the NBA with Miami in 1988.
Welcome back …
Friday’s game at Target Center is former Wolves star Al Jefferson’s second homecoming in two weeks.
Last week, he returned to Utah for an 83-80 loss to a Jazz franchise for which he played three seasons before signing a three-year, $41 million free-agent offer with Charlotte. This week, he makes his only Minnesota visit now that he’s back in the Eastern Conference after starting his career with Boston.
Jefferson landed in Charlotte last summer both because of that rich offer and the role Bobcats guard Kemba Walker played in recruiting Jefferson. The two share the same agent.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle on that step-back, fall-away shot with which Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has won an NBA title and fashioned a Basketball Hall of Fame career: “It’s a very unique shot. It’s an original and Dirk’s an original.”