Jerry Zgoda's NBA short takes

  • Updated: January 26, 2013 - 7:42 PM
Age of the Pelican

The much-rumored name change from the Hornets to the Pelicans last week produced many jokes elsewhere, but the folks in New Orleans and new team owner Tom Benson took it seriously.

Team executives considered hundreds of names before always coming back to a water bird that has adorned the Louisiana state seal for more than a century and represents "tradition, passion, teamwork, resiliency, resourcefulness, loyalty, pride, precision, grace, family, dignity, grandeur and charity."

"It was important that we change this name to something that represented New Orleans, Louisiana," said Benson, who also owns the NFL's Saints. "It's a symbol of our state and our resolve, too."

The Hornets will be gone by next season, with the name perhaps to be returned to the Charlotte franchise.

According to Chuck

Funny, but an image of Michael Beasley during Thursday night's game against the Clippers led TNT's broadcast crew to opine on the AAU system that by and large produces today's NBA stars.

"I think AAU is the worst thing ever to happen to sports," TNT analyst Charles Barkley said in a special game commentary appearance alongside Reggie Miller and Kevin Harlan. "It used to be talk radio; now it's the AAU stuff."

Barkley called the system "corrupt" and suggested the nation's best teenage players should be competing against each other rather than running up the score compiled by select super teams.

Citizen's arrest!

Golden State coach Mark Jackson claimed it would be "criminal" if West coaches left Steph Curry out of the All-Star Game. They did, one of the inevitable snubs by league coaches that also left the surging Brooklyn Nets without a single All-Star.

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