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Which NBA team is most in need of a nickname change?

January 25, 2013
  • The Washington Wizards -- featuring Bradley Beal, John Wall and Jan Vesely -- haven't been playing up to their wise and magical name lately.
The Washington Wizards -- featuring Bradley Beal, John Wall and Jan Vesely… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )

Now that the Hornets nickname is going to be retired at the end of the NBA season -- ladies and gentlemen, your New Orleans Pelicans! -- it's time to figure out what team should change its name next and what that new moniker should be.

Writers from around the Tribune Co. will discuss the matter. Feel free to join the conversation with a comment of your own.

Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times

David Stern is ready to give whoever buys the Sacramento Kings a get-out-of-jail-free card and bless their move to Seattle. With an inevitable change in ZIP codes coming, it’s also time to ditch the Kings as a name.

Truth is this franchise, in existence since 1949, has hardly been Kings-like. This will be their seventh straight losing season and it’s been more than a decade since Sacramento was a title contender (Chris Webber-Mike Bibby). And after previous stops in Rochester, Cincinnati and Kansas City, Mo., this franchise has only a single NBA title, back in 1951 as the Rochester Royals, on their ledger.

The NFL has already shown you can revive a forgotten city by resurrecting an old team name (Cleveland Browns). So once the Kings’ moving van arrives in Washington state, let’s rename them the Seattle SuperSonics.

Shandel Richardson, South Florida Sun Sentinel

It’s a wonder why the Utah Jazz hasn’t changed nicknames since moving from New Orleans in 1979.

We get why the franchise was named the Jazz when it was located in New Orleans, but Utah? Give me a break. There is nothing jazzy about the state. The name doesn’t fit an organization mostly known for John Stockton’s short shorts and Karl Malone’s cowboy hats.

So if New Orleans is going to change its nickname to the state bird, then how about something more reflective of Utah? We can even keep the singular mascot by naming the team after something unique about the state.

Utah is the only state to have a national forest in every county. So there you have it: The Utah National Forest. It worked for the Thunder in Oklahoma City and the Heat in Miami.

Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune

The announcement of the New Orleans Pelicans taking the floor is sure to get a chuckle out of NBA fans in the future, but at least the birds aren't the laughingstock of the league right now. I agree Washington did the right thing by dropping the "Bullets" nickname in 1997, especially considering the current outcry over gun-control policies. 

But the name "Wizards" just doesn’t fit a squad that plays arguably the dumbest basketball in the league on a nightly basis. I have a better name for a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2008: the Washington Waste, because this team is garbage.

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