FINALLY.

That’s the sentiment that was shared at the New Orleans Hornets press conference Thursday during the debut of the team’s new logo and moniker. They will be the Hornets no more, starting at the very beginning of the 2013-2014 NBA season – they are to become the New Orleans Pelicans.

Pelicans? That’s a thing in the South? Apparently so.

Said owner Tom Benson, as he addressed the media:

When we purchased the basketball team, it was a priority to change the name to reflect our culture, our community and our resolve. The Pelican does that. Our region has been hard hit in recent years and the one thing that stands out is the resiliency and determination to comeback, to fight and overcome. The Pelican symbolizes that. The synergy of this name, this bird and the future of our state and region are intertwined and in three, five, ten years from now, it will be not only be a name of a sports franchise but it will also be the face of the continued recovery of our region. We will promote healthy habitats, not only for our youth but for our community, our coast and our wildlife. The Pelican name will do that. It is more than a name. It represents our way of life.”

And what more? Well, the colors.

We all know that teal and purple were the hot hues in the early-to-mid-1990s with the Hornets, but doing that now is pretty much retro fare, and ownership decided to do its own thing and shake up the pot with new tones. Navy blue, metallic gold, and red will be the Pelicans’ new color scheme, representing things like liberty, pomp, and passion (with a nod to the New Orleans Saints football team in the gold).

And the verdict?

The new Pelicans logo is dope (and the secondary ones, too) – it’s a classic rendering and makes what some could consider to be a quirky, goofy sort of animal and readapt it to be predatory. It’s straight-on and intimidating, the color scheme is unique and has character, and on top of that, the Hornets nickname is free to be used by the Bobcats if MJ gets an inch to change it up.