Smooth and Kingly
A new season for the Pelicans
AN ORIGINAL ©MIKE LUCKOVICH CARTOON FOR NEW ORLEANS MAGAZINE
One of the biggest plays in the NBA last season didn’t make the ESPN highlight reel, nevertheless it was significant. When the announcement was made that the New Orleans Arena would henceforth be called the Smoothie King Center, it added the slam dunk to a maneuver in which New Orleans would not only have a locally owned NBA franchise, but would also play in a building named after a locally owned company. Few cities can make such a claim. Even the mighty Los Angeles Lakers play in an arena (The Staples Center) named after a Massachusetts company, and share it with another NBA team, the Clippers, and a hockey team.
Tom Benson, of course, is the staple that holds pro sports together in New Orleans. As the owner of the Saints he has been to the top of the mountain in NFL glory, now, as the new NBA season begins, we think it’s time for him to experience what a basketball championship feels like.
For the last several years each season has been a transition. Last season the franchise took over the Pelicans name and adopted new colors. The season before, Benson had just purchased the teams and was beginning the transition from the Hornets. Meanwhile, promising stars such as Anthony Davis have been preparing for that breakout year. We think the time has come.
We are not sure how champagne and smoothies taste together, but we’re willing to try. We are just hoping for the right occasion.