On December 4, 2015, the New Orleans Pelicans played the star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers in the arena. Except perhaps for the Golden State Warriors, just about any team that faces the Cavaliers is an underdog as was the case that night during a nationally televised game. It was not a role that the Pelicans were willing to accept as they led going well into the fourth quarter.

In life there are many people who are designated as “super stars,” but only a small sub-group deserves the title. A super-star is best judged when the going gets though and by their ability to make a super effort. So it was that as the clock ticked down, the Cavaliers’ LeBron James took charge. In the closing moments no other player mattered. He championed an amazing comeback so spectacular that when the final buzzer sounded, the Cavaliers, only moments earlier down and out, had tied the game and pushed it into overtime. This indeed was a superstar moment.

Fortunately the Pelicans, who by that moment had every reason to have lost confidence, had a superstar too, Anthony Davis.

After the game Davis revealed a conversation with one of his teammates who implored, “This is the time where you’ve got to be great.”
Those who were lucky enough to be watching that night saw a spectacular moment in sports; two stars each controlling a portion of the contest. Luckily the portion that Davis controlled was in overtime and the Pelicans won, 114-108. We suspect that somewhere there are still fans who are emotionally exhausted from what they saw.

We are now at the beginning of a new season. Despite the stirrings from that December night, the last couple of years have been disappointing for the local guys, but this year there is that feeling, sort of like what we last felt about the Saints in 2009, that maybe, just maybe, there is something special here. Forward DeMarcus Cousins joined the team last season too late to have any real impact, but now he can make a great pairing with Davis. Then there is veteran Jrue Holliday, who was slowed by injuries and personal issues last season but who is back in full form, and well-travelled, but star-powered, Point Guard Rajon Rondo has a one year contract to see what this team can do.

All franchises try to improve during the off-season; it just may be that the Pelicans have done a little better than most. Despite their effort, the Pelicans will have to get past the league-dominating Golden State Warriors to win real gold of their own, but in sports, fortunes can change both up and down.

We urge everyone to support the Pelicans. The NBA puts on a fast, well-paced show. Besides, with at least one bonafide star already in the house, on any given night something special can happen.