New Orleans Pelicans need your help to name its new Birmingham team

New Orleans Legacy Arena
The New Orleans Pelicans need a name for its G League team in Birmingham. Photo by Pat Byington

Birmingham – get your thinking caps on.

The New Orleans Pelicans need your help to name its new NBA G League Birmingham team.

The Pelicans are asking residents and basketball fans to suggest ideas for the team name through their website at The submission period started on December 9th and will end on Wednesday, December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. 

“This is a great way for the community to share the names that they think would represent the city of Birmingham and this exciting new team. From the beginning, we’ve said that we want the city of Birmingham to be involved in this process. This allows them the opportunity to support the team and we are eagerly waiting to see the submissions.”

Pelicans President Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha

NBA Developmental Team

Representatives of the New Orleans Pelicans, Mayor Woodfin and the BJCC’s Tad Snider. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Remember October 2018? That’s when the New Orleans Pelicans announced that they were moving their NBA G League team from Erie, Pennsylvania to Birmingham. 

With all the construction happening around the BJCC Legacy Arena and of course our lives upended by this pandemic, I had forgotten about the NBA G League franchise coming to the Magic City! According to the Pelicans latest news release the team is “estimated” to relocate to Birmingham by the 2021-2022 season. 

What is the NBA G League?

The G League – the “G” stands for Gatorade -is the NBA’s minor league. Think Birmingham Barons. But instead of grooming Major League prospects for the Chicago White Sox, our G League team will develop players to star for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ideas for Birmingham Team Names

Birmingham Bolts

Since Birmingham is the graveyard for professional football teams there are many team names that have been used.

Here is a roll call: Birmingham Iron, Birmingham Steeldogs, Birmingham Barracudas, Birmingham Stallions, Birmingham Fire, Birmingham Bolts,  Birmingham Vulcans, Birmingham Americans.

In the 2000s the Continental Basketball Association had a team play in Birmingham for one year called the Birmingham Bandits. The American Basketball Association presently has a semi-pro team in town that is called the Magic City Surge.

If we are drawing from this list – my personal favorite… the Birmingham Vulcans. 

G League Names

New Orleans Pelicans New Orleans Pelicans need your help to name its new Birmingham team
The New Orleans Pelicans need a name for its G League team in Birmingham. Former head coach Alvin Gentry addresses Birmingham schoolchildren in 2018. Photo by Pat Byington

Need more inspiration? Many of the 28 G League teams use their parent team’s names like the Westchester Knicks, Long Island Nets and Northern Arizona Suns and the Austin Spurs.

Not sure Birmingham Pelicans works.

Other teams are a bit more creative. Maine Red Claws, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Greensboro Swarm or the Delaware Blue Coats. 

Coming Soon

The Pelicans G League team will play its home games at the newly renovated Legacy Arena at the BJCC.

Be a part of Birmingham sports history – submit a new team name today.

The Pelicans expect to announce the G League team’s new name in the first quarter of 2021.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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