New Orleans Pelicans Mount Rushmore
OTG Basketball presents, NBA Mount Rushmore, where we look at who belongs on the Mount Rushmore of each team in the league. Up next, is the New Orleans Pelicans.
This franchise came into existence prior to the 2002-03 season when the Charlotte Hornets relocated to New Orleans. Since Charlotte received a new team, this franchise's history begins in the 2002-03 season. During that time, this team has had a few transcendent players, but only a small amount of success. The team has made it to the playoffs seven times in eighteen seasons. Let's get to the Mount Rushmore for this franchise that is not even old enough to drink.
The Point God joined the NBA in 2005 after being picked 4th in the draft by the franchise. He began his playing career splitting time between New Orleans and Oklahoma City as the city of New Orleans felt the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Chris Paul came in and made an immediate impact. The team improved by 20 wins during Paul's rookie season. He put the franchise on a nice trajectory and in his third season, he would lead the team to their best record in franchise history, 56-26. That team would make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs and give a tough Spurs team all they could handle. While Paul helped turn the team into a winner, he was also racking up individual accolades. In 2007-08, Paul earned first team All-NBA honors and finished 2nd in MVP voting. He goes down as the franchise's all-time leader in steals and assists.
While the fans in New Orleans might not be happy with this selection for obvious reasons, Davis belongs on this Mount Rushmore for...obvious reasons. Davis was the number one pick of the New Orleans in 2012 and many credited him for bringing a sense of excitement to the team. Davis had the team in the playoffs in his third year in the league, 2014-15. Their prize for making the playoffs was a date with the Golden State Warriors. Fans in New Orleans may not like him now, but Davis was incredible in that series and made fans in New Orleans believe that good things were on the horizon. AD would take the team to the playoffs one more time in 2018, where they were able to make it to the 2nd round for just the second time in franchise history. He made the All-Star team in six of his seven seasons in New Orleans and won the game MVP award in 2017. Also, he made the All-NBA first team on three separate occasions during his time with the team. He goes down as the franchise's all-time leader in points, blocks, and rebounds.
While David West does not have the amazing individual accolades that Paul and Davis have for this franchise, he provided quality big man play for this team during their most successful stretch in franchise history. He was a two time All-Star that meant a great deal to the city because of his style of play. West was a tough guy that cared more about team success than his own stats. The man from Xavier peaked with averages of 21 and 9 for a Pelicans team that was on the rise. He goes down as the franchise's all-time leader in games and minutes.
Holiday was traded to the franchise after an All-Star season in Philadelphia. The first few years of Holiday's time in New Orleans were not very successful due to injuries. However, Holiday has really turned it around for this franchise in the last few seasons. In the 2018 playoffs, the fans of New Orleans were treated to Holiday's absolute dominance of Portland on their way to a first round sweep of the Blazers. Holiday followed up that incredible performance with his finest season as a professional with 21 points, seven assists, and five rebounds per game. Holiday has shown that he is one of the best two way guards in the game and one of the best players in the history of this franchise.