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Professional Sports Names That Just Don’t Make Sense

Thursday, the New Orleans Hornets will switch team nicknames to the New Orleans Pelicans. Pelicans are the Louisiana state bird, so it makes sense in a way. However, it's odd for a professional sports team. It seems like a NBA Developmental League team name.

Here's some NBADL team names: Maine Red Claws, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Erie Bayhawks, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, or the Springfield Armor.

Usually sports team nicknames correlate with the team's location or the region, and sometimes they just don't make sense. Check out some of these team names that don't make a lot of sense.


Utah Jazz


Shouldn't New Orleans be the Jazz and Utah be the Utah Skiers or something?


Oklahoma City Thunder


Oklahoma is in tornado alley; I think the Oklahoma City Tornadoes sounds more intimidating.


Minnesota Wild


They used to be the North Stars for 26 seasons, and the Wild appears to be too abstract.


Nashville Predators


The Predators is vague; there's the Bears, Lions, Panthers, Jaguars. Pick an animal or even be the Nashville Rock Stars, that sounds cool and relevant to their location.


Charlotte Bobcats


Did you know they were partially named after their owner, Bob Johnson? That's bad. They will more than likely go back to being the Hornets after the NBA season.


Washington Wizards


Washington used to be the Bullets, but switched to the Wizards after their owner thought Bullets was too controversial because of gun violence. It's probably a good thing they are not the Bullets anymore, but the Wizards? Just because it starts with a “W,” doesn't mean its the best nickname. As cheesy as it sounds, why not be the Washington Presidents?


Oakland Athletics


The Athletics originated from the 19th century athletic clubs.


Los Angeles Clippers


They used to be the Buffalo Braves and a “clipper” is a nautical ship. Makes sense because they live by the ocean, but it's a bit weird.


Los Angeles Lakers


Before the Lakers moved to Los Angeles they were the Minneapolis Lakers. Seem like a cop out. Minnesota is the state with over 10,000 lakes.


Orlando Magic


Over 4,296 entries were submitted and the four nicknames for the team was narrowed down to the Heat, Magic, Tropics, and the Juice. Really? Miami took the Heat later, but I think the Tropics would be better than the Magic.


Cleveland Browns


Initially the Paul Brown rejected the name “Browns,” and a committee selected Panthers, but two months later named the team the Browns. Historically, it makes sense I guess.


Montreal Canadiens


Hey, let's name our team after our country.


Brooklyn Nets


Nets after the basketball nets? They were originally the New York Americans, but that's like naming your team like the Montreal Canadiens.


Detroit Lions


Are there really Lions in Detroit? Maybe at the zoo. What about the Detroit Fords?


Toronto Raptors


They were going to be the Huskies, but thought their logo would be too similar to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Some notable entries the team received in a contest were the Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas and Terriers.


Memphis Grizzlies


Here's another cop out from their relocation from Vancouver.


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