With 175 screaming fifth- through seventh-graders as the backdrop, four New Orleans Pelicans unveiled the team’s new red alternate uniforms Tuesday at St. Catherine of Siena School in Old Metairie.
The players said they liked the new uniforms, which gives the team three — adding to the home white and road blue versions they wore last season, its first under the monicker Pelicans.
Training camp is set to begin Tuesday. The team came out with the white and blue versions before training camp last season. NBA rules state that one year must pass before teams can add an alternate.
Guard Eric Gordon seemed to like the uniform for more personal reasons. Gordon played collegiately at Indiana, whose colors are red and white.
“Well, red’s the in color,” Gordon said. “Hopefully we’ll get a lot of victories wearing red.”
The Pelicans will wear the uniforms — red jerseys and shorts with white lettering and gold and white trim on the sides — four times during the season. They will sport them for the season opener Oct. 28 against the Orlando Magic, when every fan will receive a red Pelicans T-shirt. They also will be worn in the final two home games before Christmas — Dec. 16 against the Utah Jazz and Dec. 20 against the Portland Trail Blazers — and in the season finale April 15 against the San Antonio Spurs.
All-Star power forward Anthony Davis and guards Austin Rivers and Jimmer Fredette said they like the uniforms because they add to the excitement of this season. With new center Omer Asik and key players Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson back from season-ending injuries, the Pelicans are expected to contend for a Western Conference playoff berth while battling in the tough Southwest Division.
“I like the red uniforms,” Rivers said. “I think they make you feel fast.”
The players also were on hand to conduct a Pelicans junior training camp for the students, presented by Ochsner Health Systems, Smoothie King and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living.
The training camp consisted of stations to enhance dribbling, jump-shooting and passing, with nets to repel the passes thrown into them, as well as a footwork ladder and a photo station for posing with the players. There was one station showing Davis’ outstretched arms measuring 7 feet 7¾ inches, and one of Rivers’ 311?5 inch vertical leap.
The Pelicans dance team was on hand, as was Pierre the Pelican. Fredette, then Rivers, Gordon and finally Davis, to the loudest applause, came through the crowd slapping hands.
“I love (the new uniforms),” Davis said. “They’re great. It’s something new as we get going. We’re going to wear them on opening night, give our fans even more reason to come and support us.”