The New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans Saints share an ownership group, executives, a facilities campus and office personnel, but they aren’t entirely tied together.
The separation became clearer Wednesday when a league source informed The Advocate that the Saints’ decision to part ways with team doctor Misty Suri did not sever Suri's ties with the Pelicans.
Suri, who serves as an orthopedic surgeon for Ochsner Medical Group, was promoted last summer to serve as the Pelicans’ head team physician and director of medical services. In a release sent to the Associated Press, Ochsner stated Suri is still with the Pelicans.
“Dr. Suri will still remain as the Pelicans’ physician, and Ochsner Health System will remain an official sponsor of both the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans,” Ochsner stated in a response to an Associated Press inquiry.
Suri and fellow orthopedist Deryk Jones were fired by the Saints on Tuesday night.
Coach Sean Payton confirmed the team’s doctors misdiagnosed starting cornerback Delvin Breaux’s fibula fracture by labeling it as a contusion, ensuring Breaux will be out for another six weeks after has has already missed most of training camp.
“For years those guys have done a great job, and yet there was a point at which we just felt as an organization that change was going to be necessary for us,” Payton told gathered reporters Wednesday. “We’ll be in the process of going through different candidates.”
It’s still not clear whether the Pelicans will be in the same position.
Despite Ochsner’s statement, multiple sources still indicate the Pelicans have yet to make a firm decision on Suri, but noted the Saints’ assessment will not play an instrumental role in the Pelicans’ decision-making process.
After missing an NBA-most 351 games to injury in 2015-16, the Pelicans brought on Suri to lead the team’s medical staff. The Pelicans’ health improved under his watch, including superstar Anthony Davis, who played in 75 games after never participating in more than 68 during his first four seasons.
The Pelicans' training camp opens in late September. Their first preseason game scheduled in the Smoothie King Center on Oct. 3.