I began caring about the New Orleans Pelicans when they made some bold moves toward NBA relevance.
Building on my excitement for the Saints, also owned by the Bensons, I began following the Pelicans' games. I was upset when DeMarcus Cousins blew out his ankle.
But the Pelicans didn't sink. With the splendid Anthony Davis' MVP-caliber play, the fiestinesss of point guard Rajon Rando, and the all-star emergence of Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans made the playoffs, blew out Portland in the first round, and threw a scare into the Warriors.
Now, it's all crashing. It was a passionate but brief affair. My heart is as bitter and empty as Bourbon Street on an early Monday morning.
After last year's brilliance, the franchise looks dysfunctional. Davis has demanded to be traded, and he might not even play anymore this year. Rondo has gone to the Lakers, and a rehabilitated Cousins has given the Warriors yet another star. Davis will leave New Orleans behind and head to the Lakers or Celtics or Knicks. Holiday might also be gone.
The Athletic's Frank Isola even suggested that the franchise might move to another city. (I'd accept a move to Seattle, if it meant Howard Schultz won't run for president.)
Really, it is silly for New Orleans to have an NBA franchise. Last year, though, I fell hard for the Pelicans. Now, we're through.