…and in the near future, there won’t be any Hornets in New Orleans, either. Following last week’s announcement that Tom Benson is purchasing the Hornets from the NBA, the Saints owner tells the Times-Picayune’s Jimmy Smith he’s in favor of a new name for New Orleans’ NBA franchise. Is the New Orleans Spellcasters out of the question?

(The New Orleans Drum Buddies? Anybody?)

“I’m going to ask all of you to help me with this, too,” Benson said. “We want to change the name from Hornets . . . . to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The ‘Hornets’ doesn’t mean anything.’ “

“He doesn’t own the team yet,” Stern joked, a reference to the final approval process Stern indicated could take place by a vote of the Board of Governors in the next 30-45 days.

But Stern did close the door on the reacquisition of the name of Utah’s NBA franchise that had its birth in New Orleans in 1974.

“It belongs to Utah,” Stern said. “I wouldn’t make it such an important point. There are many things that are indigenous to the area. I’m sure there will be some wonderful nicknames (suggestsion).”