NEW ORLEANS — Hornets owner Tom Benson says changing his team's nickname to the Pelicans will create a bond with the city that could lead to a championship.
The Hornets announced Thursday they are going ahead with the name change. The NBA has to approve it, but Commissioner David Stern has said he wouldn't object to any name Benson chose. The league is expected to expedite the change at the start of next season.
The new color scheme is blue, gold and red, a departure from the Hornets' teal, purple, gold and white.
The Hornets have been in New Orleans since moving from Charlotte for the 2002-03 season.
NEW YORK — Tim Duncan was selected to his 14th All-Star game, Spurs teammate Tony Parker is joining him, and the Chicago Bulls also had two reserves chosen Thursday for next month's game in Houston.
Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were picked from the Bulls, who have stayed in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race despite the season-long absence of point guard Derrick Rose. Noah is one of five first-time All-Stars for the East, along with New York's Tyson Chandler, Indiana's Paul George, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, and Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday.
Miami's Chris Bosh, picked for his eighth All-Star team, rounded out the East squad.
West forwards David Lee (Golden State), LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland) and Zach Randolph (Memphis) all were picked for the second time. Houston's James Harden was chosen for the first time and joins former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook, headed to his third straight All-Star game.
NEW YORK — The person Manti Te'o says was pretending to be his online girlfriend told the Notre Dame linebacker I love you in voicemails that were played during his interview with Katie Couric.
Taped earlier this week and broadcast Thursday, the hour-long talk show featured three voicemails that Te'o claims were left for him last year. He provided the messages to Couric and said they were from the person he believed to be Lennay Kekua, a woman he had fallen for but never met face-to-face.
After the first message was played, Te'o said: It sounds like a girl, doesn't it?
It does, Couric responded.
The interview was the first done on-camera by the All-American since his once-heartwarming tale of inspired play after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day in September was exposed as a bizarre hoax on Jan. 16.
PHOENIX — Arizona has traded outfielder Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves in a seven-player deal that sends former All-Star infielder Martin Prado to the Diamondbacks.
The Braves also get third baseman Chris Johnson. Atlanta is giving up four minor leaguers in the deal, including top pitching prospect Randall Delgado. The other minor leaguers headed to Arizona are right-hander Zeke Spruill, shortstop Nick Ahmed and first baseman Brandon Drury. Prado, projected to play third base for the Diamondbacks, can become a free agent after this season.