Sports Franchise Rankings: Louisiana Edition

In a new special series, I’ll be ranking each major professional sports franchise (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, WNBA, and NWSL) in each of the states with at least two teams.

The teams will be ranked by the amount of success they’ve had in their current market, not accounting for previous locations of the franchise. However, if the team played in a different league but still played in its current home state, those records will contribute to the rankings.

Any playoff or tournament appearances, wild card berths, division titles, conference/league titles, major championships, and the franchise’s single-season wins/points records are accounted for, as well as the overall success of the team and certain eras of its history.

Next up, the state of Louisiana, home of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

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No. 1 – Saints (est. 1967)

  • 13 playoff appearances
  • 8 division titles (6 NFC South, 2 NFC West)
  • 2009 NFC title
  • Super Bowl XLIV champions
  • Franchise-best record – 13-3 (4 times)

With just five playoff appearances and a single postseason win through their first 39 seasons, the Saints’ franchise luck changed during the 2005-06 offseason with the signing of quarterback Drew Brees.

In his first season, the team improved to 10-6, winning the division and reaching the franchises’ first NFC Championship Game. By 2009, the Saints were Super Bowl champions. Since winning their first – and only – title, New Orleans has reached the postseason seven times, including four straight from 2017-20.

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No. 2 – Pelicans (est. 2002)

  • 7 playoff appearances
  • 2008 Southwest Division title
  • Franchise-best record – 56-26 in 2007-08

When the then Hornets arrived in 2002, New Orleans became a pro basketball city for the first time since the departure of the Jazz to Salt Lake City in 1979. Reaching the playoffs in their first two seasons in Louisiana, the team saw an abysmal 2004-05 campaign land them the No. 3 pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, which they used to select Chris Paul.

In his third season, Paul led the team to a franchise-best 56 wins and the only Southwest Division title in team history during the 2007-08 campaign, where New Orleans reached game seven of the Western Conference semifinals before falling to San Antonio.

CP3 led the Hornets to the playoffs twice more before being traded in 2009 and 2011, followed by new star Anthony Davis leading the team bank to the postseason in 2015 and 2018.

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