When the Raptors introduced their new General Manager Masai Ujiri this week, most of the focus was on he Raptors roster, such as could the new GM find a
sucker team to take on the contract of Andrea Bargnani.
But there was one more interesting conversation — the idea of a name change.
“We’re definitely going to take a look at it. It doesn’t mean we’re committed to it. It means it’s a good conversation. I saw those generic uniforms today in the paper. … That won’t be the uniform, by the way. I can assure you of that. I think we need to have this conversation.”
Toronto’s team has been named the Raptors since 1995 when they were first established as a franchise. At the time there was a huge naming contest that drew thousands of suggestions from throughout Canada. It’s not a coincidence that the Raptors name was selected at a time when the “Jurassic Park” movie had just come out. It was also thought that a younger generation — kids love dinosaurs! — would latch on to the name and become lifelong fans.
But the name Raptors isn’t terribly Canadian (all the fossils were found in Mongolia and China). The uniforms are pretty uninspiring.
There are a couple name changes going on in the NBA. As of now the Pelicans play in New Orleans, not the Hornets — much of the nation shook their head at that name change but it went over well in the Big Easy, and that’s what matters. With the name Hornets open, Charlotte announced it would take the Hornets name back and ditch Bobcats (that does not start until the fall of 2014).
Any name change in Toronto would take a couple years to come about, at least.