When was the last time, an American audience watched the Toronto Raptors play? Kobe's 81-point game, maybe? Aside from a brief interlude during the Vinsanity years, the Raptors have been mired in mediocrity since their inception. In 2014, the Toronto Raptors will celebrate their 20th birthday. By that point, the Raptors expect to have completely revamped their roster. Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowery may be be traded this summer, but that still may not be enough to propel them back into relevancy. However, according to The National Post, they may also be interesting in adopting a new team nickname.
Via Fox Sports:
Speaking with members of the Toronto media Tuesday alongside new Raptors GM and president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, Leiweke had this to say, via the National Post, when asked about potentially changing the team’s name:
“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.”
Change is in the air throughout the league. The Hornets are now the Pelicans, the Bobcats may retrieve the Hornets nickname and the New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn. Notice a theme? Franchises with forgettable histories usually use this strategy as a method of rebranding. L.A. is as renowned for its lakes as Utah is for its Jazz, but you won't find the Lakers shedding their nickname anytime soon.
The Raptors name was chosen at the height of Jurassic Park's popularity. Pop culture references have an expiration date and Raptors curdled a long time ago. However, if there's one change the Raptors would like to see it's not a name change, it's a shift away from their losing culture. Hopefully, this time their new nickname involves something more native to Canada than a Raptor.