The NBA has ditched the Hornets, then the Bobcats (to bring back the Hornets). Could the wonderful, rock-dribbling Raptors be next?
The new brass of the Toronto Raptors seemed to hint that much when they addressed the media this week about changes in the organization. Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of the ownership group, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, and Masai Ujiri, new Raptors president of basketball operations and general manager, talked about their view of the franchise in a news conference Tuesday.
While they had thoughts on many valid, basketball-related topics, one nugget from the National Post stands out: The team, which has used a Raptor as its mascot and moniker since soon after the franchise began in 1993, may be getting a makeover.
“We’re definitely going to take a look at it,” Leiweke said of changing the team branding. “It doesn’t mean we’re committed to it. It means it’s a good conversation. … I think we need to have this conversation.”
That last phrase — “I think we need to have this conversation” — sounds an awful lot like something a dad says to a Ross Geller-like son who is perhaps having trouble outgrowing his love for dinosaurs. The franchise picked the raptor after taking submissions from fans, and the popularity of Jurassic Park around the time the new team began was what fueled the final decision.
Alas, all prehistoric creatures must go extinct. Still, 1990s-loving NBA fans will find this dribbling dino hard to part with.