Change Toronto’s team name from the Raptors? It’s possible – a new POLL


Perhaps overlooked in the welter of news from Tim Leiweke’s noontime conference call was a discussion about whether the name “Raptors” should be retained. Faithful readers will recall I broached this topic last season when the New Orleans squad decided to switch to Pelicans (oh dear) for next season. Charlotte is going to revert to “Hornets” after next season, so the name game is in full swing across the league.

Let’s take this matter seriously, and have a Poll. I’m going to toss out some names, which you are welcome to reject. If you do, put in your own choice as a Comment. This should be fun. If we get a consensus of opinion around one name in particular, I’ll forward it to the (soon to be former) Raptors’ office.

The new name for Toronto's NBA team should be:

  • Huskies - back to the earliest days of the NBA, and Toronto's entry (55%, 185 Votes)
  • Raptors! - leave it alone already (34%, 116 Votes)
  • Towers - it's a big city, basketball players are huge, it's alliterative (5%, 16 Votes)
  • Canadians - Tim Leiweke says he wants to make it Canada's team (3%, 11 Votes)
  • Blizzards - suggested by a reader; I like it! (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Grizzlies - a team name which makes no sense for Memphis to have (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 339

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Tags: Toronto Raptors

  • Hoopgirl1st

    Sorry, I’m not keen on any of them and you didn’t have a category for NONE OF THE ABOVE. However, I have no raise at this time.
    On what you have suggested:. Huskies? – rather ho hum and sounds high school; Towers – interesting imagery reflecting the city but I don’t see any relationship to the speed and mobility of the game — plus as we generally are shorter team than most, I can hear the jokes already; Canadians – best of this bunch, but will Toronto Canadians generate merchandise sales anywhere but in Toronto? Don’t forget a lot of Canadians already don’t equate Toronto as Canadian (Centre of the Universe!); Grizzlies don’t make sense in Toronto, either; Raptors….the name has never made sense but it could have been worse we could have been called the Ducks or Penguins or Pelicans…

  • Newmarket_Brian

    Hi Hoopgirl: I didn’t add NONE OF THE ABOVE, because I thought it was redundant with the request to add one’s own choice in the Comments. I’m not wild about any of the choices either, but they were the best I could come up with. I like Huskies, because it’s evocative of the North, and who doesn’t love that breed of dog? However, it has no particular meaning for Toronto, or b-ball. Let’s keep an open mind on this matter, and hope inspiration comes from somewhere.
    Thanks for commenting.

  • Revanhavoc

    I’m a huge Raptors fan and I say just LEAVE IT ALONE!

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Revanhavoc: Fair enough. However, when the incoming President of the ownership group (i.e., Leiweke) says he doesn’t like the team’s name, it’s reasonable to assume a change is coming. I’m thinking we as fans might as well get out in front of this wave, and see if we can influence it.
      FWIW: based on the Poll’s results so far, there are a lot of people who agree with you.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Kamal Pantalia

    How about Toronto Blizzards? That’s staying true to our Canadian roots and applies to Toronto. Commentary would be catchy. For example, there’s a cold front coming….no Heat in Miami cuz of the Blizzards from Toronto. Toronto Blizzards can be sponsored by Dairy Queen. Drake can add his flavor to it in a song.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Kamal: Interesting indeed! Do you think fans would cheer for a storm front? “Go, Bs, Go” It might work. I’ll add it to the Poll, & we’ll see what the reaction is.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • DJ gunning

    anything but the raptors, terrible, childish, short sighted, unbrandable. I like Blizzards although the Blizzard might be nicer…like the Jazz, Heat and Thunder, team names that dont end in ‘s’ are rare. And cool. imo. I suggest the Street. The Toronto Street Basket Ball team. anyways my 2 cents

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi DJ: I concur about “Raptors”; and you were bang-on when you called the name short-sighted. I don’t mind Blizzard(s) at all, except that it’s a bit weird to cheer for a storm front. Otherwise, it certainly reflects an aspect of our city. I’m not sure about “Street”, largely because it’s not unique to Toronto or Canada.
      Tell you what: if I run another name-poll, I’ll add Street and let’s see the readership’s reaction. Right now Huskies is well ahead of the pack (and how appropriate is that!)
      Thanks for commenting.

      • DJ gunning

        you brought up a good point in your note about cheering for a storm front…OKC Thunder…? Miami…Heat? in Hockey the Carolina Hurricanes…Im not saying this to defend my notion of a Bizzard nickname, Blizzard might be short sighted and ridiculous as well for all i know hahaha, and really…how weird is it to cheer for a Piston, Nugget, Wizard or Jazz music? The Raptors are starting to sound a little better actually hahaha..love the site love the content.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi DJ: Last point first – I’m pleased you “love” our stuff. Keep coming back. We’re adding new writers, and it’s only going to get better. Lots of content and new features in the works.
          Yeah, I don’t know how you cheer for a Piston either. It’s kinda weird. And “Go, Wiz, Go” …?? That’s just wrong.
          My wife & sons (all big Raps’ fans) are coming around to the idea of “Huskies”. Are you comfortable with it? It won the Poll handily, so Rapture Nation is on board.
          Thanks for commenting.

  • DJ gunning

    actually now that I think baout it, is it mandatory to have ‘nicknames’? Why not just drop raptors and build the brand around toronto. The name itself.

  • Andre Julian Ward

    Leave the name alone …

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Andre: I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the way all of this shakes out. Lots of discussion, and some off-season publicity, then a decision to do nothing.
      One change I can see, even if the Raps keep their name, is a redesign of their current uniforms. I hope they will, anyway. The current uniform is dull.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Robert Spring

    Maybe changing the name would be good it might be like a booster shot for the frachise