The Toronto Raptors have one of the most unique and most popular names in sports history, but their name almost didn’t become a reality.
The Raptors, who were officially awarded a franchise back in 1993, chose their name through a fan-vote contest called the “Name Game”. The contest generated a massive response, resulting in over 2,000 different options which were eventually narrowed down to the Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas and Terriers.
As Jay Onrait pointed out, that Dragons name would have been pretty perfect in today’s world.
Of course, they ended up with the Raptors, which shouldn’t come as surprise considering the original Jurassic Park was released in the same year as their team announcement. Raptors were big in pop culture in that time. Now? With Game of Thrones taking over everyone’s timeline every Sunday, we have a hankering that the Dragons name might have been even more popular today.
So, we took it even a step farther and tried working up something could have been their logo had they chose the “Toronto Dragons”
Funny enough, this past season the Raptors actually did have a Dragon on one of their jerseys. They had a special edition Chinese New Year’s jersey which featured a dragon in some of the lettering.
Not to worry though, one team picked up the name, as a local Toronto Rugby Club became the Toronto Dragons.
Still, the best dragon refernce was far and away the New Jersey Nets who at one point almost became the Swamp Dragons.