SBD/June 6, 2013/Franchises

NBA Franchise Notes: Are The Raptors Looking At Changing Their Nickname?

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Tim Leiweke on Tuesday indicated that the organization might be interested in looking for a new name for the Raptors. During the team's introductory press conference for new GM Masai Ujiri, Leiweke addressed the issue of a name change and said, "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 think we need to have this conversation" (NATIONAL POST, 6/5). SI.com's Ben Golliver noted the team are named the Raptors after a "nationwide contest that was swayed by the popular 1993 dinosaur-themed movie 'Jurassic Park'" (SI.com, 6/5).

BACK WHERE IT BELONGS: The Bobcats are in the process of changing their nickname to Hornets for the '14-15 season, and George Shinn, who owned the Hornets during their first incarnation in Charlotte, said the move is "wonderful." Shinn: "It’s a smart move. I think that it’s a name that’s been around for quite a few years, and it’s always belonged to Charlotte. ... It could help the franchise. People take a lot of pride (in the Hornets name) and I’m very happy Charlotte’s able to get the name back" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/5).

WISHFUL THINKING? Denver Post columnist Woody Paige does not consider the recent e-mail sent by someone in the Hawks' ticket-sales department to prospective buyers referencing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard to be tampering because it did not come from a "member of the actual team." But ESPN's Bomani Jones argued it is by the "strict letter of the law." Columnist Kevin Blackistone said, "This shouldn't be for the NBA to consider, this should be for the CPA, the Consumer Protection Agency." Blackistone: "What this is is advertising fraud of the highest order. What are you talking about, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul showing up in Atlanta? Give me a break" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 6/5).
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