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How did the Raptors get their name?


Remember how Toronto's basketball team earned the title of World Champions and the city held a parade? 2019 wasn't that long ago! The team has been called the Raptors since 1994. But basketball and dinosaurs don't usually go together, right? (Unless it's in the book Dino-Basketball, one of our Recommended Reads this week.) So why is our team named after the velociraptor?

When the National Basketball Association (NBA) granted Toronto a franchise, fans got the chance to make suggestions for the new team name. This is much like how baseball fans had a say in the naming of the Blue Jays. "Raptors" was one of 10 possible names. The movie Jurassic Park was a huge hit the year before. So it's likely that this blockbuster influenced the fans' choice.

What if the fans voted for another name? Would you cheer as loudly for the Toronto Hogs or Terriers? Imagine people gathering in a park called the Den to cheer on the Beavers. Or maybe they enter the Web to root for the Tarantulas. In this timeline we have Jurassic Park, but fans are united wherever we watch the game. Let's go, Raptors!

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