Raptors Roaring and Rebranding; Showing the North a Canadian Game

Toronto Raptors; returning from near extinction to conquer a Canadian game
Rahman Mohamed

Raptors Logo

Official Raptors Logo; Retrieved 19 April 2014

Not only that, there’s a new campaign.  CTV reported that the Raptors, the only NBA team north of the 49th parallel are advertising themselves as “We The North” in a new identity campaign to rally all of the Great White North behind them.  But why?

Basketball is a Canadian game.

In 1891, more than 100 years ago, Dr. James Naismith from Almonte, Ontario, was given the challenge of creating a new indoor sport at an international YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.

So he decided to hang a peach bucket 10 feet above the floor.  When this Canadian first invented the game there were only 13 rules, rules that were auctioned for $4.3 million US.  And surprisingly, “dribbling” wasn’t one of them.  The early players – the students – created it.

The first game was played in America, but there was a Canadian influence.  10 of the very first players were university students from Quebec!

Not only that the NBA has roots in the Great White North!  The first game was played in Toronto in the Basketball Association, predecessor of the NBA.  Toronto Huskies defeated by New York Knickerbockers, 68-66 (no surprise until today).  The Raptors didn’t join the NBA until the 1995-96 season with the Vancouver Grizzlies (today relocated to Memphis, Tennessee).

Today is Game 1 against the Brooklyn Nets

This year?  The Raptors are roaring towards a slam, dunk, and score!

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