| 4 years ago||
"Name the Team" Contests
On April 22, 1987, the NBA granted expansion franchises to Charlotte, Miami, Minnesota and Orlando. All four teams turned the responsibility of finding team names over to the fans by holding contests. In Charlotte 's case, the public prevailed after rejecting the original name, the Charlotte Spirit . After team officials narrowed down fan submissions, fans voted on the last six choices and the "Hornets" won by a landslide.
Miami chose the Heat from names such as the Sharks, Tornadoes, Beaches and Barracudas. The name Magic was the winner for the Orlando franchise since the city's tourism slogan is "Come to the Magic".
Minnesota team officials narrowed down contest submissions to Timberwolves and Polars. The Timberwolves name was selected by a 2-to-1 margin over the Polars because timberwolves are indigenous to Minnesota, the only state with a significant number of this breed of wolves, other than Alaska.
But these weren't the only teams to ask their fans for help. Dallas chose "Mavericks" from fan submissions because of its connection to the world famous cowboy image of Texas. A contest helped Phoenix pick the Suns since it reflected Arizona's year-round sunshine and tropical climate.
Seattle named its team the SuperSonics because of the huge Boeing plant located in the area in 1967. Boeing, one of the leading airplane manufacturers in the United States, proposed the building of a Concorde-style airplane called the "Supersonic Transport". Over 200 entries suggested the Sonic name even though the plans for the new plane never took off.
Out of all the entries submitted to local newspapers, the Cavaliers was the top pick for Cleveland . In the same year, Portland chose the Trail Blazers for its club's name from a contest that resulted in over 10,000 entries.
In 1968, the Bucks was picked for Milwaukee 's team from entries that included Skunks, Beavers, Hornets and Ponies because it reflected the wildlife atmosphere in Wisconsin.
The Houston Rockets first started out in San Diego, which selected the name because it agreed with the city's theme of a "City in Motion". After the 1970-71 season, the San Diego Rockets moved to Houston, Texas and kept the same name since it related to the city's NASA space program.
After losing the Rockets to Houston, San Diego didn't have a team until the Buffalo Braves moved to California in 1978. Since team officials believed the name did not fit in with San Diego's image, a contest helped select the "Clippers" as the new name. San Diego was famous for the great sailing ships - the clippers - which passed through the city many years ago. Los Angeles became home to the NBA franchise, now known as the Los Angeles Clippers, in 1984.
When Toronto became the 28th team in the NBA and the first expansion franchise outside of the United States, a contest helped come up with the Raptors for the team name.
Pretty cool ish here