Toronto unveils Raptors as team nickname

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Toronto, which entered the NBA as an expansion franchise during the 1995-96 season, officially unveiled the Raptors nickname on May 22, 1994.

The NBA officially named Toronto as the 28th franchise in November 1993 after years of discussions to bring the league to the city. The organization held a contest to name the franchise, with the Raptors emerging as the winner after 2,000 submissions.

Along with the Raptors, the Vancouver Grizzlies also entered the NBA in 1995 to become the first two teams based in Canada. The Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001, leaving the Raptors as the lone franchise north of the border.

Toronto went 21-61 during its inaugural season, finishing with the third-worst record in the league. The team wouldn’t have its first winning season until the 1999-00 season when it went 45-37 and made its first playoff appearance.

The Raptors won the championship in 2019, their first appearance in the NBA Finals. Despite being one of the newest franchises, the Raptors are worth an estimated $2.15 billion, the 10th highest mark in the league.

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