First and foremost I am Canadian, True North Strong and Free, born and bred TO, so don't flame me for being anti-Canadian.
In the last 10 years I've noticed that MLSE has been making subtle changes to the Toronto Raptors that had me scratching my head. Its been the inclusion of features and things that made me notice the abundance of Canadian themes.
I call this the Canadianization (like Americanize) of the Raptors.
1) Changing the Colours from primarily purple to a Red-White Canada scheme (I personally
liked the purple/black better)
2) Inclusion of the Leaf on the back of the away black jersey's. (First inclusion of any
national symbol for any nba team i.e no other team has an american star/eagle/etc)
3) Hiring the First Canadian Head Coach in NBA History to the Raps
4) Rebranding the RaptorsTV Channel to NBA TV Canada
5) Removal of the claw entirely from the raptors Jersey with the replacement of the leaf
(see new home jersey)
6) The "diversification" of the roster because "Toronto is such a wonderful Diverse City
and our GM thinks that the roster should reflect that"
Now the reasons why MLSE could have done this is to appeal to more fans in canada, and make more money. While this may be good for MLSE profit I don't think its good for the raptor's Franchise or Canada Basketball. Here's why:
The team is the TORONTO raptors not the Canada Raptors, the Toronto Canucks, or the Toronto Habs ;-) . That should focus on the greatness of the City of T.Dot not where it is. It creates a generalization of all Canadian cities, int that they're all the same as TO (otherwise it wouldn't represent them all), when clearly they're not (ie Montreal and Vancouver) and removes them as potential home cities for other teams. (Imagine if all of canada had to be represented by the Leafs ). Common rhetoric against further expansion or relocation is "but Canada ALREADY has a team".
Players focus on the Canadian aspect of the team rather than the team itself. We all know players look at the geography of a team as a deciding factor ie. (Mr."Ill take my talents to South Beach" cough*Cough*). This favors warmer climates like LA and Orlando to places like New York, Chicago. Yet teams further north have had success building contenders despite location, ie Detroit Pistons(it gets cold here Damn It) and even the Boston C****ics. Thats because they focus on the team and not where it is.
I always say Winners go where Winners are, so unless TO shocks the world and goes to the finals this year, I doubt good players will flock to come here based on the argument "We're friendly up here Eh" (btw Eh is a stereotype we don't all talk like that). It should be the name on the front of the Jersey that should be most Important, nothing else.
Regardless of whether you like the new colour changes to the jersey, or the new design, or think Jay is the Best coach for the team you can't ignore these evidences of an increase in Canadian themes and an overall Canadianization of the Toronto Raptors.
So what do you think, are MLSE over-Canadianizing the Rap's, do you approve, or does it even matter?
This has J-D tellin you to keep your "glyde" on