raptors christmas jersey

Toronto Raptors Grinch jersey shows how fans feel about Christmas Day game snub

Remember last Christmas, when the Toronto Raptors played their first Christmas Day game in 19 years? And a home game at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena, no less?

Fans certaintly do — it was a pretty big deal, and a prestigious honour (one that a Canadian team can't recieve without winning an NBA championship, it seems).

Those who were lucky enough to score tickets to the game recieved a special Christmas Day Raptors x OVO snow globe shirt upon arrival. You can buy them on eBay now for between $72 and $105.

With the Raps knocked off the Chistmas bill, you certainly won't get a chance to nab this year's version for free at a game... not that you would have been able to even attend a game, in light of the global pandemic and the fact that the Raptors are now (temporarily) based in Tampa Bay, Florida.

You might be able to get a far better wearable keepsake in time for next Christmas, however, whether the Raptors play on December 25 or not, courtesy of the prolific Toronto designer Luc Samanski.

The artist behind that viral Tampa Raptors jersey and the fictional "Toronto Raccoons" NFL team branding has done it again with a highly-covetable concept piece that, unfortunately, can't be purchased. Yet.

"No Raptors game on Christmas has me feeling like a Grinch," wrote Samanski on Instagram Sunday when revealing his Raptors holiday jersey on Sunday in the caption of a post featuring the jersey mock-up on Instagram. 

Needless to say, given how dope it is, the sports apparel, logo and uniform designer has been inundated with demand (much like he was after publishing photos of his Tampa Raptors jersey, a version of which you could at one point buy on his website before it sold out).

"This one unfortunately won't be available this year as I came up with the idea yesterday and the turnaround time to get it produced and ready is roughly 45 days, so it wouldn't really make sense for people to finally get a Christmas jersey in February," said Samanski to blogTO on Monday.

"I've been producing a decent amount of my jerseys that can be found on my website lucsamanskidesign.com," he added. "So be on the look out for these for these next year in early November 2021."

As for the concept of a Grinch-like Raptor stealing Christmas, Samanski said it was inspired by the NBA's decision not to hold a Raptors game on December 25 — and, of course, the classic Dr. Seuss character.

"Growing up I was always enjoyed watching The Grinch (both the 1966 cartoon and Jim Carrey version) around Christmas time and he was always character I found funny, empathized with and enjoyed," said the artist.

"This year (like most years) the Raptors were snubbed from the slate of NBA Christmas games despite being a perennial top 10 team in the league for the past 6 years."

"Not too long ago the NBA used to design special jerseys for their annual Christmas games and I really enjoyed the festive jerseys. So what better character than the Grinch to embody the feeling of being scorned and disappointed by Christmas?" Samanski continued.

"Since the NBA on Christmas is such a tradition, I'd love to see the NBA bring the special jerseys back. I could even help them design them." 

NBA brass, please do your thing and contact this man so that we may all have Merry Christmases filled with basketball next year.

Lead photo by

Luc Samanski

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