Toronto Raptors reveal new Tampa Bay logo at training camp
The Raptors may be gearing up to start the 2020-2021 NBA season in Florida due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but they're still the Toronto Raptors... in Tampa.
It would appear as though the team has created an entirely new logo to commemorate this strange chapter in sports history, though it is not yet clear if it'll be used during regular season games.
The logo in question was spotted during a press conference after the team's first practice of the season at Saint Leo's University, just north of Tampa, where they're currently holding training camp.
Referred to by NBA.com as the "Raptors training camp logo," the image of a Raptor biting a palm tree could be seen on a backdrop behind players during their post-practice media availability on Sunday.
First day of practice for the Tampa Raptors. pic.twitter.com/JJTW8fcgmN— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) December 6, 2020
The same logo could be seen in a video posted to the team's Twitter account late Monday afternoon, affixed to the upper-left corner of a clip about the team's forthcoming hotel ballroom practice space at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street hotel.
A better look at the training camp logo had previously been shared by Fran Reidy, Saint Leo University's Director of Athletics and Vice President, on Twitter.
"2020 Training Camp Tampa" reads the logo, punctuated with "hydrated by BioStee."
The fact that neither Toronto nor Canada appears anywhere in the logo, however temporary it may be, did not go unnoticed.
"Notice Toronto name wasn't on the Logo. Guaranteed they never return," wrote one fan on Reidy's original post showing the training camp logo.
"Ummm, no. They are temporarily playing there but they are our TORONTO Raptors," wrote another in a separate thread. "Don't dis The North. We (still) the North! Thank you Tampa for your hospitality."
WTF is this!!!— ARIES™️ (@StarSeedKid) December 7, 2020
Is this a joke, if the @NBA calls @Raptors the Tampa Raptors, I will not watch one game. This is our team, just cuz they play in Tampa due to COVID19, doesn’t mean you change their name and logo, did we change the 22 teams in the bubble to Orlando Lakers, 🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/iPhwpPjDdg
Others have expressed concerns over a lack of realism within the image.
"So were raptors plant eaters? wrote one person. "I'd like it better if instead of a tree there was something that resembled the state of Florida with the Raptors biting a chunk out."
In terms of paleontology accuracy, I don’t think raptors ate palm trees, however I very much like this dino-tree logo. https://t.co/AzINxLyYy7— Mike Pendleton (@phat7deuce) December 7, 2020
Many people really do seem to like the quirky dinosaur-in-Florida logo, though — as long as it's temporary. Some are now even begging the Raps to produce a line of merch featuring the 2020-2021 training camp logo.
It remains to be seen if the team will be using its normal logo, a variation of the new training camp logo, or something different entirely when it begins the preseason on December 12.
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