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Basketball Team Names and Changes

Anyone who watches basketball knows that teams sometimes change their names. This can be for a variety of reasons such as relocation or new ownership, etc. If a team moves from Washington to Illinois, you would not expect them to keep the name Washington Tigers, would you?

Throughout the history of U.S. basketball only two of the major foundation teams in the National Basketball Association have kept the original team names and are still located in their original cities. Even the association underwent a change as it was known originally as the Basketball Association Of America. The Boston Celtics, who were foundation members at the beginning, were named by Walter Brown. The only other team to retain their name and location is the New York Knickerbockers. Ned Irish chose this name, which is commonly shortened to the “Knicks”.

Here’s a story I was told the other day that might show how some teams come to change their name. A man was at a basketball game the other day and he was listening to two elementary children, a boy and a girl from Navajo, Oklahoma talk about a recent tournament. They were talking about when their team played the Eldorado elementary girls team. The man approached the children and asked, “Who won that game, anyway?” and the girl turned around and said to him, “Eldorado won, of course. No one can beat those River Rats!.” The man looked at them in surprise and said, “River Rats?” and the girl said, “Yea, River Rats. They live down there by Red River and no one can beat them.”

So, what do you think? Do you think they should change their name from Eldorado Panthers to Eldorado River Rats? Do you think the nickname will stick and the school will change it mascot? Yes and No. No they won’t change the name of the Eldorado Panther teams to Eldorado River Rats but yes, the name will stick, at least for that little elementary team. It will stick, it already has and they didn’t even know it!

That was just one example of how some teams come to change their name. If you know of a story about a team got its name or ended up changing it, it would be interesting to share, so contact me and we will see what we can do about sharing it.

See you on the court!

Oh, and one other note – The Eldorado River Rats…. I mean Panthers, walked away with First Place in that tournament!

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