On the August 6th edition of The B.S. Report, Bill Simmons' podcast, Simmons and guest Zach Lowe recapped the NBA's offseason and discussed the season ahead. Near the end of the hour, the pair broached the subject of whether some clubs should consider changing their nicknames.
"The NBA is filled with stupid names," Lowe said. "If you start thinking about what these names actually are, it's like... some of them are just beyond stupid."
"There's two teams that may be not a terrible idea for them to change their name just to give themselves a new identity," Simmons said. "One is the Toronto Raptors, who... you're really talking about almost two decades now of just complete, abject unhappiness."
Lowe said that a Raptors name change "could happen," given that the team has shuffled its management structure."And then, the other one... Where is it? I just had it," Simmons said. "Oh. You could talk me into an Orlando Magic name change."
Lowe's response was lukewarm: "Uh, I could get behind that. My worry is that it would get more Disneyfied than it already is."
Does Orlando's NBA team need a new identity? Probably not. The Raptors, as Simmons notes, have been miserable since their inception, advancing past the first round of the playoffs once and owning a .407 winning percentage. The Magic haven't won an NBA title, but have two Eastern Conference championships, 16 winning seasons, 14 playoff appearances, and seven different All-Stars with a total of 22 selections to the midseason event.
Having said that, the name "Magic" does give the impression that the team is connected to the area's Disney parks, an impression which may make it difficult for NBA fans to take the team seriously.
But if the Magic were winning games, then I don't think Simmons and Lowe would have even broached the subject of a name change.
Do the Magic need to change their name? What alternatives would you suggest?