NBA City Edition Jerseys: Atlantic Division

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Among all sports merchandise, NBA jerseys are arguably the most iconic team gear. As of the 2017-18 season, the NBA switched from Adidas to Nike, and with that change has come a slew of criticism and new uniforms. Nike faced some growing pains as it rolled out an NBA line, largely centered on the multiple instances of ripped jerseys. Conversely, midway through the company’s inaugural season, Nike received widespread praise for their new City Edition jerseys. These special edition jerseys celebrate features specific to teams’ locations and franchise histories. Let’s take a look at what East Coast and Canadian history the Atlantic Division represents.

Parquet Party in the Garden

Boston-Celtics

The Boston Celtics have the best record in the Eastern Conference, so it only fits Boston’s City Edition jerseys are among the cleverest of any team. Close inspection of these uniforms reveals a parquet pattern that mirrors the design of the Celtics’ home floor. According to Nike, gray, “the color of unity,” was selected out of respect to the faithful Boston fans. Fans will be able to catch Celtics stars Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum donning this tribute to Boston later this season.

Bridging the Boroughs

Brooklyn-Nets

Although the Brooklyn Nets have been out of the hunt for the past few seasons, these jerseys are championship caliber. The team kept its classic black and white colorway while adding a pattern resembling cables. These cables pay homage to the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Soon. #BrooklynUnite

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The Hottest Jerseys

New-York-Knicks

These special edition New York Knicks jerseys credit the city’s brave firefighters. The uniforms feature a New York City Fire Department crest, as well as a ladder and fire hydrant. It’s a refreshing sight to see superstar athletes give a nod to the unsung, everyday heroes of the city.

An American Classic

Philadelphia-76ers

In the summer of 1776, the Declaration of Independence was officially signed. Centuries later, Philadelphia’s NBA team – the 76ers – incorporates this rich American history into its jerseys. The script style writing mimics the signatures on America’s most revered document, and the color closely resembles that of parchment.

Hold On, We’re Going North

Toronto-Raptors

Drake has become the world’s most notorious Toronto Raptors fan. He can be seen at many of the team’s halftime shows, and even helps the team’s TV announcers commentate Toronto’s games. These jerseys utilize the iconic colors from Drake’s label, OVO. The chest features the word “North,” which comes from the team’s motto, “We The North.”

Rollin'

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Represent Your City

If Kyrie Irving and Kristaps Porziņģis pay respect to their cities, fans should take this opportunity to celebrate their history as well. From the Brooklyn Bridge’s cables to one of the U.S.’ most treasured documents, these jerseys contain much more character than ordinary NBA merchandise. Pick up your authentic Nike City Edition gear at Fanatics!

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The Evolution of the Toronto Raptors Jersey

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Creating a Franchise

The Toronto Raptors were born in 1993 when the NBA received a formal application from the Professional Basketball Franchise Inc. (PBF) in Canada. In the summer of ’93, the NBA expansion committee visited Toronto to examine the PBF’s plans, which was led by high-esteemed businessmen, who were eager to get their own franchise. To help seal the deal, PBF made plans to build the team’s stadium in downtown Toronto, which would be next to the subway to ensure easy access during the cold weather. Additionally, it would be strategically placed near big businesses so that businessmen would buy box suites at the stadium. This helped the NBA finally take the leap to expand beyond the U.S. and into Canadian territory.

However, Toronto still needed a mascot. PBF kicked off the “Name Game” in 1994 – a contest to name the team and develop the logo and team colors. Over 2,000 entries were received, but there could only be one winner. On May 15, 1994, PBF announced the team would become the Toronto Raptors. That same year, the Raptors announced the addition of Isiah Thomas as the vice president of basketball operations and Bob Zufellato as a player scout. Zufellato was no stranger to the game, though. He had 33 years of coaching and player development under his belt.

When the Toronto Raptors became an official member of the NBA on May 16, 1995, they quickly hired their first head coach, Brendan Malone, who had previous experience with the Detroit Pistons.

The Toronto Raptors Throughout the Years

While the Raptors are tied with the Memphis Grizzlies as the second youngest NBA franchise (at more than 20 years old), they still have a ways to go. The team started out slow and finished with a losing record for its first four seasons. However, the Raptors found their stride in the 1999-2000 season (with a record of 45-37). Second-year small forward Vince Carter averaged 25.7 points per game that season. In 2003, the Raptors acquired center Chris Bosh, who helped lead the Raptors to finish first in the NBA during the 2006-07 season by averaging 22.6 points per game.

However, this wouldn’t happen again until the 2013-14 season, when the Raptors finished with a slightly better record of 48-34 under head coach Dwane Casey. The most recent seasons have been the franchise’s best. In 2012, the Raptors acquired Kyle Lowry from the Houston Rockets. Lowry caught fire in 2015, averaging 21.2 points per game and leading the Raptors to their most winning record of 56-26. Lowry still continues to be a leading scorer, along with shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who’ve combined for an average 50.4 points per game this season.

 

Jersey Evolution

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Breaking Down Notable Changes
Toronto Raptors Home Jersey 1995

1995–1999 (Home): The Raptors’ home uniform in 1995 is unique: a white jersey with a cartoon raptor wearing sneakers. Who doesn’t like dinosaurs wearing shoes?

 

Toronto Raptors Home Jersey, 1999

1999–2006 (Home): The jersey is changed in 1999 to a more classic look similar to today’s jersey. Furthermore, the Raptors do away with the sneaker-wearing raptor. Instead, they replace it with “Toronto” or “Raptors” across the chest over a white background.

Toronto Raptors Away Jersey, 1999

1999–2006 (Road): Just like in the previous years, the road jersey is purple and dons the same look with “Toronto” written across the chest in white with a red outline.

Toronto Raptors Home Jersey, 2006

2006–2015 (Home): In 2006, the home jersey changes from white and purple to white and red.

Toronto Raptors Home, 2015

 

2015–2017 (Home): Still working with the same new colors – white, red, and black – the Raptors sport a white jersey with “Raptors” instead of “Toronto” written across the chest in black. The jersey has a red lining, giving it a more distinct look.

Want Your Own Toronto Raptors Jersey?

Finally, for those who love dinosaurs wearing sneakers, no worries. We’ve got you covered at Fanatics.com with a Vince Carter throwback jersey. For more Toronto Raptors gear, head over to Fanatics.com to get all swagged out before entering the Air Canada Centre.

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Toronto Raptors on Twitter Live

Real-Time Tweets About the Toronto Raptors

After winning a franchise-high 56 games this season, the Toronto Raptors and their fans felt good about the postseason. However, after bouncing out in the first round of the playoffs the past two years – losing 4-3 to the Brooklyn Nets in 2014, and 4-0 to the Washington Wizards in 2015 – fans remained skeptical and tempered their expectations. Would this be the year their team finally made it out of the first round?

They couldn’t answer that question, but hopes remained high that Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozen would figure it out. Fans – including the beloved rapper behind “Hotline Bling,” Drake – signaled on Twitter that they’re in support of their Raptors in their postseason campaign with the hashtag #WeTheNorth. Their adopted “us versus them” stance would be vocalized in the Air Canada Centre and shared socially through tweets. (If you’re interested to see how active your team – or rivals – have been, take a look at all the engagement on our live-ranking NBA Playoffs on Twitter feature.)

Taking the Indiana Pacers to 7

The Indiana Pacers arrived in Canada ready to steal wins away from the Toronto Raptors. Raptor fans just wanted to see their team make it out of the first round of the playoffs. Despite holding onto the lead for the first half, Paul George and the Pacers surged ahead to win Game 1, 100-91. This didn’t dampen the spirits of Raptor fans; they continued to remind Twitter: #WeTheNorth.

The Raptors clawed back in the next two games winning by margins of 11 and 16 points. Ahead 2-1, the two sides started trading wins. Indiana won Games 4 and 6 and Toronto won Games 5 and 7. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan worked magic and helped their team out of the first round of the playoffs. Fans fired out tweet after tweet, keeping the digital after-party alive as they prepared themselves for their next adversary, the Miami Heat.

Miami Bring the Heat

Not one fan expected the Heat – with Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragić leading the assault – would make it an easy series for their Raptors. Game 1 turned into an extended contest, with both sides unable to settle things in regulation. In overtime, Wade helped secure victory for Miami. Unnerved fans wondered if their first trip to the second round of the playoffs would be short lived.

As the series progressed, tiny margins separated the two sides. Toronto took Games 2, 3, and 5, while Miami claimed Games 4 and 6. Again, Toronto found themselves in a must-win Game 7 if they wanted to appear in their first Eastern Conference Finals. While the first six games were close – settled by an average of 7 points or less – the Raptors roared ahead with a statement victory, beating the Heat by 27 points. Lowry and DeRozan combined for 63 points, and the fans erupted. Tweet after tweet welcomed their next challenger to take a swing. They were on to Cleveland.

Toronto’s Next Test: Cleveland

Facing a team that won 10 playoff games in a row, Toronto’s fans – thoroughly active via Twitter – were less sure about their ability to beat Cleveland and their all-star lineup of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving. In Game 1, the Raptors experienced a blowout losing to the Cavs, 118-84. Even as they attempted to battle back in Game 2, Cleveland played the bully and swatted the Raptors back, taking a 2-0 lead over their northern rivals.

With an early exit looming, Toronto battled back taking Games 3 and 4, reenergizing their fans. Hope remained, and the possibility of a trip to the NBA Finals stayed alive. Tied 2-2 heading into Game 5, Toronto’s players and fans were shocked by Cleveland’s complete domination. Losing by almost 40 points, Raptors fans again questioned if this was the end. Now the Raptors have to force a Game 7 to keep their dreams alive.
How can you show your friends and family that #WeTheNorth? Get the best Toronto Raptors gear by heading to Fanatics.com.

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