TIL in the 1990s, the New Jersey Nets asked the NBA to change their name to the Swamp Dragons. The league spent $500,000 to protect the name. The NBA owners voted 26-1 to approve the change. The Nets were the lone no vote, who changed their mind, infuriating then commissioner David Stern.

Read more: https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/15155466/once-nets-seriously-considered-becoming-swamp-dragons

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  1. After giving up on their own absurd idea…they tried to sneak it back in:

    >O’GRADY: I thought it was really gonna happen. We had all the merchandise design done. The Nets just never did anything right back then.

    > PAIGE: All that work, down the tubes.

    > The Nets ended up settling for a logo and uniform change in the late 1990s. They ditched the red-white-and-blue striped “NETS” wordmark, and the tie-dyed jerseys that briefly accompanied it, in favor of a tilted shield. But they played with other logos, including some with the lettering rendered as electronic wiring — an early attempt to play on the word “Internet,” which, of course, contains the word “net.”

    > **They even experimented with one logo that contained a bizarre, wombat-like animal.**

    > **O’GRADY: That wombat animal, whatever it is, sort of looks like a dragon. It was our attempt to salvage Swamp Dragons without anyone noticing.**

  2. > The Dragon came up right away, but we needed something to identify it locally

    I don’t get that bit. Wouldn’t “The New Jersey Dragons” have that local identity thing going on, what with having the team’s location in the name?

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