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Toronto Raptors – The Tale Of The Only Canadian NBA Champ

“Sports is the greatest teacher. It teaches you humility, camaraderie and to resolve differences in resolve differences reasonably.”
Kobe Bryant

Among numerous basketball clubs that are much more powerful, Toronto Raptors is the torchbearer for the Canadian squads as they are the only ones to grab the NBA championship and the conference trophy both in 2019. In the Canadian gang, not every player is a scoring giant, a stealing wizard, or a blocking master but yes the players do have immense potential and they have shown the same time and again.
The Raptor’s voyage with the NBA that began as an expansion team in 1993 and becoming one of the most popular teams has been phenomenal. The team is having a huge fan following in the fantasy basketball landscape. There are many players such as Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard who have proved to be valuable assets for fantasy owners. Excited to have a glimpse of the Toronto NBA roller coaster ride? Let’s begin.

How The Raptors Was Born?

The journey of the squad began in 1995 when the boys joined the NBA as an expansion team along with another Canadian squad Vancouver Grizzlies. The group got their name with the help of the fans who suggested a couple of interesting titles from which the Toronto Raptors was chosen. The name Raptors signifies fierceness and agility.  

Since the inception of the squad a lot has been happening on every front. They have worked hard to reach where they are right now and hence looking at their season-wise struggle is a must.

Initial Hardships & Restructuring Of The Squad: 1995–1999

Alvin Robertson scored the opening point for the squad when they played their first official NBA match (1995-96). They finished their inaugural season with a win-loss record of 21–61. But the Raptors became one of a very few teams to defeat the Chicago Bulls who were at that point one of the best NBA squads. Damon Stoudamire was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award.

The 1996-97 season was again great for Toronto NBA as they managed to improve their winning record by defeating stronger squads such as the Miami Heat, the Utah Jazz, and the Houston Rockets. Although they struggled against giants like the Boston Celtics and the entire season was a great learning experience for the Canadian gang.

The consecutive season (1997-98) began on a bad note as some key players from the Toronto Raptors suffered from injuries. The squad lost 17 back to back games. Subsequently, there was a change in the management of the team and Glen Grunwald became the new manager. 
Moreover, the whole team got reshuffle as many players shifted to different clubs and the new Raptors team that was formed made a record of being the youngest teams in the NBA league including the basketball gem Tracy McGrady. Due to such an intense makeover, the performance of the squad dropped to 16-66.
In the 1998-99 season again there were major changes in the team’s structure as well as the ownership. The general manager Glen tried to add credibility and strength to the squad by adding potential players like Vince Carter, Charles Oakley Kevin Willis. Although the team couldn’t manage to enter the playoffs, Vince Carter received the Rookie Of the Year honor which was an excellent accomplishment for the Raptors.

The Era When Toronto Basketball & Vince Carter Evolved Simultaneously: 1999-2006

In 1999, the Raptors got a new forward powerhouse in the form of Antonio Davis who proved to be one of the best All-Star players going forward for the Canadian squad. Fortunately, due to the sheer determination of Vince Carter, Davis, and McGrady, the Raptors made their first-ever appearance in the play-offs but got defeated by the New York Knicks (3-0). 

Carter grabbed the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Competition and became the center of attraction for many Toronto people who were not even basketball fans earlier. Also, the squad finished the season with a 45–37 record which was not bad at all.

The 2000-01 season came with a shock to the Raptor’s fans as Butch Carter was replaced. Yes, you heard it right and the legend who joined the squad in his place was none other than the Hall Of Fame mentor and a player with around 30 years of experience, Lenny Wilkens. 

As a result, the Canadian squad qualified for the postseason and made an entry to the conference semifinals. Yet, in the end, they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. Similarly, the consecutive season (2001-02) wasn’t great for Toronto Raptors as Vince Carter suffered from a jumper’s knee. 
The squad managed to grab a playoff spot by winning 12 of their last 14 matches. The same losing streak continued for the Toronto NBA till 2006 when they got a real basketball gem in the form of Chris Bosh who played amazingly in many games. He showed some of the best steals and blocks that left the fans in awe.

Complete Revamping & Evolution Of The Squad: 2006-2018

With the entry of Chris Bosh, the Canadian squad managed to enter the postseason in 2006-07. Unfortunately, they were knocked out in the playoffs. Many changes were made in the Raptor’s roaster in three consecutive seasons which has improved the squad’s performance.

Irrespective of the players leaving the squad and new legends joining amidst other controversies Toronto Raptors won the second division title in 2013-14 season and grabbed the division crown in the consecutive year. 

Besides, in 2015-16 Toronto Raptors entered the grounds with some of the best basketball players like DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry who helped the squad advanced to the Eastern Conference finals by winning 56 matches. Thereby, making a record for the team.
2017-18 season was good for the Raptors as they managed to reach the playoffs again where they got defeated by one of the NBA giants the Cavs. The consecutive season proved to be one of the best for the NBA Toronto Raptors team as they grabbed 59 wins and set a team record in the history of their franchise.

The Game Changer Period For The Canadian Squad: 2019

2019 can be termed as the golden era for the Raptors as they traded DeRozan and brought Kawhi Leonard which was believed to be a risky deal initially. But this trade proved to be one of the best for the Raptors as the team game exhibited by Leonard and Lowry led the squad to gran their first-ever conference as well as the NBA title. 

The basketball fans went mad over the victory as they got to witness some of the best skills on the court. The Toronto crowd celebrated the win extensively and even marched some parades to show their thrill and happiness.

The Story Wouldn’t Be Completed Without Mentioning A Couple Of The Best Raptors, Right?

Toronto Raptors is still a young squad who has a long way to go. Whatever they have achieved till now is because of some of the legendary players. Let’s look at some of these wizards and their contributions to the squad:

1. Vince Carter & Chris Bosh: The Ones That Laid The Raptor’s Foundation

Both these legends have been the two pillars for the NBA Toronto as they acted as the backbone for the team during the initial days of struggle. These players have showcased their finest skills to help the Raptors reach where they stand today.

2. Morris Peterson & Antonio Davis: Two Of The Most Loyal Toronto Raptors

Morris and Antonio both have played for the Canadian squad and can be called as the real assets who have shown phenomenal skills. On one hand, Morris is famous for his three-point scoring ability and Antonio on the other helped the Raptors with his remarkable rebounds to cope up with many tough situations.

3. Doug Christie & DeMar DeRozan: The Pride Of Toronto Basketball

Doug and DeRozan are the two Raptor gems who have performed their best for the squad and still have an immense potential to showcase their skills in the future. These two basketball players are quite young and have ample opportunities lying in front of them that can take their career to new heights.

4. Damon Stoudamire Alvin Williams: Raptors Who Can’t Be Forgotten

Both of these basketball legends are two of the most adored and respected players of the Toronto Raptors to date. They have been an integral part of a few moments that made the history for the Canadian squad and without the mention of their names the Raptor’s list can’t be completed.

5. McGrady, Oakley, & Camby: Last But Not The Least To Point Out

The common thread that joins all three Raptors is that they have played for the squad for a short span but proved to be valuable in real sense. In such a short association, these players have shown immense potential and determination for the game that has led the squad grab numerous points and steals when there was a need.

The Final Say On The Toronto Raptors

Considering the amazing performance in the last year the Raptor fans are expecting even more from the squad in 2020. The spirit of the team is high and they are all set to perform their best going forward. Keeping the positive vibes in mind let’s hope for the best and look forward to the magic that the Raptors will create going forward.

MPL Team
MPL Team - Enjoy reading gaming, fantasy, poker, and rummy articles by the MPL team on the MPL blog.


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