Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors

Overview
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 team based in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. They are part of the Atlantic Division
Atlantic Division (NBA)
The Atlantic Division is one of the three divisions in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . The division consists of five teams, the Boston Celtics, the New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors...

 of the Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference (NBA)
The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of fifteen teams, organized in three divisions of five teams each.The three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their records, with all...

 in the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA). The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies
Vancouver Grizzlies
The Vancouver Grizzlies were a professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's...

, as part of the NBA's re-expansion
Expansion team
An expansion team is a brand new team in a sports league. The term is most commonly used in reference to the North American major professional sports leagues, but is applied to sports leagues worldwide that use a closed franchise system of league membership. The term comes from the expansion of the...

 into Canada. When the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, to become the Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

 in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA. They originally played their home games at the SkyDome (renamed as Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium, in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower, near the shores of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League...

 in 2005), before moving to the Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
The Air Canada Centre is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar ....

 in 1999.

Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years; but after the acquisition of Vince Carter
Vince Carter
Vincent Lamar "Vince" Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He is a shooting guard who can also play small forward....

 through a draft day trade in 1998
1998 NBA Draft
The 1998 NBA Draft took place on June 24, 1998 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This draft helped turn around three struggling franchises: the Dallas Mavericks, the Sacramento Kings, and the Toronto Raptors....

, the team set league attendance records and made the NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoffs
The National Basketball Association Playoffs is a best-of-seven elimination tournament among sixteen teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference , ultimately deciding the final four teams who will play in the NBA Conference Finals.-Format:Following the NBA regular season, eight teams in...

 in 2000
2000 NBA Playoffs
The 2000 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1999–2000 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers win their first championship in twelve years by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Indiana Pacers...

, 2001
2001 NBA Playoffs
The 2001 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2000–01 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers winning their second consecutive championship by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers...

, and 2002
2002 NBA Playoffs
The 2002 NBA Playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This would be the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; next year's postseason would see those series expanded to a best-of-7 format...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Toronto Raptors'
Start a new discussion about 'Toronto Raptors'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 team based in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. They are part of the Atlantic Division
Atlantic Division (NBA)
The Atlantic Division is one of the three divisions in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . The division consists of five teams, the Boston Celtics, the New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors...

 of the Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference (NBA)
The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of fifteen teams, organized in three divisions of five teams each.The three division winners and the non-division winner with the best record are seeded 1 through 4 for the playoffs in order of their records, with all...

 in the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA). The team was established in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies
Vancouver Grizzlies
The Vancouver Grizzlies were a professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's...

, as part of the NBA's re-expansion
Expansion team
An expansion team is a brand new team in a sports league. The term is most commonly used in reference to the North American major professional sports leagues, but is applied to sports leagues worldwide that use a closed franchise system of league membership. The term comes from the expansion of the...

 into Canada. When the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, to become the Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

 in 2001, the Raptors became the only Canadian team in the NBA. They originally played their home games at the SkyDome (renamed as Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium, in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower, near the shores of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League...

 in 2005), before moving to the Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
The Air Canada Centre is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar ....

 in 1999.

Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years; but after the acquisition of Vince Carter
Vince Carter
Vincent Lamar "Vince" Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He is a shooting guard who can also play small forward....

 through a draft day trade in 1998
1998 NBA Draft
The 1998 NBA Draft took place on June 24, 1998 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This draft helped turn around three struggling franchises: the Dallas Mavericks, the Sacramento Kings, and the Toronto Raptors....

, the team set league attendance records and made the NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoffs
The National Basketball Association Playoffs is a best-of-seven elimination tournament among sixteen teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference , ultimately deciding the final four teams who will play in the NBA Conference Finals.-Format:Following the NBA regular season, eight teams in...

 in 2000
2000 NBA Playoffs
The 2000 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1999–2000 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers win their first championship in twelve years by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Indiana Pacers...

, 2001
2001 NBA Playoffs
The 2001 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2000–01 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers winning their second consecutive championship by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers...

, and 2002
2002 NBA Playoffs
The 2002 NBA Playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This would be the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; next year's postseason would see those series expanded to a best-of-7 format...

. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to a franchise high 47 wins and their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress and he was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. After Carter left, Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh
Christopher Wesson Bosh is an American professional basketball player who plays power forward for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association ....

 emerged as the team leader, but they continued to struggle. However, with the appointment of Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo is the President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. He is the son of Phoenix sports mogul, Jerry Colangelo. He attended Cornell University. He was the 2005 and 2007 recipient of the NBA Executive of the Year Award.-Phoenix:Bryan began his NBA front-office career...

 as Raptors President and General Manager
General manager
General manager is a descriptive term for certain executives in a business operation. It is also a formal title held by some business executives, most commonly in the hospitality industry.-Generic usage:...

, the 1st overall NBA draft selection of Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani , nicknamed "Il Mago" , is an Italian professional basketball player with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. He is a power forward/center standing at 213 cm and weighing 113.4 kg...

, and a revamp of the roster for the 2006–07 season
2006–07 Toronto Raptors season
The Toronto Raptors 2006–07 season is the twelfth National Basketball Association season for the Toronto Raptors basketball franchise. Following a poor 2005–06 season, General Manager Bryan Colangelo greatly revamped the team roster during the pre-season but continued to build the team around...

, they qualified for their first playoff berth in five years
2007 NBA Playoffs
The 2007 NBA Playoffs was the postseason to the National Basketball Association's 2006–2007 season.There were four rounds of postseason action, all of them in a best-of-seven format, with teams seeded on a bracket. The team with the better record wasn't necessarily the basis of seeding teams in...

 and captured the Atlantic Division title with 47 wins. In the 2007–08 season
2007–08 Toronto Raptors season
The 2007–08 Toronto Raptors season was the 13th National Basketball Association season for the Toronto Raptors basketball franchise, with the 2007–08 season scheduled to begin in October 2007...

, they advanced to the playoffs again but failed to make the playoffs in the following 2008-09 season
2008–09 Toronto Raptors season
The 2008–09 Toronto Raptors season is the 14th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association . Before the season began, six-time NBA All-Star and centre Jermaine O'Neal was acquired to complement Chris Bosh in the frontcourt. 17 games into the season, head coach Sam Mitchell was...

. In a bid to persuade Bosh to stay beyond the final year of his contract, the team had a roster overhaul in the 2009–10 season
2009–10 Toronto Raptors season
The 2009–10 Toronto Raptors season was the 15th season of the Canadian franchise in the National Basketball Association . The Raptors were the busiest team in preseason transactions, replacing the previous season's entire roster with the exception of Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, José Calderón,...

. However, Toronto's descent down the standings coinsiding with Bosh's injuries after the all star break meant a 2nd consecutive season of failing to make the playoffs. Bosh signed with the Miami Heat
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

 in July 2010, ushering in a new era for the franchise.

Creation of the Raptors


The Toronto Raptors were established on 30 September 1993, when the NBA, as part of its expansion into Canada, awarded its 28th franchise
Professional sports league organization
Professional sports leagues are organized in numerous ways. The two most significant types are a European model, characterised by a tiered structure using promotion and relegation to determine participation in a hierarchy of leagues or divisions and a North American model characterized by its use...

 to a group headed by Toronto businessman John Bitove
John Bitove
John I. Bitove, is a Canadian-Macedonian businessman and sportsman. He is the major shareholder and chairman of Scott's Real Estate Investment Trust and Sirius XM Canada. While controlling several public and private businesses, he has recently expanded into telecommunications with a company he...

 for a then record expansion fee of $125 million. The Raptors, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies
Vancouver Grizzlies
The Vancouver Grizzlies were a professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's...

, played their first game in 1995, and were the first NBA teams based in Canada since the 1946–47 Toronto Huskies
Toronto Huskies
The Toronto Huskies were a team in the Basketball Association of America during the 1946–47 season, based in Toronto, Ontario...

.

Initial sentiment was in favour of reviving the Huskies nickname, but team management realized it would be nearly impossible to design a logo that did not substantially resemble that of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Founded in 1989, the team is currently owned by Glen Taylor...

. As a result, a nationwide contest was held to help name the team and develop their colours and logo. Over 2,000 entries were narrowed down to ten prospects: Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas, and Terriers. The final selection—Toronto Raptors—was unveiled on Canadian national television on 15 May 1994; the choice was influenced by the popularity of the 1993 film Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park (film)
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. It stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Martin Ferrero, and Bob Peck...

. The name Raptors is a common informal name for the velociraptor
Velociraptor
Velociraptor is a genus of dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur that existed approximately 75 to 71 million years ago during the later part of the Cretaceous Period. Two species are currently recognized, although others have been assigned in the past. The type species is V. mongoliensis; fossils...

, a swift medium-sized dromaeosaurid
Dromaeosauridae
Dromaeosauridae is a family of bird-like theropod dinosaurs. They were small- to medium-sized feathered carnivores that flourished in the Cretaceous Period. The name Dromaeosauridae means 'running lizards', from Greek dromeus meaning 'runner' and sauros meaning 'lizard'...

 theropod
Theropoda
Theropoda is both a suborder of bipedal saurischian dinosaurs, and a clade consisting of that suborder and its descendants . Dinosaurs belonging to the suborder theropoda were primarily carnivorous, although a number of theropod groups evolved herbivory, omnivory, and insectivory...

 dinosaur. On 24 May 1994, the team's logo and first General Manager
General manager
General manager is a descriptive term for certain executives in a business operation. It is also a formal title held by some business executives, most commonly in the hospitality industry.-Generic usage:...

, Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas
Isiah Lord Thomas III , nicknamed "Zeke",is the men's basketball coach for the FIU Golden Panthers, and a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association from 1981 until 1994. He led the "Bad Boys" to the NBA...

 were revealed at a press conference. The team's colours of bright red, purple, black, and silver were also revealed; "Naismith" silver was chosen as an ode to Canadian James Naismith
James Naismith
The first game of "Basket Ball" was played in December 1891. In a handwritten report, Naismith described the circumstances of the inaugural match; in contrast to modern basketball, the players played nine versus nine, handled a soccer ball, not a basketball, and instead of shooting at two hoops,...

, the inventor of basketball. The team originally competed in the Central Division
Central Division (NBA)
The Central Division is one of the three divisions in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . The division consists of five teams, the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Detroit Pistons, the Indiana Pacers and the Milwaukee Bucks...

, and before the inaugural season began, sales of Raptors merchandise ranked seventh in the league, marking a successful return of professional basketball to Canada.

As General Manager, Isiah Thomas quickly staffed the management positions with his own personnel, naming long-time Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are a franchise of the National Basketball Association based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The team's home arena is The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was originally founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons as a member of the National Basketball League in 1941, where...

 assistant Brendan Malone
Brendan Malone
Brendan Malone is an American professional basketball coach in the NBA. He was named as the first head coach of the Toronto Raptors, one of two 1995 NBA expansion teams in Canada. An alumnus of Iona College, Malone was appointed the job by the Raptors' general manager of the time, Isiah Thomas...

 as the Raptors' head coach. The team's roster was then filled as a result of an expansion draft in 1995
1995 NBA Expansion Draft
The 1995 NBA Expansion Draft was the tenth expansion draft of the National Basketball Association . The draft was held on June 24, 1995, so that the newly founded Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies could acquire players for the upcoming . Toronto was awarded an expansion team on September...

. Following a coin flip
Coin flipping
Coin flipping or coin tossing or heads or tails is the practice of throwing a coin in the air to choose between two alternatives, sometimes to resolve a dispute between two parties...

, Toronto was given first choice and selected Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

 point guard
Point guard
Point guard , also called the play maker or "the ball-handler", is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, he is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that...

 and three-point
Three-point field goal
A three-point field goal is a field goal in a basketball game, made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc radiating from the basket...

 specialist B. J. Armstrong
B. J. Armstrong
Benjamin Roy "B. J." Armstrong, Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player. As a starting point guard, he was an integral part of the NBA's Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s....

. Armstrong refused to report for training and Thomas promptly traded him to the Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 for power forwards
Power forward (basketball)
Power forward is a position in the sport of basketball. The position is referred to in playbook terms as the four position and is commonly abbreviated "PF". It has also been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center in what is called the "post" or "low...

 Carlos Rogers
Carlos Rogers (basketball)
Carlos Deon Rogers is a retired American professional basketball player who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round of the 1994 NBA Draft....

 and Victor Alexander
Victor Alexander
Victor Joe Alexander is a retired American professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round of the 1991 NBA Draft after playing collegiately at Iowa State University...

. Thomas then selected a wide range of players in the expansion draft, including veterans Jerome Kersey
Jerome Kersey
Jerome Kersey is a retired American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association for a number of teams, but most notably for the Portland Trail Blazers. He also has served in various coaching roles in the NBA. Kersey is currently a resident of Happy Valley, Oregon in...

, Willie Anderson
Willie Anderson (basketball)
Willie Lloyd Anderson, Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association....

 and his former Pistons teammate John "Spider" Salley
John Salley
John Thomas "Spider" Salley is a retired American professional basketball player, actor and talk show host. He was the first player in NBA history to play on three different championship-winning franchises....

.

Subsequent to the expansion draft, the Raptors landed the seventh pick in the NBA Draft Lottery
NBA Draft Lottery
The NBA Draft Lottery is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association in which the teams who had missed the playoffs in the previous season, or teams who hold the draft rights of another team that missed the playoffs in the previous season, participate in a lottery process to...

, behind their fellow 1995 expansion club, the Vancouver Grizzlies. Thomas selected Damon Stoudamire
Damon Stoudamire
Damon Lamon Stoudamire is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. The , point guard was selected with the 7th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1995 NBA Draft and won the 1995–96 NBA Rookie of the...

, a point guard out of the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

, around whom the franchise would seek to construct its near future. Yet the selection of Stoudamire was met with boos from fans at the 1995 NBA Draft
1995 NBA Draft
The 1995 NBA Draft took place on June 28, 1995 at SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It marked the first NBA draft for the two Canadian expansion teams, Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies...

 at SkyDome
Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium, in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower, near the shores of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League...

 in Toronto, many of whom wanted Ed O'Bannon
Ed O'Bannon
Edward Charles O'Bannon, Jr. is a retired American basketball player, who was a power forward for the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team on their 1995 NCAA championship team, where he was known as "Ed-O"...

 of UCLA
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

, an NCAA Final Four
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 Most Valuable Player
Most Valuable Player
In sports, a Most Valuable Player award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests...

.

1995–1999: Struggles of a new franchise


In the team's first official NBA game, Alvin Robertson
Alvin Robertson
Alvin Cyrrale Robertson is a retired American basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association from 1984 to 1993, and for one final season in 1995–96.-Career:...

 scored the first NBA points in Raptors history, while Stoudamire recorded 10 points and 10 assists in a 94–79 victory over the New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. The Raptors concluded their inaugural season with a 21–61 win–loss record, although they were one of the few teams to defeat the Chicago Bulls, who set an all-time NBA best 72–10 win–loss regular season record. With averages of 19.0 points
Point (basketball)
Points in basketball are used to keep track of the score in a game. Points can be accumulated by making field goals or free throws ....

 and 9.3 assists
Assist (basketball)
In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist...

 per game, Stoudamire also won the 1995–96 Rookie of the Year Award
NBA Rookie of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Rookie of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1952–53 NBA season, to the top rookie of the regular season. The winner receives the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, which is named in honor of the Philadelphia Warriors head...

.

In the 1996–97 season the team improved on its win record by nine games. They selected centre
Center (basketball)
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

 Marcus Camby
Marcus Camby
Marcus D. Camby is an American professional basketball player, who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. He is a former Defensive Player of the Year during the 2006–07 NBA season, leading the league in blocked shots per game...

 with the second overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft
1996 NBA Draft
The 1996 NBA Draft was the 50th draft in the National Basketball Association . It was held on June 26, 1996 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The draft was broadcast in the United States on the Turner Network Television...

. By the end of the season, Camby earned a berth on the NBA's All-Rookie Team while Stoudamire continued to play well, averaging 20.2 points and 8.8 assists per game. As in the previous season, the Raptors were one of only 11 teams to topple the eventual 1997 Champions, the Chicago Bulls. The Raptors also defeated the Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being...

, Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are currently a part of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 and Miami Heat
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

, all of whom were eventual Conference finalists. However, the Raptors struggled against teams who were not of championship calibre, including three losses to the 15–67 Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

.

Early in the 1997–98 season John Bitove
John Bitove
John I. Bitove, is a Canadian-Macedonian businessman and sportsman. He is the major shareholder and chairman of Scott's Real Estate Investment Trust and Sirius XM Canada. While controlling several public and private businesses, he has recently expanded into telecommunications with a company he...

 sold his ownership interest in the team and the team suffered numerous injuries and slid into a 17-game losing streak. Isiah Thomas resigned after his ownership bid for the Raptors failed and was replaced by Glen Grunwald
Glen Grunwald
Glen Grunwald is currently the senior vice president for basketball operations of the New York Knicks of the NBA. He is best known as the former general manager of the Toronto Raptors, a role he filled from March 1998 until April 2004....

. With Thomas gone, Stoudamire immediately sought a trade. On 13 February 1998, he was shipped to the Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The Trail Blazers originally played their home games in the...

 along with Walt Williams
Walt Williams
Walter Ander Williams is a retired American professional basketball player. A sharpshooting 6'8" forward/guard, Williams attended school at the University of Maryland from 1988 to 1992, and is credited by many for resurrecting the school's basketball program which was going through very...

 and Carlos Rogers
Carlos Rogers (basketball)
Carlos Deon Rogers is a retired American professional basketball player who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round of the 1994 NBA Draft....

 for Kenny Anderson
Kenny Anderson
Kenneth "Kenny" Anderson is a retired American basketball player. After a college career at Georgia Institute of Technology, he played point guard professionally from 1991 to 2006, mostly in the National Basketball Association....

, Alvin Williams
Alvin Williams
Alvin Leon Williams is a retired American professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association, and current Director of Player Development of the Toronto Raptors.-Basketball career:...

, Gary Trent
Gary Trent
Gary Dajaun Trent is an American retired professional basketball player.Trent played his high school basketball at Hamilton Township High School in Columbus, Ohio...

, two first-round draft choices, a second-round draft choice and cash. Anderson refused to report to Toronto and was traded to the Celtics with Žan Tabak
Žan Tabak
Žan Tabak is a retired Croatian professional basketball player. His basketball career, spanning twenty years, was marked by several notable achievements, despite injuries....

 and Popeye Jones
Popeye Jones
Ronald Jerome "Popeye" Jones is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA. He is now an assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets....

 for Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Ray Billups is an American professional basketball point guard for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association . He has also played for Team USA. Billups won the NBA Finals MVP in 2004, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals, and was given the...

, Dee Brown, Roy Rogers
Roy Rogers (basketball)
Roy Rogers, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who formerly played in the NBA.Rogers, a 6' 9" power forward from the University of Alabama, was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He appeared in 137 NBA games between 1996 and 2000,...

 and John Thomas
John Thomas (basketball)
John Thomas is an American professional basketball player who most recently played for Hapoel Holon in the Israeli Super League...

. When the trading deadline was over, the Raptors became the youngest team in the league with an average age of 24.6. They had five rookies on their roster, including the 18-year-old Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady
Tracy Lamar McGrady, Jr., is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Detroit Pistons.Entering the league after graduating from high school, McGrady eventually became a seven-time All-Star. He led the league in scoring in 2003 and 2004. He has also played for the Toronto...

, who at the time was the youngest player in the NBA. The inexperienced Raptors struggled throughout the season and their regular season record regressed to 16–66.

On 12 March 1998, Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd., the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

, purchased the Raptors and the arena the team was building, Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
The Air Canada Centre is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar ....

, for $467 million. During the 1998 NBA Draft
1998 NBA Draft
The 1998 NBA Draft took place on June 24, 1998 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This draft helped turn around three struggling franchises: the Dallas Mavericks, the Sacramento Kings, and the Toronto Raptors....

, in what became a defining move for the franchise, Grunwald traded the team's 4th overall pick Antawn Jamison
Antawn Jamison
Antawn Cortez Jamison is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association . He currently plays power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was a member of the USA National Team for the 2006 FIBA World Championships...

 to the Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 for Vince Carter
Vince Carter
Vincent Lamar "Vince" Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He is a shooting guard who can also play small forward....

, who was selected 5th overall. To bring further credibility to the Raptors, Grunwald traded Camby to the New York Knicks
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 for Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley is a retired American professional basketball player and is currently an assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association...

, a veteran with playoff
NBA Playoffs
The National Basketball Association Playoffs is a best-of-seven elimination tournament among sixteen teams in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference , ultimately deciding the final four teams who will play in the NBA Conference Finals.-Format:Following the NBA regular season, eight teams in...

 experience. Kevin Willis
Kevin Willis
Kevin Alvin Willis is a former American professional basketball player who last played for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA. He is a 7-foot power forward/center...

, another veteran acquired from the trade, solidified the centre position, while the coaching staff temporarily rotated Brown, Williams and Doug Christie
Doug Christie (basketball)
Douglas Dale Christie is a retired American basketball player.-Early life:Christie is the son of John Malone and Norma Christie...

 to play point guard. Both Christie and Williams became talented players in their own right; Christie developed into one of the elite defenders in the NBA, while Williams improved his play on the offensive end. New coach Butch Carter
Butch Carter
Clarence Eugene "Butch" Carter is a retired American basketball player and coach of the NBA...

 was also credited with much of the team's turnaround during the lockout shortened 1998–99 season. Although the team did not make the playoffs
1999 NBA Playoffs
The 1999 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1998-99 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs by defeating the eighth-seeded Eastern Conference champion New York Knicks four games to one...

, many were optimistic with the impressive performances of Rookie of the Year Carter and a much improved McGrady.

1999–2002: Three seasons of attendance records and playoffs


During the 1999 NBA Draft
1999 NBA Draft
The 1999 NBA Draft was held on June 30, 1999 at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. It was the first draft in which four players from the same college were picked in the first round, with Elton Brand , Trajan Langdon , Corey Maggette and William Avery being selected out of Duke University...

, believing that the Raptors still lacked a strong frontcourt
Frontcourt
Frontcourt is a term used in basketball referring to the small forward, power forward, and center positions as a cohesive unit....

 presence, Grunwald traded first-round draft pick Jonathan Bender
Jonathan Bender
Jonathan Rene Bender is an American professional basketball player who most recently played for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association .-Career:...

 for veteran power forward Antonio Davis
Antonio Davis
Antonio Lee Davis is a retired American National Basketball Association player. Davis is also the former president of the NBA Players Association .-College career:...

 of the Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

. In the backcourt, Carter, Christie, Williams and Dell Curry
Dell Curry
Wardell Stephen "Dell" Curry is a retired American professional basketball player at the shooting guard and the small forward positions who received his education from Fort Defiance High School in Virginia and Virginia Tech. He then played in the National Basketball Association from 1986 until 2002...

 played at the shooting guard
Shooting guard
The shooting guard , also known as the two or off guard, is one of five traditional positions on a basketball team. Players of the position are often shorter, leaner, and quicker than forwards. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team...

 position and Muggsy Bogues
Muggsy Bogues
Tyrone Curtis "Muggsy" Bogues is a retired American professional basketball player and former head coach of the now-defunct Charlotte Sting of the Women's National Basketball Association . The shortest player ever to play in the NBA, the Bogues played point guard for four teams during his...

 at point guard. The rotation of Davis, Oakley and Willis in the frontcourt and Carter's and McGrady's improvement helped the team make its first ever playoff
2000 NBA Playoffs
The 2000 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1999–2000 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers win their first championship in twelve years by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Indiana Pacers...

 appearance, fulfilling a promise Carter had made to fans in the previous season. Lacking significant post-season experience, Toronto was defeated 3–0 by the New York Knicks
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 in the first round. Nonetheless, team improvements and the rise of Carter—who emphatically won the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest—attracted many fans around Toronto, many of whom were previously not basketball fans. The season was also the first full year played at the Air Canada Centre
Air Canada Centre
The Air Canada Centre is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar ....

, after having played four years at the cavernous SkyDome
Rogers Centre
Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium, in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower, near the shores of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League...

, which was better suited to baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 and Canadian football
Canadian football
Canadian football is a form of gridiron football played exclusively in Canada in which two teams of 12 players each compete for territorial control of a field of play long and wide attempting to advance a pointed prolate spheroid ball into the opposing team's scoring area...

. Overall, the Raptors concluded the season with a 45–37 record.
Still, playoff failures and Butch Carter's media altercations surrounding Camby led Grunwald to replace Carter prior to the 2000–01 season with Lenny Wilkens
Lenny Wilkens
Leonard Randolph "Lenny" Wilkens is a retired American basketball player and coach in the NBA...

, a Hall of Fame coach and player with more than 30 years of coaching experience. The team roster was also largely revamped, including the signing of veteran playmaker Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson (basketball)
Mark A. Jackson is a retired American professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He played point guard for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets in the NBA in a career...

 on a four year contract. When Alvin Williams later emerged as a clutch performer, Jackson was traded to allow Williams more playing time. Carter, who was originally assigned the small forward
Small forward
The small forward, or colloquially known as three, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically somewhat shorter, quicker, and leaner than power forwards and centers, but on occasion are just as tall...

 position, became more adept at playing the shooting guard position, and as a result, Christie, the former shooting guard, was traded for forward Corliss Williamson. Williamson had a disappointing season and was replaced by defensive workhorse Jerome Williams
Jerome Williams
Jerome Williams is a former professional basketball player in the NBA, who last played for the New York Knicks. He was a star player on the Magruder High School basketball team...

. In the 2000 off-season, free agent McGrady opted to leave the Raptors in a sign-and-trade deal worth $67.5m over six years, while giving a conditional draft pick as part of the agreement to the Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association and are currently coached by Stan Van Gundy...

 for a first-round draft pick in a sign-and-trade deal.

As predicted by analysts, the team easily secured a berth in the 2001 NBA playoffs
2001 NBA Playoffs
The 2001 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2000–01 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers winning their second consecutive championship by defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers...

 with a franchise high 47 wins. The Raptors then defeated New York 3–2, advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the first time in franchise history. Wilkens was praised for having Williams defend shooting guard Allan Houston
Allan Houston
Allan Wade Houston is a retired American professional basketball player for the NBA, and currently the Assistant General Manager for the New York Knicks. He was one of the top 3-point shooters in the NBA until a knee injury forced him to retire...

 and Carter defend small forward Latrell Sprewell
Latrell Sprewell
Latrell Fontaine Sprewell is a former American professional basketball player. During his time as a professional, Sprewell was named to the NBA All-Star game during four seasons, and played for the Golden State Warriors, the New York Knicks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves...

, the two major Knicks offensive threats. The series with Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

 was a landmark for the Raptors in terms of performance and entertainment value. The Sixers relied on Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson
Allen Ezail Iverson is an American professional basketball point guard and shooting guard. He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the number one pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 1996–97 season...

 and Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo , commonly referred to as Dikembe Mutombo, is a retired Congolese American professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the NBA...

 for their respective offensive and defensive abilities, along with steady help from Aaron McKie
Aaron McKie
Aaron Fitzgerald McKie is an American former professional basketball player in the NBA and currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers...

. Toronto was the more balanced team with Carter, Alvin Williams and Davis providing much of the offensive game and Chris Childs
Chris Childs (basketball)
Chris Childs is a retired American professional basketball player, who played primarily at the guard position....

 and Jerome Williams providing the defensive pressure. Philadelphia took full advantage of the mismatch at centre while Toronto counteracted with a fast break offence with their shorter but quicker players. The series came down to the last few seconds of Game 7, when Carter's potential series-winning shot rolled off the rim. Carter was later widely criticized for attending his graduation ceremony at the University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina
Chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina was one of the first public universities in the United States and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century...

 on the morning of Game 7. Despite the loss, the season is generally considered a watermark for the franchise, given the Raptors' franchise high of 47 wins.

The relocation of the Vancouver Grizzlies
Vancouver Grizzlies
The Vancouver Grizzlies were a professional basketball team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They were part of the Midwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1995, along with the Toronto Raptors, as part of the NBA's...

 to Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 in 2001, as the Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA's...

, left Toronto as the NBA's only Canadian team. To ensure that Carter would re-sign with the team, long-term contracts were given to Alvin Williams, Jerome Williams and Davis, while former NBA MVP
NBA Most Valuable Player Award
The National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1955–56 NBA season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement...

 centre
Center (basketball)
The center, colloquially known as the five or the post, is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well...

 Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon is a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008,...

 was signed to provide Carter with good support. The Raptors appeared to be on their way to another competitive season, with a 29–21 record going into the All-Star break
NBA All-Star Weekend
The National Basketball Association holds an All-Star Weekend every February, the festival has a variety of basketball-related events, exhibitions, and performances culminating in the NBA All-Star Game held on Sunday night.-The All-Star Game:...

 and with Carter the top vote-getter for the All-Star game for the third consecutive year. Carter then suffered a bout of patellar tendinitis (also known as "jumper's knee") forcing him to miss the All-Star game and the rest of the season, and without their franchise player, Toronto lost 13 consecutive games. However, they were able to win 12 of their last 14 games, clinching a playoff
2002 NBA Playoffs
The 2002 NBA Playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2001–02 season. This would be the final postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series; next year's postseason would see those series expanded to a best-of-7 format...

 spot on the last day of the regular season. The comeback featured some of the Raptors' best defence of the season, along with inspired performances by Davis and Keon Clark
Keon Clark
Arian Keon Clark is a former American National Basketball Association player.After a collegiate career at two different junior colleges and UNLV, Clark was selected 13th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1998 NBA Draft but was traded to the Denver Nuggets...

.

Despite Toronto's improved defensive performances, Carter's offence was sorely missed in the first-round series against the second-seeded Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are a franchise of the National Basketball Association based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The team's home arena is The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was originally founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons as a member of the National Basketball League in 1941, where...

. In the first game, Detroit overwhelmed Toronto 83–65, largely due to Ben Wallace
Ben Wallace
Ben Camey Wallace is an American basketball center for the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. A native of Alabama, Wallace attended Cuyahoga Community College and Virginia Union University and signed with the Washington Bullets as an undrafted free agent in 1996...

's strong performance of 19 points, 20 rebounds
Rebound (basketball)
A rebound in basketball is the act of successfully gaining possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as all possessions change after a shot is successfully made...

, 3 blocks
Block (basketball)
In basketball, a block , not to be confused with blocking, occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player. The defender must not touch the offensive player's hands or otherwise a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot...

 and 3 steals
Steal (basketball)
In basketball, a steal occurs when a defensive player legally causes a turnover by his positive, aggressive action. This can be done by deflecting and controlling, catching, or batting to a teammate a pass or dribble of an offensive player...

. Detroit also won Game 2, but Toronto won the next two games at home to force a deciding and tightly contested Game 5 in Detroit. With 10.7 seconds left in the game, and the Raptors down 85–82 with possession of the ball, Childs raced down the court and shot a three-pointer that missed badly, apparently trying to draw a foul on the play, instead of passing to a wide-open Curry. In a post-game locker room interview, Childs repeatedly insisted that the Raptors had been down four points, not three. The Raptors' late-season surge was thus marred by a disappointing playoff exit; the Olajuwon experiment was also a bust, with the 39-year-old averaging career lows in minutes, points and rebounds. Furthermore, Childs, Clark, and Curry left the team, ensuring a new-look team for the next season.

2002–2006: Another period of struggle


The 2002–03 season began with the same optimism that the Raptors exhibited in three consecutive playoff seasons, although it faded early. Carter, while voted as a starter in the 2003 All-Star Game
2003 NBA All-Star Game
The 2003 NBA All-Star Game was the 52nd edition of the All-Star Game. The event was held at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. This was the last All-Star game to be hosted in an Eastern Conference arena until 2012.-Voting:...

, suffered a knee injury, while Davis expressed disinterest in Toronto, and Wilkens' laissez-faire attitude created a team that lacked the motivation and spirit of the previous years' teams. The team was ravaged with injuries, losing an NBA record number of player games due to injury. Furthermore, the Raptors recorded the dubious honour of being the only team in NBA history to not dress 12 players for a single game in a season. Wilkens was criticized heavily by the Toronto media for his inability to clamp down on his players when necessary, especially given this was the year that Wilkens overtook Bill Fitch for the most losses by an NBA coach, with his loss total getting dangerously close to his win total. The Raptors ended the season with a 24–58 record and Wilkens was fired. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, when the Raptors were given the 4th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft
2003 NBA Draft
The 2003 NBA Draft was held on June 26, 2003 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and...

 and brought another star to Toronto in Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh
Christopher Wesson Bosh is an American professional basketball player who plays power forward for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association ....

.


Canadian country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 singer Shania Twain
Shania Twain
Shania Twain, OC is a Canadian country pop singer-songwriter. Her album The Woman in Me , brought her fame and her 1997 album Come On Over, became the best-selling album of all time by a female musician in any genre, and the best-selling country album of all time. It has sold over 40 million...

 helped launch the new red Raptors alternate road uniform at the start of the 2003–04 season, and the jerseys made their debut in a 90–87 season-opening victory on 29 October 2003 against the defending Conference Champion New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

. Davis and Jerome Williams were traded early in the season for Jalen Rose
Jalen Rose
Jalen Anthony Rose is a retired American professional basketball player, who currently works as a sports analyst for the sports television network ESPN...

 and Donyell Marshall
Donyell Marshall
Donyell Lamar Marshall is a retired American professional basketball player, at the small forward and power forward positions. During his extensive NBA career, he played with eight different teams...

. After 50 games, Toronto was 25–25 and in a position to make the playoffs
2004 NBA Playoffs
The 2004 NBA Playoffs were the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2003–04 season. Consisting of 16 teams in two conferences, the playoffs involved about two months of play. The playoffs were conducted in seven-game series, with the team with the better record holding home court...

, but injuries to key players sent the Raptors plummeting down the standings. Rose, Carter, and Alvin Williams all suffered injuries as the Raptors struggled to a record of 8–24 in their remaining games. The notable individual season performances were Carter's 22.5 ppg
Points per game
Points per game, often abbreviated PPG, is the average number of points scored by a player per game played in a sport, over the course of a series of games, a whole season, or a career. It is calculated by dividing the total number of points by number of games. The terminology is often used in...

, Marshall's 10.7 rpg
Rebound (sports)
Rebound is a term used in sports to describe the ball becoming available for possession by either opponent after an attempt to put the ball or puck into the goal has been unsuccessful...

 and rookie Bosh, a 6–10 forward-centre who averaged 11.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. Williams' knee injury turned out to be career-ending.


For the 2004–05 season, the team moved into the Atlantic Division
Atlantic Division (NBA)
The Atlantic Division is one of the three divisions in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . The division consists of five teams, the Boston Celtics, the New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors...

 and the Raptors decided to revamp the team. Raptors President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Richard Peddie fired Grunwald on 1 April 2004, after the team ended the season three games short of the eighth and final playoff spot in the previous season. Head coach Kevin O'Neill
Kevin O'Neill (basketball)
Kevin O'Neill is an American head coach of the USC Trojans basketball team. His personal webpage is www.coachkohoops.com O'Neill was born in Malone, New York and attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada...

 and his four assistant coaches were also dismissed immediately after Grunwald's termination. Toronto interim manager Jack McCloskey said: "While the blame for that certainly does not rest on O'Neill and his staff alone, we need a change." Rob Babcock
Rob Babcock
Rob Babcock is an assistant general manager with the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA. He is most notably remembered as the former general manager of the Toronto Raptors. Brothers Pete and Dave are also employed by the NBA....

 was named General Manager on 7 June 2004, alongside the appointments of Wayne Embry
Wayne Embry
Wayne Richard Embry is a retired American basketball player; a center/forward whose 11-year career spanned from 1959 to 1969...

 as senior advisor and Alex English
Alex English
Alexander English is a retired American basketball player and former assistant coach of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association who played at the forward position...

 as director of player development. Sam Mitchell
Sam Mitchell (basketball)
Samuel "Sam" E. Mitchell, Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player and a former head coach in the National Basketball Association . He is currently an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets....

, a former NBA forward and assistant coach of the Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

 was hired as new head coach of the Raptors.

Babcock's first move as GM was drafting centre Rafael Araújo—selected eighth overall—in the 2004 NBA Draft
2004 NBA Draft
The 2004 NBA Draft was held on June 24, 2004 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York and was broadcast live on ESPN at 7:00 pm . In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible...

, in a move that was criticized by fans and analysts, considering highly touted swingman Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala
Andre Tyler Iguodala is an American professional basketball player who plays small forward for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association . Iguodala is listed at 6 ft 6 in and 207 lbs. . Iguodala played his high school basketball for Lanphier High School in Springfield, Illinois...

 was drafted with the next pick. Babcock signed point guard Rafer Alston
Rafer Alston
Rafer Jamel Alston is an American former professional basketball player who last played with Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association. He previously played for six NBA teams...

 to a 5-year deal. After Vince Carter's annual charity game, Babcock implicitly revealed to the media that Carter's agent had asked for a trade confirming Carter was discontent. The Toronto Sun
Toronto Sun
The Toronto Sun is an English-language daily tabloid newspaper published in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is known for its daily Sunshine Girl feature and for what it sees as a populist conservative editorial stance.-History:...

reported that Carter felt he was being misled by the Raptor's hierarchy during the General Manager search and had concluded that as long as the managerial structure at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. remained intact, the Raptors would never be an elite team. Carter was finally traded mid-season, ending his six-year tenure. Toronto received Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Harding Mourning, Jr. is a former American professional basketball player, who played most of his 15-year NBA career for the Miami Heat....

, forwards Eric Williams and Aaron Williams
Aaron Williams
Aaron Williams is an American former professional basketball player. He played at the power forward and center positions.-Basketball career:...

 and two mid-to-late future first round picks from the New Jersey Nets. Mourning chose not to report to Toronto, forcing Babcock to buy out the remainder of his contract at a reported $10 million, leaving him free to sign with the Miami Heat
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

. Eric and Aaron Williams were supposed to add defensive toughness and rebounding, but were generally under-utilized for the entire season. Analysts had predicted Babcock got the bad end of the deal, and the trade eventually cost him his job.

Carter's departure heralded a new era for Toronto. Bosh stepped up to the role of franchise player and performed well in his sophomore campaign, ranking tenth in the league in defensive rebounds. In contrast to Bosh's emergence, Araújo struggled to keep a spot in the line-up, and became unpopular with fans and local media. Although the ACC was often well-attended due to the Raptors' 22–19 home record, their inability to win on the road (11–30) and poor defensive record made Mitchell's first year as head coach unimpressive. Additionally, Mitchell had problems dealing with Alston, who openly expressed his unhappiness with Mitchell in a post-game interview. Later in the season, Alston was suspended two games for "conduct detrimental to the team" for reportedly walking out of a scrimmage during practice. Notwithstanding the unrest, in their first season competing in the Atlantic Division, Toronto maintained the same regular season record of 33–49 as the previous season.

The Raptors continued to rebuild during the 2005 NBA Draft
2005 NBA Draft
The 2005 NBA Draft took place on June 28, 2005 in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In this draft, NBA teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and non-North American leagues...

, selecting Charlie Villanueva
Charlie Villanueva
Charlie Alexander Villanueva is an American basketball player who currently plays for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association....

, Joey Graham
Joey Graham
Joseph "Joey" Graham is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.-College career:Graham played at Central Florida from 2000 to 2002, and at Oklahoma State from 2003 to 2005...

, Roko Ukić and Uroš Slokar
Uroš Slokar
Uroš Slokar is a Slovenian professional basketball player, formerly of the NBA's Toronto Raptors.-Pro career:After playing two seasons in the Slovenian basketball league, Slokar moved to Italy's Serie A in 2003, where he represented Benneton Treviso and Pallalcesto Amatori Udine...

, with Villanueva's selection being very controversial amongst basketball pundits and Raptors fans alike. The Raptors started their training camp by trading Alston to the Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was established in 1967, and played in San Diego, California for four years, before being...

 for Mike James
Mike James
Michael Lamont James is an American professional basketball player.-Early years:The youngest of seven siblings, James's childhood was not without challenges. Crime, drugs, and violence troubled his neighborhood streets. Lack of social and economic opportunity made urban living grueling and...

, and signing free agent José Calderón
José Calderón (basketball)
José Manuel Calderón Borrallo is a Spanish professional basketball player who plays for the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors and the Spanish national team.-European career:...

 as a back-up for James. Despite the infusion of new players, Toronto's overall 2005–06 season was a disappointment; they set a franchise record by losing their first nine games and 15 out of their first 16 games. With losses mounting and media scrutiny intensifying, the Raptors hired legendary ex-Purdue
Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

 coach Gene Keady
Gene Keady
Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Keady is a basketball coach. Currently an assistant coach at St. John's, he is most notable for being the head basketball coach at Purdue University for 25 years, from 1980 to 2005.-Kansas State :...

 as an assistant off the bench to help develop the young Raptors team, as well as establish a defensive persona for the team. On 15 January 2006, the Raptors set a franchise points record in a 129–103 win over the Knicks when Villanueva hit a three-pointer late in the game, but less than a week later, the Raptors gave up an 18-point lead against the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association...

, and allowed Lakers star Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association . Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school...

 to score 81 points, the second highest single-game total in NBA history. With media scrutiny intensifying once more and the Raptors entrenched at the bottom of the league in defensive field goal percentage
Field goal percentage
Field goal percentage in basketball is the ratio of field goals made to field goals attempted. Its abbreviation is FG%. Three-point field goals are included in this percentage. Instead of using scales of 0 to 100%, the scale .000 to 1.000 is commonly used. A higher field goal percentage denotes...

, Toronto fired Babcock.


The 2005–06 season was not a total disaster. Villanueva's play impressed both fans and former critics as he came in second in NBA Rookie of the Year
NBA Rookie of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Rookie of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1952–53 NBA season, to the top rookie of the regular season. The winner receives the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, which is named in honor of the Philadelphia Warriors head...

 and recorded 48 points in an overtime
Overtime (sports)
Overtime or extra time is an additional period of play specified under the rules of a sport to bring a game to a decision and avoid declaring the match a tie or draw. In most sports, this extra period is only played if the game is required to have a clear winner, as in single-elimination...

 loss to Milwaukee Bucks, the most points scored by any rookie in franchise history and the most by a rookie in the NBA since 1997. Bosh was also named a reserve forward for the Eastern All-Star Team in the 2006 game
2006 NBA All-Star Game
The 2006 NBA All-Star Game was played on Sunday, February 19, 2006 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, home of the Houston Rockets. The game was the 55th annual All-Star game...

, becoming the third Raptor after Vince Carter and Antonio Davis to appear in an All-Star Game. On 27 February 2006, the team named Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo
Bryan Colangelo is the President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. He is the son of Phoenix sports mogul, Jerry Colangelo. He attended Cornell University. He was the 2005 and 2007 recipient of the NBA Executive of the Year Award.-Phoenix:Bryan began his NBA front-office career...

, the 2004–05 NBA Executive of the Year
NBA Executive of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Executive of the Year Award is an annual award given since the 1972–73 NBA season, to the league's best general managers. Before 2009, the Executive of the Year is presented annually by Sporting News, although it is officially recognized by the NBA. Since then,...

, the President and General Manager of the Raptors. Known for his success in transforming a lottery Phoenix team into a 62-win offensive juggernaut, his hiring gave hope to many fans. Still, Toronto ended the season weakly when Bosh suffered a season-ending thumb injury. The Raptors lost 10 in a row after Bosh's injury and finished the season with the fifth worst record (27–55) in the NBA.

2006–present: The Colangelo era


The 2006–07 season represented a watershed year for the Raptors franchise. The roster was overhauled, including the selection of 2006 NBA Draft
2006 NBA Draft
The 2006 NBA Draft was held on June 28, 2006 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players,...

 number one pick Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani
Andrea Bargnani , nicknamed "Il Mago" , is an Italian professional basketball player with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. He was selected first overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. He is a power forward/center standing at 213 cm and weighing 113.4 kg...

, the acquisition of point guard T. J. Ford
T. J. Ford
Terrance Jerod "T. J." Ford is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for KK Zagreb. Having been awarded numerous top basketball accolades in high school and college, Ford entered the 2003 NBA Draft and was selected eighth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks...

 in exchange for Villanueva, and the signing of shooting guard Anthony Parker
Anthony Parker
Anthony Michael Parker is an American professional basketball player who last played with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association . After graduating from Bradley University with a major in liberal arts, he entered the 1997 NBA Draft and played briefly in the NBA before...

 and small forward Jorge Garbajosa
Jorge Garbajosa
Jorge Garbajosa Chaparro, Jr., nicknamed "Garbo" , is a Spanish professional basketball player. At 2.07 m , he plays both power forward and small forward.-Pro career:*1994-97 Taugres*1997-00 TAU Cerámica...

. Bosh was given a three-year contract extension, while Maurizio Gherardini
Maurizio Gherardini
Maurizio 'Mo' Gherardini is an Italian sportsman, currently vice president and an assistant general manager for the Toronto Raptors NBA club.-Gherardini changes basketball:...

 of Benetton Treviso
Pallacanestro Treviso
Pallacanestro Treviso, more often known by its sponsorship name of Benetton Basket, or Benetton Treviso, is an Italian Serie A League professional basketball club from Treviso, the headquarters city of its longtime owner Benetton Group...

 was hired as the club's vice-president and assistant general manager.

The first half of the season produced mixed results as Toronto struggled towards the .500 mark.After the All-Star break
NBA All-Star Weekend
The National Basketball Association holds an All-Star Weekend every February, the festival has a variety of basketball-related events, exhibitions, and performances culminating in the NBA All-Star Game held on Sunday night.-The All-Star Game:...

, Bargnani continued to work on his defence and shooting (averaging 14.3 points per game (ppg) and 3.9 rebounds per game (rpg) in 12 games for the month of February 2007), and he was selected as the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for the second straight time on 1 March 2007. Bargnani became the third Raptor ever to win the award twice, joining Vince Carter
Vince Carter
Vincent Lamar "Vince" Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He is a shooting guard who can also play small forward....

 and Damon Stoudamire
Damon Stoudamire
Damon Lamon Stoudamire is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an assistant coach for the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. The , point guard was selected with the 7th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1995 NBA Draft and won the 1995–96 NBA Rookie of the...

. Toronto ended the regular season with a 47–35 record, securing the third seed in the Eastern Conference for the 2007 NBA Playoffs
2007 NBA Playoffs
The 2007 NBA Playoffs was the postseason to the National Basketball Association's 2006–2007 season.There were four rounds of postseason action, all of them in a best-of-seven format, with teams seeded on a bracket. The team with the better record wasn't necessarily the basis of seeding teams in...

 along with the Atlantic Division title, as well as homecourt advantage for the first time in franchise history. Bosh was voted to start in the 2007 NBA All-Star Game
2007 NBA All-Star Game
The 2007 NBA All-Star Game was played on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas's Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. It was the 56th annual All-Star Game. It was the first time the All-Star Game was played in a city without an NBA franchise and...

. The Raptors were also praised for their improved defense, ball-sharing and tremendous team chemistry. Colangelo, Gherardini and Mitchell were credited with Toronto's turnaround this season, which was one of the best in NBA history in terms of league standing and defensive ranking. Mitchell was subsequently named the 2006–07 NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Coach of the Year is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1962–63 NBA season. The winner receives the Red Auerbach Trophy, which is named in honor of the head coach who led the Boston Celtics to nine NBA Championships from 1956 to 1966...

, the first coach in Raptors history to receive the honour, while Colangelo was named 2006–07 Executive of the Year. On 24 April 2007, the Raptors won their first playoff game in five seasons, with an 89–83 victory over the New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in Newark, New Jersey. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

, but lost the series 4–2. The series was notable for pitting ex-Raptor Vince Carter
Vince Carter
Vincent Lamar "Vince" Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns. He is a shooting guard who can also play small forward....

, who was traded to the Nets in 2004 after an acromonious split, against his former team. The Nets took home court advantage in Game 1, holding off a late Raptors rally in the fourth quarter. The Raptors pulled away in another tight game to even the series at one game apiece. When the series shifted to New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, the Nets took charge of the series, winning games 3 and 4 in routs. New Jersey had a chance to win the series in game 5 in Toronto, but the Raptors took a 20-point lead after one quarter. Still, New Jersey managed to chip away, and had a chance to win the game, but Boštjan Nachbar's three-pointer missed at the buzzer. Needing to win in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 to force a game 7, Toronto held a one-point lead with under a minute to play in game 6, but Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson
Richard Allen Jefferson is a 6 ft 7 in American professional basketball player currently playing for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association...

 hit a layup with eight seconds left to play. Toronto attempted to try for the game-winning shot, but Jefferson intercepted a pass to seal the series for the Nets.
Several changes to the roster were made before the 2007–08 campaign as Toronto sought to reproduce the same form as the previous campaign. Most notably, the Raptors acquired Carlos Delfino
Carlos Delfino
Carlos Francisco Delfino is an Argentine professional basketball player. He also has Italian citizenship. Delfino plays at the small forward and shooting guard positions. He stands tall and weighs . He is also noted for his defensive skills...

 in a trade with Detroit for two second round draft picks, and signed Jamario Moon
Jamario Moon
Jamario Raman Moon is an American professional basketball player. Moon played college basketball for one season at Meridian Community College and began his professional career with teams in the United States Basketball League and NBA Development League, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Mexican...

 and three-point specialist Jason Kapono
Jason Kapono
Jason Alan Kapono is an American professional basketball player who is a free agent. Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft, Kapono later also played for the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and Philadelphia 76ers...

 as free agents. On the other hand, veteran swingman
Swingman
A Swingman is a basketball term denoting a player who can play both the small forward and shooting guard positions, and, in essence, swing between the shooting guard and small forward positions." Swingmen males are often between 6'5" and 6'8" .John Havlicek, who played for the Boston Celtics in...

 Morris Peterson joined the New Orleans Hornets. Despite being defending division champions, the Raptors were widely tipped as outside contenders for the division and conference titles. Bargnani's inability to play well consistently, coupled with injuries to Garbajosa (75 games), Bosh (15 games) and Ford (31 games), derailed the possibility of a smooth campaign as the Raptors chalked up six fewer wins than the previous season. The Raptors ceded the division title to Boston, and qualified for the 2008 NBA Playoffs
2008 NBA Playoffs
The 2008 NBA Playoffs was the postseason for the National Basketball Association's 2007–08 season which ended with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4–2....

 as the sixth seed, where they were pitted against the Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association and are currently coached by Stan Van Gundy...

. In Game 1, Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
Dwight David Howard is an American basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association . Howard, who usually plays center but can also play power forward, had an outstanding high school career at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy...

 gave the Magic their first playoffs win since 2003
2003 NBA Playoffs
The 2003 NBA playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Association's 2002-03 NBA season. This postseason was notable for being the first time all series were conducted in a best-of-7 format. It was also the only time in playoff history that no team was swept in a first-round series....

 as they practically led the entire game. Howard would put up a 29–20 in Game 2, as Hedo Türkoğlu scored the final four go-ahead points to give the Magic a 2–0 lead. The Raptors would respond with a strong Game 3 victory keyed by great point guard play from T. J. Ford
T. J. Ford
Terrance Jerod "T. J." Ford is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for KK Zagreb. Having been awarded numerous top basketball accolades in high school and college, Ford entered the 2003 NBA Draft and was selected eighth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks...

 and Jose Calderon
José Calderón (basketball)
José Manuel Calderón Borrallo is a Spanish professional basketball player who plays for the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors and the Spanish national team.-European career:...

. But Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson
Jameer Nelson is an American professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the NBA. He played college basketball at Saint Joseph's University and was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets but was traded to the Orlando Magic, where he has played for his...

, Rashard Lewis
Rashard Lewis
Rashard Quovon Lewis is an American professional basketball player, currently with the NBA's Washington Wizards as a small forward and a power forward.-Seattle SuperSonics:...

 and Keith Bogans
Keith Bogans
Keith Ramon Bogans is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Chicago Bulls.-High school and college:...

 keyed strong three point shooting in Game 4 and overcame Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh
Christopher Wesson Bosh is an American professional basketball player who plays power forward for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association ....

's 39 points and 15 rebounds to bring the Magic out of Toronto with a 3–1 lead. Howard would finish off the series in Game 5 as impressively as he started–21 points, 21 rebounds, 3 blocks. Whereas the preceding season was considered a success, the 2007–08 campaign was considered a disappointment. Weaknesses in Toronto's game—rebounding, defence, and a lack of a swingman—were brought into sharp focus during the playoffs, and changes were expected to be made to the roster.

As it turned out, a blockbuster trade was agreed in principle before the 2008–09 campaign
2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009...

: six-time All-Star Jermaine O'Neal
Jermaine O'Neal
Jermaine Lee O'Neal is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics. The 6 ft 11 in , 255 lb forward-center had a successful high school career and declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA Draft straight out of high school...

 was acquired from the Indiana Pacers
Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association...

 in exchange for Ford (who had become expendable with the emergence of Calderón), Rasho Nesterović
Radoslav Nesterovic
Radoslav "Rašo" Nesterović , usually referred to in English as Rasho Nesterovic , is a retired Slovenian professional basketball player. He holds citizenship in both Slovenia and Greece. In the NBA he played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and Toronto Raptors...

, Maceo Baston
Maceo Baston
Maceo Demond Baston is an American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent.-College career:After graduating from Dallas' H. Grady Spruce High School, Baston played college basketball at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he was part of an all-star recruiting class that...

, and Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert
Roy Denzil Hibbert is an American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA. He plays at the center position, and graduated from Georgetown University in 2008. He was drafted 17th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors and was immediately traded to the Pacers...

, the 17th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft
2008 NBA Draft
The 2008 NBA Draft was held on June 26, 2008 at the Washington Mutual Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, including...

, giving the Raptors a potential boost in the frontcourt. Meanwhile, Bargnani, who had spent the summer working on his interior game, was projected to come off the bench. The Raptors also introduced a black alternate road jersey for the season similar to the earlier purple design that was dropped a few seasons ago. It had a maple leaf
Maple leaf
The maple leaf is the characteristic leaf of the maple tree, and is the most widely recognized national symbol of Canada.-Use in Canada:At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the settlements of New France had attained a population of about 18,000...

 featured on the back neck of the jersey, symbolizing the Raptors as "Canada's team". Despite the introduction of O'Neal, who brought home the rebounds and the blocks, and a much improved Bargnani, the Raptors were too inconsistent. Following a 8–9 start to the season, Mitchell was fired and replaced by long-time assistant Jay Triano
Jay Triano
Jay Triano is a retired Canadian professional basketball player and former head coach of the NBA's Toronto Raptors. Triano gained recognition during his tenure as coach of the Canadian men's national team. He is also a former national team player, who competed in two Olympics, starting in 1984...

. Triano tweaked with the starting line-up to no avail as the Raptors fell to 21–34 prior to the All-Star break. O'Neal and Moon were then traded to Miami
Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is a professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. The team is a member of the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . They play their home games at American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami...

 for Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion
Shawn Dwayne Marion is an American professional basketball player currently with the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Marion attended high school in Clarksville, Tennessee. Before transferring to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Marion...

 and Marcus Banks
Marcus Banks
Arthur Lemarcus Banks III, commonly known as Marcus Banks , is an American professional basketball player who most recently played with the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA....

, but with the losses mounting, the Raptors soon fell out of the playoffs picture, and were eliminated from contention with seven games of the regular season remaining. The Raptors eventually finished with a 33–49 record and headed into the next season with a potential overhaul of the core: Marion could become a free agent; Bosh could become one after 2009–10; Parker would soon turn 35; and Bargnani had his breakthrough season. On 12 May 2009, Triano was given a three-year term for the position of head coach.
The inevitable roster shakeup for the 2009–10 season
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, and ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010....

 began when Kapono was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association . Originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA...

 for the aggressive veteran forward Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans
Reginald Jamaal "Reggie" Evans is an American professional basketball player. The power forward most recently played for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA...

. Toronto then drafted
2009 NBA Draft
The 2009 NBA Draft was held on June 25, 2009, the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur U.S...

 DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan
DeMar Darnell DeRozan is an American professional basketball player, selected ninth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. DeRozan played college basketball at USC for the Trojans...

 with the ninth pick, enabling them to fill a spot on the wings. This was followed by the signing of free agent Hedo Türkoğlu, which in turn led to a sign-and-trade agreement involving four teams, with Toronto landing wing players Devean George
Devean George
Devean Jamar George is an American professional basketball player who most recently played for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. He typically plays small forward but because of his athleticism and defensive activity, can defend many shooting guards as well.He attended high school at...

 (later traded for Marco Belinelli
Marco Belinelli
Marco Stefano Belinelli is an Italian professional basketball player currently with the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA. He is tall and plays as a shooting guard...

) and Antoine Wright
Antoine Wright
Antoine Domonick Wright is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for Asefa Estudiantes in Spain. He attended preparatory school at Lawrence Academy at Groton; in 2002, he led the Spartans to an Independent School League Basketball Championship...

, while releasing Marion, Kris Humphries
Kris Humphries
Kris Nathan Humphries is an American professional basketball player who last played for the NBA's New Jersey Nets. He became an unrestricted free agent in 2011.-Early life:...

 and Nathan Jawai
Nathan Jawai
Nathan Jawai is an Indigenous Australian professional basketball player. He currently plays for the Russian team UNICS Kazan.-Pro career:...

. Around the same time, Parker headed for the Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They began playing in the National Basketball Association in 1970 as an expansion team...

, while Indiana point guard Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Matthew Jack is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA. At 6' 3" tall and weighing 197 lbs , he primarily plays at the guard position...

 was added and Nesterovič brought back to provide cover for the big men. Finally, Delfino and Ukić were moved to the Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. They are part of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and currently plays at the Bradley Center....

 for Amir Johnson
Amir Johnson
Amir Jalla Johnson is an American professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. He plays the position of power forward.-NBA career:...

 and Sonny Weems
Sonny Weems
Clarence "Sonny" Weems is an American basketball player who plays for Zalgiris Kaunas. Weems was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft and shortly thereafter traded to the Denver Nuggets. Weems played collegiate basketball at the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas...

. It became increasingly clear that Colangelo, in securing a credible nucleus for the future, was doing this to persuade Bosh to stay beyond 2010. While the Raptors were off to a sluggish start, they picked up the pace around the All-Star break, reaching a season-high seven games above .500 and standing fifth in the Eastern Conference.Bosh was recording career-highs in ppg and rpg. However, a season ending injury to Bosh after the break coincided with Toronto's descent down the standings from the fifth seed to the eighth, and they ultimately relinquished their spot to Chicago
Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

 a few games before the regular season ended.

Before the 2010–11 season
2010–11 NBA season
The 2010–11 NBA season was the 65th season of the National Basketball Association . The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in six games, 4 games to 2, to win their first NBA title, and...

 began, there was much anticipation around the league over the fates of an elite pack of free agents, featuring the likes of Bosh, Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. nicknamed Flash or D-Wade, is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat. Awarded 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, Wade has established himself as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league...

, LeBron James
LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association . Nicknamed "King James", he was a three-time "Mr. Basketball" of Ohio in high school, and was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar while a...

, and Amar'e Stoudemire. Bosh and James eventually chose to converge in Miami with Wade, and the sign-and-trade transaction that ensued resulted in the Raptors receiving two first-round draft picks and a trade exception from Miami. Prior to this, Toronto had drafted
2010 NBA Draft
The 2010 NBA Draft was held on June 24, 2010 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The draft, which started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time , was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur...

 Ed Davis
Ed Davis (basketball)
Edward Adam "Ed" Davis is a professional basketball player who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors. He played high school basketball at Benedictine High School in Richmond, Virginia...

, also a left-handed power forward like Bosh. After Bosh left, Colangelo sought to trade Calderón, Evans and the disenchanted Türkoğlu for Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler
Tyson Cleotis Chandler is an American professional basketball center who most recently played for the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. He was also a member of the United States men's national basketball team.-High school:...

, Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Mateus Barbosa is a Brazilian professional basketball player, who plays at the guard position with Flamengo Basketball in Brazil. He is also under contract with the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors, and is expected to return to that team once the 2011 NBA lockout ends...

, and Boris Diaw
Boris Diaw
Boris Babacar Diaw-Riffiod, better known as Boris Diaw , is a French professional basketball player for JSA Bordeaux in France. He has also played in the National Basketball Association for the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, and Charlotte Bobcats...

, but the trade involving Chandler collapsed at the last minute, as Chandler was traded to the Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are a professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association , and the reigning NBA champions, having defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals.According to a 2011...

 instead. Belinelli was then traded to New Orleans Hornets for Julian Wright
Julian Wright
Julian Emil-Jamaal Wright is an American professional basketball player who last played for the NBA's Toronto Raptors. He played collegiately for the University of Kansas.-High school career:...

, and 13 games into the season, Jack, David Andersen
David Andersen
David Emil Andersen is an Australian professional basketball player. He also holds a Danish passport...

, and Marcus Banks
Marcus Banks
Arthur Lemarcus Banks III, commonly known as Marcus Banks , is an American professional basketball player who most recently played with the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA....

 to New Orleans for Peja Stojaković
Peja Stojaković
Predrag Stojaković , also known by his nickname Peja , is a Serbian professional basketball player who last played for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association . Standing at 6 ft 10 , Stojaković plays the small forward position...

 and Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless is an American basketball player for the Toronto Raptors. He played a year of college basketball for the Arizona Wildcats after playing high school basketball at St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, where he scored a career high of 52 points in a loss to eventual state champions,...

. Bosh's first return to Toronto was received to a chorus of boos, but not as nearly as harsh as what former Raptors Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter received upon their return. Toronto as a team regressed and were only able to secure 22 wins in the regular season.

Prior to the 2011–12 season
2011–12 NBA season
The 2011–12 NBA season, the 66th season of the National Basketball Association , will officially begin with the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement between the owners of all 30 NBA teams and the NBA's players. The previous CBA, which was ratified in 2005, expired at 12:01 AM EDT on...

, Dwane Casey
Dwane Casey
Dwane Casey is a former NCAA basketball player and coach who currently is a head coach in the NBA for the Toronto Raptors.-Early years:Casey was born in Morganfield, Kentucky, and graduated from Union County High School in 1975....

, who was an assistant coach with Dallas, was officially hired as the new head coach on 21 June 2011. In the 2011 NBA Draft
2011 NBA Draft
The 2011 NBA Draft was held on June 23, 2011 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time , and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball...

, the Raptors used their number five pick to select Jonas Valančiūnas
Jonas Valančiūnas
Jonas Valančiūnas is a Lithuanian professional basketball player, currently playing for BC Lietuvos Rytas. He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team...

, a centre from Lithuania. However, the playing of this season is contingent on whether NBA team owners and players agree to a new collective bargaining agreement and as a result, the 2011 NBA lockout
2011 NBA lockout
The 2011 NBA lockout is the fourth lockout in the history of the National Basketball Association . The owners began the work stoppage at 12:01 am EDT on July 1, 2011. The main issues dividing the owners and the players are revenue sharing and the structure of the salary cap...

 occurs.

Arenas

  • SkyDome
    Rogers Centre
    Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium, in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower, near the shores of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League...

     (1995–1999)
  • Occasional games (1995–1999):
    • Maple Leaf Gardens
      Maple Leaf Gardens
      Maple Leaf Gardens is an indoor arena that was converted into a Loblawssupermarket and Ryerson University athletic centre in Toronto, on the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street in Toronto's Garden District.One of the temples of hockey, it was home to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the...

    • Copps Coliseum
      Copps Coliseum
      Copps Coliseum is a sports and entertainment arena, on the corner of Bay Street North and York Boulevard, in Hamilton, Ontario. Depending on event, the Copps Coliseum has a capacity of up to 19,000.It is named after the former Hamilton mayor, Victor K...

  • Air Canada Centre
    Air Canada Centre
    The Air Canada Centre is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar ....

     (1999–present)

Roster


Management


General managers
  • 1995 – March 1998: Isiah Thomas
    Isiah Thomas
    Isiah Lord Thomas III , nicknamed "Zeke",is the men's basketball coach for the FIU Golden Panthers, and a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association from 1981 until 1994. He led the "Bad Boys" to the NBA...

  • March 1998 – April 2004: Glen Grunwald
    Glen Grunwald
    Glen Grunwald is currently the senior vice president for basketball operations of the New York Knicks of the NBA. He is best known as the former general manager of the Toronto Raptors, a role he filled from March 1998 until April 2004....

  • April 2004 – June 2004 (Interim): Jack McCloskey
    Jack McCloskey
    John William "Jack" McCloskey is a retired American basketball player, coach and executive in the NBA. He served in World War II as a lieutenant commanding a landing ship for Marines. He played one game for the Philadelphia Warriors during the 1953 season, scoring 6 points in that game...

  • June 2004 – January 2006: Rob Babcock
    Rob Babcock
    Rob Babcock is an assistant general manager with the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA. He is most notably remembered as the former general manager of the Toronto Raptors. Brothers Pete and Dave are also employed by the NBA....

  • January 2006 – February 2006 (Interim): Wayne Embry
    Wayne Embry
    Wayne Richard Embry is a retired American basketball player; a center/forward whose 11-year career spanned from 1959 to 1969...

  • February 2006 – present: Bryan Colangelo
    Bryan Colangelo
    Bryan Colangelo is the President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. He is the son of Phoenix sports mogul, Jerry Colangelo. He attended Cornell University. He was the 2005 and 2007 recipient of the NBA Executive of the Year Award.-Phoenix:Bryan began his NBA front-office career...



Owners
  • 1995 – 1998: John Bitove
    John Bitove
    John I. Bitove, is a Canadian-Macedonian businessman and sportsman. He is the major shareholder and chairman of Scott's Real Estate Investment Trust and Sirius XM Canada. While controlling several public and private businesses, he has recently expanded into telecommunications with a company he...

    , Allan Slaight, Isiah Thomas
  • 1998 – present: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment


Head coaches

# Name Term Regular season Playoffs Awards won
Games coached Wins Losses Win–loss % Games coached Wins Losses
1 Brendan Malone
Brendan Malone
Brendan Malone is an American professional basketball coach in the NBA. He was named as the first head coach of the Toronto Raptors, one of two 1995 NBA expansion teams in Canada. An alumnus of Iona College, Malone was appointed the job by the Raptors' general manager of the time, Isiah Thomas...

1995–96 82 21 61 .256
2 Darrell Walker
Darrell Walker
Darrell Walker is a retired American professional basketball player and coach. At 6'4" and 180 lb , he played as a guard...

1996–98 131 41 90 .313
3 Butch Carter
Butch Carter
Clarence Eugene "Butch" Carter is a retired American basketball player and coach of the NBA...

1998–2000 165 73 92 .442 3 0 3
4 Lenny Wilkens
Lenny Wilkens
Leonard Randolph "Lenny" Wilkens is a retired American basketball player and coach in the NBA...

2000–03 246 113 133 .459 17 8 9
5 Kevin O'Neill
Kevin O'Neill (basketball)
Kevin O'Neill is an American head coach of the USC Trojans basketball team. His personal webpage is www.coachkohoops.com O'Neill was born in Malone, New York and attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada...

2003–04 82 33 49 .402
6 Sam Mitchell
Sam Mitchell (basketball)
Samuel "Sam" E. Mitchell, Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player and a former head coach in the National Basketball Association . He is currently an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets....

2004–08
2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009...

345 156 189 .452 11 3 8 2007 NBA Coach of the Year
NBA Coach of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Coach of the Year is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1962–63 NBA season. The winner receives the Red Auerbach Trophy, which is named in honor of the head coach who led the Boston Celtics to nine NBA Championships from 1956 to 1966...

7 Jay Triano
Jay Triano
Jay Triano is a retired Canadian professional basketball player and former head coach of the NBA's Toronto Raptors. Triano gained recognition during his tenure as coach of the Canadian men's national team. He is also a former national team player, who competed in two Olympics, starting in 1984...

2008
2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association . The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and ended on Wednesday, April 15, 2009...

11
2010–11 NBA season
The 2010–11 NBA season was the 65th season of the National Basketball Association . The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was played on February 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in six games, 4 games to 2, to win their first NBA title, and...

147 87 142 .380
8 Dwane Casey
Dwane Casey
Dwane Casey is a former NCAA basketball player and coach who currently is a head coach in the NBA for the Toronto Raptors.-Early years:Casey was born in Morganfield, Kentucky, and graduated from Union County High School in 1975....

2011
2011–12 NBA season
The 2011–12 NBA season, the 66th season of the National Basketball Association , will officially begin with the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement between the owners of all 30 NBA teams and the NBA's players. The previous CBA, which was ratified in 2005, expired at 12:01 AM EDT on...

–present
0 0 0 .000 0 0 .000


Notes A running total of the number of coaches of the Raptors and thus any coach who has two or more separate terms as head coach is only counted onceSpent entire coaching career with the Raptors while in the NBAElected into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach

Awards and records



Broadcasters


Television
  • John Saunders (Play-by-play
    Sports commentator
    In sports broadcasting, a commentator gives a running commentary of a game or event in real time, usually during a live broadcast. The comments are normally a voiceover, with the sounds of the action and spectators also heard in the background. In the case of television commentary, the commentator...

    , 1995–2001)
  • Dan Shulman
    Dan Shulman
    Daniel "Dan" Shulman is a Canadian sportscaster, currently employed with the American network ESPN as well as Canadian network TSN....

     (Play-by-play, 1995–2001, TSN
    The Sports Network
    The Sports Network, commonly abbreviated as TSN, is a Canadian English language Category C specialty channel and is Canada's leading English language sports TV channel. TSN premiered in 1984, in the first group of Canadian specialty cable channels...

    )
  • Rod Black
    Rod Black
    Rod Black is a Canadian sports announcer for TSN and CTV Sports. He calls games for the CFL, occasionally for the The NHL on TSN, and used to call games for the Toronto Blue Jays, ending in 2009. He also calls Canadian golf tournaments for the PGA, on occasion bowling tournaments, curling, boxing ...

     (Play-by-play, 1995–2005, CTV
    CTV television network
    CTV Television Network is a Canadian English language television network and is owned by Bell Media. It is Canada's largest privately-owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada's top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival...

    , and TSN)
  • Chuck Swirsky
    Chuck Swirsky
    Chuck Swirsky is the radio play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. He was formerly the longtime play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors....

     (Play-by-play, 2001–2008)
  • Jack Armstrong (Colour
    Color commentator
    A color commentator is a sports commentator who assists the play-by-play announcer, often by filling in any time when play is not in progress. The color analyst and main commentator will often exchange comments freely throughout the broadcast, when the play-by-play announcer is not describing the...

    , 1998–present, NBA TV Canada, Rogers Sportsnet
    Rogers Sportsnet
    Sportsnet was launched on October 9, 1998 as CTV Sportsnet. The name was chosen to match the regional "Fox Sports Net" operations across the United States...

    , and TSN)
  • Leo Rautins
    Leo Rautins
    Leo R. Rautins is a former professional basketball player, the former head coach of the Canadian national men's basketball team, and an NBA analyst for the Toronto Raptors.Rautins was a star in high school for St...

     (Colour, 1995–present, CTV, Rogers Sportsnet, The Score, and TSN)
  • Matt Devlin
    Matt Devlin (sportscaster)
    Matt Devlin is the play-by-play TV announcer for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, replacing Chuck Swirsky in 2008.Matt spent 6 years as the lead play-by-play voice of the National Basketball Association's Memphis Grizzlies and 3 for the Charlotte Bobcats...

     (Play-by-play, 2008–present)
  • Sherman Hamilton
    Sherman Hamilton
    Sherman Hamilton is a retired Canadian professional basketball player. Hamilton was a longtime member of the Canadian men's national basketball team...

     (Colour, 2008–present, NBA TV Canada)

Radio
  • Mike Inglis
    Mike Inglis
    Mike Inglis is a Canadian sportscaster. He is currently the radio play-by-play voice of the NBA's Miami Heat.Raised in Toronto, Ontario, Inglis is a graduate of Humber College. He began broadcasting in the early 1980s at CKAR in Oshawa, Ontario, providing play-by-play for the NASL's Toronto...

     (Play-by-play, 1995–1998, CFRB 1010)
  • Chuck Swirsky
    Chuck Swirsky
    Chuck Swirsky is the radio play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls of the NBA. He was formerly the longtime play-by-play voice of the Toronto Raptors....

     (Play-by-play, 1998–2001, Fan 590; TV simulcast of play-by-play, 2001–2004)
  • Jack Armstrong (Colour, 1998–2001, Fan 590)
  • Leo Rautins
    Leo Rautins
    Leo R. Rautins is a former professional basketball player, the former head coach of the Canadian national men's basketball team, and an NBA analyst for the Toronto Raptors.Rautins was a star in high school for St...

     (TV simulcast of colour, 2001–2004, Fan 590)
  • Paul Romanuk
    Paul Romanuk
    Paul Romanuk is a Canadian sportscaster and writer. He was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Romanuk has lived in London, England since 2005.-Early career:...

     (Play-by-play, 2004–2005, Fan 590)
  • Paul Jones
    Paul Jones (sportscaster)
    Paul Jones is a Canadian sportscaster. He currently serves as the play-by-play voice for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association on the Fan 590 radio broadcasts in Toronto. He previously served as the colour analyst on Raptors radio broadcasts, a role he had during the Raptors'...

     (Colour, 1995–1997, CFRB 1010; 2004–2005, Fan 590; Play-by-play, 2005–present, Fan 590)
  • Eric Smith
    Eric Smith (sportscaster)
    Eric Smith is a Canadian sportscaster on Fan 590 in Toronto. He is the colour analyst for Toronto Raptors radio broadcasts as well as a full time sports talk radio host of his own show....

     (Colour, 2005–present, Fan 590)


Fanbase


The Raptors have enjoyed a consistent fanbase throughout their history. The Toronto Raptors set NBA attendance records in their 2000, 2001, 2002 seasons when they made the playoffs. Attendances dipped slightly between 2003 and 2006. This improved during the 2006–07 regular season, an average of 18,258 fans attended each game (13th in the league), which translates to 92.2% of the Air Canada Centre's seating capacity. Following the success of the 2006–07 season, Toronto became one of the league leaders in season ticket sales for the 2007–08 season.

The value of the Raptors franchise has risen over the years. In 1998, the franchise was bought for US$125 million. With the continued popularity of the Raptors, the value of the franchise doubled from US$148 million in 2000 to $297 million in 2004. The value of the franchise grew again from $315 million in 2006 to $373 million in 2007, and $400 million in 2008, before falling to $386 million in 2009. In 2010, the value of the franchise was $399 million, according to reports by Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

. The Raptors previously were the only NBA team with their own television channel, Raptors NBA TV, which acted as a localized version of the league's U.S. channel NBA TV
NBA TV
NBA TV is a television specialty channel that is dedicated to showcasing the sport of basketball in the United States. The network is financially backed by the National Basketball Association , which also uses NBA TV as a way of advertising their out of market package NBA League Pass, and partner...

. However, on 15 October 2010, the channel was renamed NBA TV Canada with a greater emphasis on NBA teams other than the Raptors. Their television ratings, however, are considerably lower than other more established Toronto sports teams and most other sporting events shown on Canadian television.

On game day, the fans are usually entertained by the Raptor mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

, the Raptors Dance Pak, and the 4 Korners Raptors Soundcrew during pre-game, time-outs, and intervals. Giveaways are sometimes bundled with tickets to encourage attendance. Further, whenever Toronto scores more than 100 points in a home game, win or loss, fans can redeem their ticket for a cheese
Mozzarella
Mozzarella is an Italian Traditional Speciality Guaranteed food product. The term is used for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting :...

 or pepperoni
Pepperoni
Pepperoni is a spicy Italian-American variety of salami usually made from cured pork and beef, but poultry may be added, if labeled correctly, for less expensive versions. Pepperoni is characteristically soft, slightly smoky, and bright red in color...

 pizza slice at standalone Pizza Pizza
Pizza Pizza
Pizza Pizza is a Canadian franchise of pizza restaurants mainly located in the province of Ontario. Other locations operate in Quebec, Nova Scotia, in western Canada , and in non-traditional locations such as university campuses and movie theatres throughout Canada...

 locations throughout Ontario for the business day after the game that was played. This is part of a promotion made by the Raptor's official pizza sponsor.

Community service


The Raptors Foundation was the charitable arm of the Raptors, dedicated to assisting Ontario's registered charities
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 that support programs and sports initiatives for at-risk children and youth. The Foundation strove to lift spirits and change lives for young people by supporting local and provincial organizations that provide recreational, educational and other youth-oriented activities. Through its community ties and with the help of its corporate partners, donors, Raptors players and volunteers, the Foundation has successfully raised more than $14 million between 1995 and 2007, and reached out to thousands of other charities. The Raptors Foundation is one of three parts of the Raptors' community service program. The other projects are Raptors Community Relations and Raptors Basketball Development, both of which focus on providing basketball development programs. The Toronto Raptors lead the NBA for amount of money donated to the community. In 2008, the Foundation merged with the other charitable arms of MLSE's other franchises to form the Team Up Foundation.

See also


  • Toronto Huskies
    Toronto Huskies
    The Toronto Huskies were a team in the Basketball Association of America during the 1946–47 season, based in Toronto, Ontario...

    , the Raptors' geographical predecessor in the NBA's predecessor league
  • Canada Basketball
    Canada Basketball
    Canada Basketball is a non-profit organization and the governing body for basketball in Canada. This national federation was founded in 1923...

    , the organization that oversees basketball in Canada

External links