The Raptors, as the Toronto Raptors are called, are well recognized by their classic trademark purple jersey worn by the great Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady, and nowadays sport white, red, and black jersey variants that the team players carry with pride.
Being a part of the elite Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, the Raptors are no less than their peers when it comes to setting up and flaunting a legacy.
Toronto Raptors came to birth in 1995, and although they are currently the only team from Canada that is actively competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), they have left no stone unturned becoming a Canadian household name like maple syrup, ice hockey, Drake and the JackpotCity online casino (established in 1998) after it opened up a plethora of slot, table and live dealer games for Canadians to enjoy.
About the Team History of the Toronto Raptors
The team was founded in 1995, for a then record-expansion fee of US $125 million. But the initial years in which the Raptors were part of the NBA were plagued with struggle, disappointment, loss of valuable players, and frustration.
In late 1998 and early 1999, some major changes followed that included the appointment of the resilient Hall of farmer coach, Lenny Wilkens, and a capable coaching team. It was further topped by the signing of the veteran playmaker Mark Jackson, a youngster with a flair, Alvin Williams, and Vince Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time.
Fate changed for the Raptors, and the team flourished securing a berth in the NBA playoffs in 2001, advancing to the Eastern Continental semifinals for the first time, and also gaining considerable clout in the home country.
Nevertheless, in the years following 2002, the Raptors had periods of ups and downs, which involved the loss of reputed players and coaches, the signing of some future stars, phases of team rebuilding, and many of the team’s players being included in the NBA All-star teams and games.
The period after 2015 has been the most significant for the Toronto Raptors. They have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals on two occasions, in 2016 & 2019.
The breakthrough season for the Toronto Raptors came in 2019 when they traded DeMar DeRozan for small forward Kawhi Leonard, and advanced to the NBA Finals, eventually winning the championship by defeating the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. Kawhi was also named the Finals MVP.
This was the first time that a team that is not from the USA won the NBA Finals. The celebrations were pompous where the Raptors held a victory parade in downtown Toronto, and a crowd of 2 million gathered to share the historical moment and the goosebumps.
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The 2019-2020 season began with Leonard leaving the team to join the Los Angeles Clippers.
Although the team managed to set a franchise record with a 73.6% winning percentage, their playoff run was less successful, losing to the Boston Celtics in the 2nd round.
In late 2020 it was announced that the Raptors will be playing their 2020-2021 season home games in Tampa, Florida due to the Canadian government’s restrictions because of the Coronavirus pandemic.