If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Kyle Lowry will one day have his jersey retired in Toronto.
It is also safe to say that even if Lowry plays somewhere else before he retires, which is likely, no one else would even dare to touch the number seven.
The team, nor the fans, would allow it.
The Forgotten 7’s
Considering the fact that we will never see the number on the back of a Raptors uniform after our lord and saviour KLow leaves, I figured I would take a look at the other players who wore seven, pre-Lowry.
Andrea Bargnani: 2006-2013
How could I not start with the franchise’s only first overall pick (crazy, eh?).
I won’t spend too much time on him as the franchise already did, but I’m not going to be mean either. I’ve got a soft spot for the guy, which may or may not be because his jersey was the first one I ever owned.
I honestly believe that Andrea Bargnani was 10 years before his time. Had he been drafted in 2016, when being a seven-foot centre that could shoot the three became cool, Toronto fans would have appreciated the guy a lot more.
For a team that needed a presence under the net, Bargnani was probably not the right guy to draft.
I should have done my research
Okay so — circle of trust here — I honestly didn’t look up “Toronto Raptors who wore number seven” on Google until after I wrote that Andrea Bargnani bit… and there is a considerable drop off.
That doesn’t mean I won’t rattle off all the scrubs that have sullied the history of Kyle Lowry’s number, just keep in mind that the second best Toronto Raptor to wear the number seven was Andrea Bargnani.
Nate Huffman: 2003
Nate Huffman… a seven-foot-one centre from Michigan who didn’t do much of anything in the NBA.
In a fitting form of symmetry, the former Raptor only played seven games in the league, all for Toronto before he retired from basketball.
Keon Clarke: 2001-2002
Keon Clarke, another centre, was drafted 13th overall in 1998 by the Orlando Magic.
The former lottery pick only spent six years in the NBA, playing for four different teams – his best year as a pro was actually when he played in Toronto, averaging 11 points and eight rebounds a game.
Dee Brown: 1998-2000
More known as a Boston Celtic, the point guard actually played 118 games for the Raptors towards the end of his career.
In those 118 games, Dee Brown averaged 10 points and only two assists per game.
Doesn’t that seem weird to you? I had to triple check that stat – point guards should be averaging more than 2 assists per game, no? He was a starter.
To make it worse, Brown – again, a point guard – has a career average of 2.6 assists per game.
A disgrace to not only Kyle Lowry but to point guards everywhere wearing the number seven.
Benoit Benjamin & Clifford Rozier: 1997.
We’ve got a twofer!
Both of these big men barely lasted a season in Toronto before they were out of there.
Benoit Benjamin, a seven-footer from Louisiana, lasted only four games before being waived by Toronto – interestingly enough he only lasted 13 games in Vancouver the season prior.
He either doesn’t like Canada or Canada doesn’t like him.
Clifford Rozier lasted a little bit longer than his predecessor, but not a full season.
Rozier, who only played a combined four seasons in the NBA capped his playing career in Toronto at only 41 games played.
Alvin Robertson: 1996
We started this article with the last to wear number seven, it’s only appropriate if we end it with the first.
After sitting out the previous two seasons with a back injury, I bet you Alvin Robertson looked at this brand new Canadian team as an easy way to restart his career.
He did play 71 games that season for Toronto, but father time wasn’t going to forget about this dude.
Robertson retired after playing one year in Toronto.
No other Raptor who has worn the number seven for the franchise can even sniff Kyle Lowry’s over-sized rear end.