Let’s get something clear, the Toronto Raptors being a competent and competitive team in the NBA is new to the franchise.
Yes, they have made the playoffs seven seasons in a row and even won a championship!
But before the Raptors started their playoff streak that vaulted them into NBA relevance, they only had four seasons above .500… out of 18.
So they were bad, but let’s not focus on the negative, today we are here to celebrate the forgotten Raptors. Those who were lucky enough to represent Canada’s only NBA team but unlucky enough to do it when it wasn’t “cool.”
*Note: Players who played for the Raptors from 2014 and beyond are not eligible for this list*
SG/SF #24 2009-2011
I could have sworn Sonny Weems played for the Raptors for more than just two years, which I guess speaks volumes on the impact he had with the Toronto fan base.
No one on the Raptors at the time did a better job at engaging with fans.
The only reason why I signed up for Twitter was because Sonny promised to follow anyone who followed him – He didn’t end up following me back but I will never forget that feeling when I thought he was actually going to do it.
SF #33 2007 – 2009
Circle of trust here, It took me about half of his first year in Toronto for me to realize his name was “Jamario Moon” and not “Jamari O’Moon.”
One of the only NBA players (if not THE only) to play for the Harlem Globetrotters before entering the league, Moon was an instant fan favourite in Toronto.
Moon also had a short stop in Toronto but I would argue he played his best basketball up North, averaging eight points and five rebounds over the course of two seasons.
C #12 2006 – 2008
Just like our first two players, the seven-foot Slovenian centre only spent two years in Toronto – unlike our first two players he actually had a decent NBA career.
Rasho spent 12 years in the league, even winning a championship with the Spurs in 2005.
He didn’t really get a fair shake in Toronto as he came right around the time fans started cluing in to Bryan Colangelo’s obsession with European players. It’s fair to say Rasho Nesterovic was not the type of player fans were looking for at the time.
I looked for highlights, by the way. Nothing.
PG #3 1997/98
So Chauncey Billups was a Raptor for 29 games in 1997… that’s pretty cool.
Drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics, Billups was traded in his second season as a pro to the Raptors where he wouldn’t stay long.
Who knew he was going to end up being a five-time All-Star and Finals MVP?
Not the Raptors, clearly.
C #34 2001/02
2x Defensive Player of they Year.
1993/94 Most Valuable Player.
2x NBA Champ & Finals MVP.
Hall of Famer.
17 Seasons as a Houston Rocket.
One Season as a Toronto Raptor.
Not many teams can say they’ve had a player who did all that play for their team, eh?