The Toronto Raptors were established on November 4, 1993, when the NBA, as part of its expansion into Canada, awarded its 28th franchise to a group headed by Toronto businessman John Bitove for a then-record expansion fee of $125 million. Bitove and Allan Slaight of Slaight Communications each owned 39.5%, with the Bank of Nova Scotia (10%), Vice President Isiah ...
With Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLG) aging, MLGL began planning for a new home for the Maple Leafs in the 1990s. Following years of acrimonious negotiations with the Toronto Raptors on a shared new arena, MLGL purchased 100% of the basketball club and the arena they had begun constructing, the Air Canada Centre (ACC), from Allan Slaight and the ...
Construction of the Air Canada Centre was started by the Toronto Raptors under its initial ownership group headed by Canadian businessman John Bitove. Groundbreaking took place in March 1997. While construction was in progress, the Raptors and their partially completed arena were purchased by MLSE, which was contemplating building their own arena for the Maple Leafs to replace the aging ...
Before the 2010 – 2011 season 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, LeBron James, 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 ...
The 2019 NBA Finals was the championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s 2018 – 2019 season and conclusion of the season’s playoffs. In the best-of-seven playoff held from May 30 through June 13, 2019, the Eastern Conference champion Toronto Raptors defeated the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, four games to two, for the franchise’s first NBA championship. ...
History of the Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1995, the Raptors have been part of the NBA for 25 years and have earned their place among some of the most successful teams in league history. The franchise had won five division titles and three conference championships since joining the league, with their first championship coming during their 2019-2020 season when they defeated Golden State Warriors to become NBA Champions.
This team's success can be attributed to its talented roster, including stars like Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, who play an integral role on offense. At the same time, Marc Gasol provides stability on defense. Over time, these players, combined with veteran leaders like DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka, helped build a strong culture within the organization, ultimately leading them to become champions last year. In addition to having one of the best rosters ever assembled by any Canadian franchise, the Raptors also boast one of the largest fan bases across North America. This loyal fanbase is credited for helping create an electric atmosphere at home games that often gives opponents fits when playing against them at Scotiabank Arena.
Overall, it’s safe to say that 25 years after entering into NBA, the Toronto Raptors had come a long way from being an expansion team back in 1995 to winning the championship title 2019 - 2020 season, making them the only second Canadian Franchise win the NBA title behind Vancouver grizzlies (1995). With young core talent already established along with solid leadership veterans under helm head coach Nick Nurse, there is no doubt a bright future ahead that Toronto Raptors fans should look forward to as they strive toward another Larry O'Brien Trophy next few seasons.
1995 – Present / National Basketball Association
1995 – Present / Toronto Raptors
Raptors – The Toronto Raptors are one of the most iconic teams in the NBA and have become a beloved franchise for sports fans across North America. The team's name has been around since its inception in 1995, but did you know there is an interesting story behind how it was chosen?
In 1994, when the NBA announced that it would be expanding to Canada with a new team based out of Toronto, basketball fans were eager to learn what this new franchise would be called. After months of speculation and debate among local sportswriters and fans, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) decided on "Raptors" as their nickname.
The ownership group of Toronto’s prospective expansion team conducted extensive marketing research across Canada in 1994 and held a nationwide vote that helped team officials develop a list of potential nicknames. The final selection – Toronto Raptors – was unveiled on Canadian national television on May 15, 1994. Raptors, which Jurassic Park helped popularize the year before, were eventually chosen over runners-up Beavers, Bobcats, Dragons, Grizzlies, Hogs, Raptors, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas, and Terriers.
This decision was primarily inspired by Jurassic Park – which had recently been released then – due to its connection with dinosaurs (often referred to as raptors). Additionally, MLSE felt that “Raptors” embodied qualities like strength and power, traits they wanted to be associated with their brand-new basketball club!
Since then, the Raptors have become one of Canada’s most successful professional sports franchises, winning multiple division titles over two decades and being crowned 2019 NBA Champions! So next time you see or hear about them playing ball, remember: It all started from a tiny dinosaur named Raptor!
NBA Championships 1
2019 - Present / Scotiabank Arena
1999 – 2018 / Air Canada Centre
1995 – 1999 / SkyDome
1998 – Present / Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
1997 – 1998 / Allan Slaight
1995 – 1997 / John Bitove
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
*Blue is this team’s history