The new basketball season is here, and what better way to begin it than by taking a closer look at the 2019 NBA Champions – The Toronto Raptors? If you want to be a fan of the Raptors, here are eight basic facts that you need to know about the team.
A Nation’s Basketball Team
The Raptors are the only Canadian based team in the NBA, and their success wasn’t just a win for Toronto – it was a win for all of Canada. Public viewing parties were held in 50 cities and towns across Canada when the team played the finals in June.
The Other Canadian Team
Canada used to have two teams in the NBA. Back in 1995, both teams began their franchises in the NBA, but the Vancouver Grizzlies struggled to find the same level of success as the Raptors and were later sold to Memphis, Tennessee, where they are now known as the Memphis Grizzlies.
A Championship Ring with Serious Bling
The 2019 Raptors Championship-winning ring is the most expensive and decadent ever produced in the NBA, with 640 diamonds! It was designed with the help of the team’s six-time all-star point guard Kyle Lowry.
Why Are They Called the Raptors?
Besides their speed and tenacity? When it was announced that Toronto would be getting their own NBA franchise, the city looked to people for suggestions for the name. There were many excellent ideas submitted including the Dragons, the Hogs, and the T-Rexes, but the most popular was the Raptors, and the name was announced in May, 1994.
What Do Raptors Have to do with Toronto?
Well, the simple answer is nothing. The blockbuster movie Jurassic Park was released around the same time as the team was announced and the whole world had dinosaur fever. The Velociraptors are a huge part of that film, and their popularity led to the team getting that name.
A Super Team with Super Fans
Committed Raptor fan Nav Bhatia has never missed a home game in all 25 seasons the Raptors have competed in, and is well-known in the stadium as the Raptors’ biggest fan. When the team won the championship, they decided to give Nav a championship ring of his own to thank him for all the support.
A Superstar Team with a Superstar Ambassador
Rap star and actor Drake has been a big fan of the Raptors since he was a child and has been with the team throughout all its highs and lows. He became the team’s Global Ambassador in 2013 and has helped bring the team extra attention and exposure across the world, as well as some high-profile celebrity spectators. He too, received a championship ring in recognition of all his hard work for the team.
Raptors Around the World
The Raptors have fans and fan clubs all around the world, and many of their players have come from distant corners of the globe to help them win their championship. The Raptors are serious contenders this season again and are in with a chance of winning a second championship. Click here to find guides on sports betting and casinos in Canada if you want to bet on the Raptors to win again. The Toronto Raptors have one of the NBA’s fastest-growing markets, and all their success comes after decades of hard work and investment into making them Canada’s biggest sports team.