The Toronto Raptors are a BASKETBALL
team. Nearly 50 years after the Toronto Huskies - a charter member of the Basketball Association of America, forerunner of the National Basketball Association - hosted the first game in the history of the league in 1946, the Toronto Raptors became the NBA's 28th team in 1995 and the first since the Huskies to play outside the US. In 1993 an investment group led by John Bitove and Donald Slaight successfully put together a bid for an NBA expansion franchise for the city of Toronto defeating two other bidders. On 4 November 1993 the franchise was awarded and the team name and logo were announced on 15 May 1994. Former Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas was hired to operate the basketball operations for the franchise and he became a member of the ownership group. The Raptors began play in the 1995-96 season using the SkyDome as their home arena. The Raptors struggled on the court like most expansion franchises but were a huge success at the gate.
Led by eventual NBA Rookie of the Year Damon Stoudamire the Raptors won 21 games their first year including the first ever game with their expansion cousins, the VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES. In March 1998 Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd purchased the Raptors, as Allan Slaight and the Bank of Nova Scotia sold their interests in the NBA franchise. The team moved into the Air Canada Centre, which it shares with the Toronto Maple Leafs, in February 1999. In 1999, Vince Carter of the Raptors won the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Links to Other Sites
The official NBA website for the the Toronto Raptors basketball club.
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