Title: The 2010s: The deepest, most unconventional and yet ultimate Toronto Raptors all-decade team
Date: November 25, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I created an extremely on-brand Toronto Raptors All-Decade team.
When the Toronto Raptors entered the 2010s as a teenage franchise, they were drifting, a little lost, unsure of who they were. Even if the Raptors weren’t always successful, you can’t say they weren’t relatable.
The last decade has gone fairly well. What began with a falsely encouraging 40-42 season under Jay Triano eventually led to brief tanking and sweeping change. Out went the Bryan Colangelo era, in came Masai Ujiri, and the spoils from that last valley — Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas — remained as the foundation of what was to come. By 2013-14, the Raptors were back in the playoffs, driven by the “We The North” campaign and the Lowry trade that never came to fruition. By 2015-16, they were making the conference finals for the first time. By 2019, they were raising banners and being fitted for championship rings.
A decade is a long time. In this case, long enough for the Raptors to grow from perennial afterthought to model franchise.
None of that growth happens without some tremendous individual performances. Today, we honour those performances with the Raptors all-decade team.