As the largest city in Canada, Toronto boasts several features that make it one of the best destinations for visitors. Toronto is a chief contributor to national economic growth. It borders Lake Ontario to the northwest. The city is famous for being multicultural, with a friendly business environment.
Among factors that have put Toronto on top of other cities, sports take the lead, with basketball as one of the main events. As summer fades away slowly and winter starts approaching from afar, it goes without saying that time is ripe for the game.
Why is Toronto in NBA?
The journey to get into NBA started in 1994, following an official announcement stating that team had a chance in NBA. The Toronto Raptors joined the NBA as an expansion team together with the Vancouver Grizzlies of the Western Conference. These two teams that were part of the expansion were the premier NBA franchises in Canada, they played their first game in 1995.
Toronto Huskies, their predecessor played in the BAA (Basketball Association of America). It was among the NBA forerunners in the 1946 – 1947 season.
The club invited its followers to give suggestions on the best names for the team.
The fans suggested various names, some of which were hilarious. They included Hogs, T-Rex, Dragons, the Raptors, and Tarantulas, among several others. After careful consideration, the club settled for Toronto Raptors as their name on 15th May 1994.
As the team was trying to look for a name, Jurassic Park, the movie, had become significantly popular at that time. The film featured horrific scenes with aggressive dinosaurs named velociraptors, shortened to raptors, and T-Rex.
The creatures were fast and vicious, making the movie so popular. The name raptors carried significant weight, as the dinosaurs were superior in the film. The club believed that the name Raptors would match their skills, as they had become superstars.
Since the 2001 – 2002 NBA season, the only NBA team based in Canada is the Raptors. The Grizzlies shifted from Vancouver to Memphis.
How Sports Made Toronto an Icon in NBA?
2019 was among the best years for the Toronto Raptors, a basketball team in the city. That was when they became NBA champions. The whole country celebrated this victory, which indicates that it was good news for entire Canada. The team has represented the country in NBA exclusively for several years. The fact that this is the only team in NBA made the country celebrate even more.
Citizens gathered in large groups across more than 50 towns to experience that historical moment, as Toronto Raptors become champions. The celebration mood that covered the air signified teamwork and victory.
What Made 2019 Historical For Toronto?
The Raptors encountered a historical moment in 2019 when NBA crowned them as the champions. Each player got a gold championship ring with 640 diamonds. The awards were the most classy and expensive compared to what NBA has ever given to basketball players. What made the award more endearing is that Kyle Lowry, Raptors’ superstar, helped in design work.
VIP Fans in Toronto
The Raptors have won the hearts of many fans, some with the biggest names in the world. For example, Nav Bhatia has always appeared to support the team whenever they play home. Drake has also been a big fan of the Raptors. The loyalty that Nav has to the team earned him an award since he was part of their success.
Drake has stood by the team for many years, supporting them through all situations. The Rapper became the official international ambassador of the Raptors in 2013. Through his influence, the team has become popular across the globe. Like Nav, Drake is also proud to have received a championship award from the group.
Other Fans From Across the Globe
Toronto Raptors have not only earned supporters locally, as they have fans around the world. Among factors that have given the Raptors an international fan base is that the players come from various countries. For example, Pascal Siakama comes from Cameroon, while Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are citizens from Congo and Spain.
Factors that Have Seen Toronto Become an NBA Affiliate
Toronto is among the most famous cities, thanks to its geographical locations and social amenities. Visiting the region allows you to watch the champions play basketball as you interact with celebs such as Drake.
Hosting the finals was a chief achievement for Toronto in 2019. It plaid a critical role in opening up the economy of the city. The finals attracted tons of celebrities from various regions of the world. That did not only bring pride to the town, but it shook the whole country too.
The History Of Sports Has Maintained Toronto In NBA.
Besides basketball, Toronto is also a leading sports hub, with games like Hockey earning an international profile. The Raptors use Scotiabank Arena as their home ground. The field serves as the entertainment and sports center for the whole country. You can find the ground on Bay Street to the Southern part of downtown Toronto.
Toronto is Home to Celebrities
For many years, Toronto has been like Hollywood, hosting some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Drake and Meghan Markel serve as perfect examples in this context. The city has also earned the admiration of Netflix, which saw it establish a production center here.
With Mark Wahlberg doing business in Toronto, superstars find their way to various parts of the city with total confidence. Among joints frequented by celebrities, they include Soho House, Cactus Club, and Brassaii, to mention a few.
Life in Toronto is worth living, with every social amenity carefully designed to meet expectations. The city has a series of hotels and restaurants, with fascinating menus to sample. What more, most of these food joints are easy to access from the basketball ground. Here are some examples.
Bisha Hotel Toronto
Find the restaurant in a 44 story building with a second to none architectural design. It is among the latest cultural centers and classical joints in the city. The building rests at the center of the entertainment quarter.
Hotel X Toronto
The restaurant constitutes an attractive waterfront, with superb viewpoints of the city. At the rooftop is a Sky Bar measuring 90,000 square feet. What more, the hotel features an Athletic center, among several other entertainment amenities. The restaurant has several subdivisions. The first one is for sports and entertainment, while the second is for Stanley Barracks, and the last one a Hotel tower.
Historical Moments that Toronto has Registered in Sports
Looking back at the history of sports, Toronto has triumphed significantly in various fields. Thanks to the sporting activities that the city has been hosting for years, NBA recognized the efforts. The Raptors becoming part of the NBA is one of the notable achievements that Toronto can point out.
Here are defining moments, which remain fresh to date.
Shortly after the Toronto Raptors triumphed, another celebration filled the air in Canada. Bianca finished top in 2019, where she won the Grand Slam singles. It was the first time for a Canadian to get to this level. Bianca’s victory shook the entire country as she defeated Serena Williams, an all-time star.
Toronto Raptors 2018-2019 Tournament
The Raptors had plaid for more than two decades without a title in various categories. Winning the NBA Title in the 2018-2019 championship brought unimaginable joy in the city. What more, this was the first victory for any team from outside the US, making it one of the most memorable events.
Edwin Encardacion’s Walk-Off
2016 was electrifying for the Wild Card guru, Edwin Encardacion. He demonstrated an unmatched performance by demolishing a single ball, winning the game in the preliminary stages. The move left no chance for the opponents since it was a winner-take-all kind of game.
The Unimaginable Tradeoff Between Demar Derozan and Kawhi Leonard
The chief of Raptors, Masai Ujiri, made the unthinkable move when he traded DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard in 2018. The star had performed excellently despite playing only a few games. However, he ended the season with an injury. Even though the gambler had served the team for a single season, he paid off for this deal.
The history of sports in Toronto features a series of memorable movements, and we cannot overlook the shot. Despite the Raptors losing in the championship in the 7th game, Kawhi’s electrifying performance left the fans yearning for more. The team was battling Philadelphia in the second round. The star fired a historical short, which was the biggest of all times.
Toronto is one of the most adored cities, and the largest in Canada, with myriad attractions. Being a sports hub has made it ascend the ladder to become an NBA partner in sports. The Raptors have earned the city a reputable title, attracting celebrities and respected business partners. Despite the Raptors becoming NBA champions, the team continues to nurture local talents. It encourages players from various regions to join and grow their aptitudes.