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Over and Back: The history of the Toronto Raptors

This week on the Over and Back Classic NBA Podcast hosts Jason Mann and Rich Kraetsch celebrate the Toronto Raptors very first trip to the NBA Finals by looking back at the franchise’s history.

The show starts with some insights into professional basketball history in Toronto prior to the Raptors, the NBA’s weird use of NBL/BAA history, why the Toronto Huskies didn’t succeed and some additional stories on the roots of basketball in the city.

Then, it’s Hogs time… Not quite. We discuss the formation of the Toronto basketball franchise, the NBA’s rapid expansion at the time, how the nickname Raptors was selected (and the nicknames that didn’t win), Isiah Thomas being named the president and why the Raptors played in three different arenas during their early years.

The show then recaps each era in Toronto Raptors history including the early expansion years that saw actual progression from the team until issues with ownership and Thomas sunk the team to new lows. We look at the drafting of Vince Carter, his historic 2000 dunk contest and the importance for Carter and the franchise, and his infamous missed shot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

We talk about how the Carter era ended, the beginnings of the Chris Bosh era, how the Bosh and DeMar Derzoan eras had an interesting crossover, giving up 81 points to Kobe Bryant, how they acquired Kyle Lowry, playoff struggles and eventually, how this year’s Raptors team made it to the NBA Finals.

Join us as we journey through Toronto Raptors history and celebrate the very first NBA Finals game played outside of the United States of America.

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