Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after his team won the 2019 NBA Finals
The Toronto Raptors win the 2019 NBA Finals | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In 1946, the Toronto Raptors competed against the New York Knickerbockers in the first game in NBA history. At the time, the NBA was known as the American Basketball Association; the Raptors were known as the Toronto Huskies. The Huskies folded shortly thereafter. But the franchise reemerged in 1993 when NBA Commissioner David Stern’s recommendation for a Toronto expansion team was approved.

Toronto team management chose “Raptors” from 11 team names submitted by NBA fans. Isiah Thomas, the franchise’s first general manager, helped create the roster via the NBA’s 1995 expansion draft. After the Raptors endured several years of poor seasons, draft-day acquisition Vince Carter guided the team to its first playoff series in 2001. Chris Bosh led the team for several seasons of success in the post-Carter years.

After Bosh’s departure to Miami, Toronto experienced a slump that only ended when DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry arrived, helping Toronto earn five Division titles. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marc Gasol joined the team — sans DeRozan — in 2018. The Raptors won their first NBA championship in 2019, the finale of a successful season that also included Toronto’s first Eastern Conference title.

  • Founded: 1995
  • Championships: 1 championship (2019)
  • Additional achievements: 1 conference title (2019) and seven division titles (2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Arena: Scotiabank Arena
  • Former team name: Toronto Huskies

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