CANADA: Toronto Raptors win first NBA title in history
National Basketball Association (NBA)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men’s professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada). It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It changed its the name to the National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). Today, the NBA’s regular season runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 games. Its playoffs extend into June. NBA players are the world’s best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.
The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The league’s several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices in Midtown Manhattan, while its NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member club of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. The team was founded in 1995 as part of the NBA’s expansion into Canada, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies. The Raptors have been the only Canadian-based team in the league since the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated from Vancouver, British Columbia to Memphis, Tennessee prior to the 2001–02 NBA season. The Raptors play their home games at the Scotiabank Arena.
Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league-attendance records and made the NBA playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress, and Carter was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets.
After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. For the 2006–07 season, Bryan Colangelo was appointed as general manager, and through a combination of Bosh, 2006 first overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani, and a revamp of the roster, the Raptors qualified for their first playoff berth in five years, capturing the Atlantic Division title. In the 2007–08 season, they also advanced to the playoffs, but failed to reach the post-season in each of the next five seasons. Colangelo overhauled the team’s roster for the 2009–10 season in a bid to persuade pending free agent Bosh to stay, but Bosh departed to sign with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in yet another era of rebuilding for the Raptors.
Masai Ujiri replaced Colangelo in 2013, and helped herald a new era of success, led by backcourt duo Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. The Raptors returned to the playoffs the following year and became a consistent playoff team in every year of Ujiri’s tenure. Under Ujiri, the team also won five Division titles and registered their most successful regular season in 2018. However, the team’s failure to reach beyond the conference finals prompted Ujiri to fire head coach Dwane Casey shortly after the playoffs concluded and conduct the high-profile trade of DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green later that summer, as well as acquire Marc Gasol before the trade deadline. In the 2019 playoffs, the Raptors won its first Eastern Conferencetitle, and advanced to the franchise’s first NBA Finals, where they beat the Golden State Warriors in six games to capture their first championship. The Raptors are the first Canadian team to win the NBA title, and the first non-American team to win a championship in any of the major North American sports leagues since the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: June 14, 2019 at 07:03PM