Bryan Colangelo

Bryan Paul Colangelo (born June 1, 1965)[1] is an American basketball executive who is the former general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA).[2] He also served as president of basketball operations for Philadelphia and Toronto.[1] He is the son of Phoenix sports mogul Jerry Colangelo.[3] He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of science degree in business management and applied economics.[1][4] He was the 2005 and 2007 recipient of the NBA Executive of the Year Award.[5]

Bryan Colangelo
Bryan colangelo 2009
Colangelo (right) in a Raptors pre-game chat
BornJune 1, 1965 (age 53)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materCornell University[1]
Spouse(s)Barbara Bottini
Children2
Parent(s)Jerry Colangelo (father)
Joan Colangelo (mother)

Early life

Colangelo grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where his father served as general manager (and eventually owner) of the Phoenix Suns. After graduating from Central High School, Colangelo attended Cornell University, where he played as a guard for the Cornell Big Red men's basketball team. After graduating from Cornell, he moved to New York City, where he worked in real estate.[6]

Front office career

Phoenix Suns

Colangelo was hired by the Suns front office in 1991. In 1995, Colangelo succeeded his father as general manager of the Suns.[6][7]

During his tenure as Phoenix's general manager, Colangelo made a number of transactions that have received wide praise across the NBA, including the drafting of would-be superstars Shawn Marion and Amar'e Stoudemire. Colangelo was roundly criticized for his trade of Jason Kidd to the New Jersey Nets for Stephon Marbury, but corrected this mistake by trading Marbury and oft-injured Penny Hardaway to the New York Knicks for several contracts.[3] The additional salary cap space created by this trade allowed Colangelo to sign Steve Nash back from the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2004.[3] Nash would go on to be the 2004–05 and 2005–06 NBA Most Valuable Player, and the Suns would go 62–20 and claim the top playoff seed in the Western Conference in the 2004–05 season.[3] As a result, Colangelo was awarded the 2005 NBA Executive of the Year Award.[3]

In the summer of 2005, Colangelo traded disgruntled shooting guard Joe Johnson to the Atlanta Hawks for two future first-round picks and Boris Diaw, who then won the 2006 NBA Most Improved Player Award. Colangelo also dealt Quentin Richardson to the Knicks. Despite the loss of these two players and the loss of Stoudemire for virtually the entire season (only playing in 3 regular season games), the Suns once again led the Pacific Division.

In addition to his work with the Suns, he served as president of Phoenix Arena Sports (PAS), the owning entity of the Arizona Rattlers team of the Arena Football League and the operating entity of the Phoenix Mercury team of WNBA from June 1991 through June 2002. The Rattlers won the championship in 1994 and 1997 and the Mercury played in the WNBA finals in 1998. He won the AFL Executive of the Year award in 1993 for his work with the Rattlers.[6]

Toronto Raptors

In 2004, the Suns were sold to a group of investors led by Robert Sarver, although Colangelo stayed on as president and general manager. Shortly after the Raptors fired Rob Babcock in January 2006, rumors began swirling that the team was pursuing Colangelo despite the Raptors' claims that they were initiating an "exhaustive" search for a new general manager.

On February 27, 2006, Colangelo resigned from his position with the Suns, and on February 28, 2006, the Raptors announced him as their new president and general manager.[1] On May 23, 2006, Colangelo and the Raptors were awarded the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.[8]

On June 8, 2006, Colangelo pulled his first trade since he joined the Raptors by swapping the much-criticized first-rounder Rafael Araújo for Robert Whaley and Kris Humphries with the Utah Jazz. He completed his second trade by sending forward Eric Williams, fan favorite Matt Bonner and a 2009 second-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for center Radoslav Nesterovič on June 21, 2006. The Raptors also announced that they had waived Whaley.

Colangelo traded Charlie Villanueva, who was runner-up for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, for Milwaukee Bucks point guard T. J. Ford.[9]

Colangelo picked the 20-year-old Italian Andrea Bargnani with the first overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft[10] which was held in New York City on June 28, 2006. This also made Bargnani the first European selected first overall in the history of the NBA Draft. He also signed several free agents from European teams, including Jorge Garbajosa and Anthony Parker. However, the drafting of Bargnani would cause some serious criticism later on after performing lesser to expectations as a #1 selection.

On July 16, 2006, Colangelo signed Bosh to a contract extension which was in effect starting from the 2007–08 season. The contract was for three years plus a player option for the fourth year, and had the potential to pay Bosh up to US$65 million over the four-year span.

2007: Executive of the Year

In 2007 the Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division, with a 47−35 record, for the first time in franchise history. Many have credited their significant turnaround from a 27–55 in the 2005–06 season to the changes made by Colangelo, in which he brought in nine new players to the Toronto Raptors' roster.

Colangelo was awarded the 2007 Executive of the Year Award in the weeks following the Raptors' series loss to the Nets in the first round of the playoffs.[5]

During the offseason, Colangelo gave the 2009 and 2011 second-round draft picks to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Carlos Delfino. He also signed Jason Kapono to a multi-year contract with the Raptors.

2008–2013

On July 6, 2008, Colangelo traded point guard T.J. Ford to the Indiana Pacers for Jermaine O'Neal.[11] In the trade the Raptors also acquired the draft rights to forward-center Nathan Jawai, the 41st overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, and sent center Rasho Nesterovic, forward Maceo Baston and the draft rights to the 17th overall selection, center Roy Hibbert, to Indiana. During the 2008-2009 season, the trade was regarded as being a failure for Toronto.[12]

Colangelo fired coach Sam Mitchell 17 games into the season,[12] promoting assistant Jay Triano to head coach.[13] Triano was the first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history.[14]

In the 2009 draft he picked DeMar DeRozan with the ninth pick.[15] Two years later, in the 2011 draft he picked Jonas Valančiūnas with the fifth pick, although he would not play for the Raptors until 2013.[15]

In July 2012, Colangelo traded Gary Forbes and a first round pick for Kyle Lowry.[16] In October 2012 he re-signed DeMar DeRozan to a 4-year deal worth $38 million, which was a bargain in hindsight.[17][18]

On May 21, 2013, MLSE announced that the Raptors were looking for a new general manager, but Colangelo would remain team president.[19] On June 26, 2013, Colangelo stepped down as president of the Raptors.[20] Although Colangelo had received substantial criticism in the latter part of his tenure as Raptors' general manager, he was credited with building the foundations for the Raptors' success under his replacement, Masai Ujiri.[21]

After his tenure with the Toronto Raptors ended, Colangelo did freelance scouting and consulting for other NBA executives and agents.[21] In January 2016, Colangelo emerged as a top candidate to succeed Billy King as general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, though the team ultimately hired the San Antonio Spurs' assistant general manager Sean Marks instead despite not being considered a main competitor for the position at the time.[22]

Philadelphia 76ers

In April 2016, the Philadelphia 76ers hired Colangelo as president of basketball operations.[23] Colangelo's father, Jerry Colangelo, had been hired as chairman of basketball operations earlier in the season, but he soon stepped down from the chairman role after the younger Colangelo was hired as president. The older Colangelo still maintained a role as a special adviser for the team during this period.[23] Sam Hinkie, the previous general manager of the team, also stepped down from his position days before Bryan Colangelo was hired.[2][23]

Colangelo drafted Ben Simmons, a former LSU point forward, as the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft; the team also selected Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and Furkan Korkmaz with first-round picks. Due to a fractured foot, Simmons missed the entirety of the 2016–17 season. Colangelo also signed Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, and Sergio Rodriguez during the 2016 off-season.[24] At the 2017 trade deadline, Colangelo traded center Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and two second round picks.[25] In June 2017, Colangelo traded the third pick in the 2017 NBA draft and a future first-round pick to the Boston Celtics for the first overall pick of the draft, using that pick to select Markelle Fultz.[26] During this second and final season, Colangelo helped the 76ers enter the playoffs with over 50 victories, as well as enter the second round of the playoffs that year.

On May 29, 2018, The Ringer published an investigation alleging Colangelo used up to five secret Twitter accounts to disparage his predecessor, Hinkie, as well as several 76ers players including Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. The next day, the 76ers announced that they were commencing an investigation into the matter.[27] Colangelo denied the report in a statement.[28] On June 7, 2018, Colangelo resigned as a result of the Twitter scandal.[29] The situation related to his wife, Barbara Bottini, creating three of the five fake Twitter accounts involved that leaked potentially sensitive information about the Philadelphia 76ers organization, among other details. Colangelo also had an account, but he never used it for messaging purposes.[30] 76ers head coach Brett Brown was named the interim general manager at the time, holding onto the position from June 7 to September 20. On that day, former 76ers player Elton Brand was named the official general manager of the team.[31]

Personal life

Before working for the Phoenix Suns, Colangelo worked for an upmarket commercial real estate firm on Wall Street for four years.

Colangelo is married to Italian-born Barbara Bottini, and they have two children.[32]

In 2015, Colangelo was in the final stages of earning his permanent residency in Canada.[21]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Bryan Colangelo". Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Sixers Name Bryan Colangelo President of Basketball Operations". NBA. April 10, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Suns President Bryan Named NBA Executive of the Year". NBA. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  4. ^ Andrew-Gee, Eric (November 16, 2012). "Dunkonomics: How the Toronto Raptors' Bryan Colangelo plans to reinvent his team". Toronto Life. Archived from the original on September 15, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Raptors' Bryan Colangelo Named Executive of the Year, but loves ruining franchises". NBA. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Pompey, Keith (June 20, 2016). "Humble beginnings for both Jerry, Bryan Colangelo". Philly.com. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  7. ^ AP (February 27, 2006). "Suns GM Bryan Colangelo resigns; set to join Raptors". USA Today. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  8. ^ "Raptors Claw to Top of Heap". NBA. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  9. ^ "Raptors deal fire bryan colangelo Villanueva to Bucks for Ford". ESPN.com. July 1, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
  10. ^ "No. 1 Draft Picks Bargnani and Bogut Head Selections For 2007 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam". NBA. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  11. ^ "Pacers trade Jermaine O'Neal to Raptors for T.J. Ford in six-player deal". InsideHoops.com. July 6, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Ewing, Lori (April 20, 2009). "Future of Triano one of biggest decisions facing Colangelo this off-season". Yahoo! Canada Sports. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  13. ^ "Mitchell Fired". Fan 590. Archived from the original on December 15, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  14. ^ Zalubowsk, David (December 3, 2008). "Raptors fire coach Sam Mitchell; Triano takes over". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 21, 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Toronto Raptors Draft Picks | Basketball-Reference.com". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  16. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (September 23, 2014). "You Can Count on Me". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Raptors, DeMar DeRozan agree on 4-year contract extension". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  18. ^ "VICE Sports Q&A: Former Raptors Executive Bryan Colangelo | VICE Sports". Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  19. ^ "Colangelo remains Raptors president - CityNews Toronto". May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  20. ^ "Colangelo steps down as president of Raptors". Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  21. ^ a b c "The (New) Life of Bryan Colangelo - Sportsnet.ca". Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  22. ^ Stein, Marc (January 13, 2016). "Nets considering Bryan Colangelo for general manager role". ESPN. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c Harper, Zach (April 10, 2016). "Bryan Colangelo named Sixers' president, Jerry Colangelo steps down". CBS Sports. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  24. ^ Cooney, Bob (May 18, 2017). "Bryan Colangelo is smoothly guiding the 76ers in the right direction". Philly.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  25. ^ Mahoney, Rob (February 23, 2017). "Trade Grades: Mavs Steal Nerlens Noel From 76ers In Savvy Deadline Move". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  26. ^ Camerato, Jessica (June 22, 2017). "SIXERS SELECT MARKELLE FULTZ WITH NO. 1 OVERALL PICK IN NBA DRAFT". CSN Philly. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  27. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers investigating tweets linked to GM Bryan Colangelo". NBA.com. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  28. ^ "The Curious Case of Bryan Colangelo and the Secret Twitter Account". The Ringer. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "Bryan Colangelo resigns as president of 76ers". ESPN.com. June 7, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  30. ^ "What actually happened in the Bryan Colangelo Twitter saga, and what didn't". Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Elton Brand Named General Manager". NBA.com. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  32. ^ Cleary, Tom (May 31, 2018). "Barbara Bottini, Bryan Colangelo's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved May 31, 2018.

External links

1993 Arena Football League season

The 1993 Arena Football League season was the seventh season of the Arena Football League (AFL). The league champions were the Tampa Bay Storm, who defeated the Detroit Drive in ArenaBowl VII. The AFL also re-aligned to two conferences.

1993 Arizona Rattlers season

The 1993 Arizona Rattlers season marked the 2nd season for the franchise. The Rattlers sold out every home during the season.

2004–05 Phoenix Suns season

The 2004–05 NBA season was the 37th for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association. During the offseason, the Suns re-acquired All-Star guard Steve Nash from the Dallas Mavericks, and signed free agent Quentin Richardson. The Suns got off to a fast start winning 31 of their first 35 games, but then lost six straight afterwards. They finished with the best record in the NBA at 62–20 under head coach Mike D'Antoni. Three members of the team, Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Shawn Marion were all selected for the 2005 NBA All-Star Game. The Suns also gained solid play from Richardson and Joe Johnson. Nash finished the season averaging 11.5 assists per game, while making 50.2% of his field goals and 43.1% of his three-pointers in the regular season. He ended up winning the MVP award. D'Antoni was awarded Coach of the Year, and Bryan Colangelo Executive of the Year.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Suns swept the Memphis Grizzlies in four straight games, then in the semifinals defeated Nash's former team, the Dallas Mavericks in six games. However, in the Western Conference Finals, they would lose to the 2nd-seeded and eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in five games. Following the season, Johnson was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, and Richardson was dealt to the New York Knicks.

2005–06 Toronto Raptors season

General manager Bryan Colangelo was hired mid-season to replace fired Rob Babcock.

2006–07 NBA season

The 2006–07 NBA season was the 61st season of the National Basketball Association. The San Antonio Spurs were crowned the champions after sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

2006–07 Toronto Raptors season

The Toronto Raptors 2006–07 season is the twelfth National Basketball Association (NBA) season for the Toronto Raptors basketball franchise. Following a poor 2005–06 season, General Manager Bryan Colangelo greatly revamped the team roster during the pre-season but continued to build the team around All-Star Chris Bosh. Despite a sluggish start, the 2006–07 season transformed into a watershed year for Toronto. The Raptors captured their first division title, finished third in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs for the first time in five years, equalled their best ever regular season record, and secured home court advantage for the first time in franchise history. However, the Raptors met the New Jersey Nets in the first round of the playoffs and were defeated four games to two. At the end of the regular season, head coach Sam Mitchell and Colangelo were named NBA Coach of the Year and NBA Executive of the Year respectively. The Raptors also changed their color scheme which is still in use today.

2015–16 Philadelphia 76ers season

The 2015–16 Philadelphia 76ers season was the second worst in franchise history, one game better than their 9-73 mark in the 1972–73 season. It was also the second straight season that Joel Embiid, the third pick in the 2014 NBA draft, would not suit up for the 76ers due to a leg injury. Philadelphia broke the record for the longest losing streak in American professional sports history with 27 straight losses over this season and last season with a 114–116 loss to the Houston Rockets. The losing streak would reach to 28 games (with the 18 straight losses tying the record for longest opening season losing streak with the 2009–10 New Jersey Nets) before getting their first victory at home against the Los Angeles Lakers, which was also Kobe Bryant's last game against the 76ers in Philadelphia. Philadelphia would also hire former Phoenix Suns owner, coach, general manager, and four-time NBA Executive of the Year winner Jerry Colangelo on December 7, 2015 as their Chairman of Basketball Operations. Eleven days later, former Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni would join the team as an associate head coach. Near the end of the season, general manager Sam Hinkie would announce his resignation from his position, being replaced by Jerry's son Bryan Colangelo before the end of the season. Jerry would also announce his personal demotion from his original position afterwards.

The 76ers finished just one game shy of tying the NBA record for most losses in a season set by themselves during their 1972–73 season when they went 9–73. They became only the second team after the Vancouver Grizzlies between 1995–96 and 1997–98 to endure three consecutive 82-game seasons with fewer than twenty wins. However, it would be the season where Sam Hinkie's goal of "The Process" came into full fruition since they'd later earn the #1 selection in the 2016 NBA draft.

Anthony Parker

Anthony Michael Parker (born June 19, 1975) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as in Italy and Israel.

After graduating from Bradley University with a major in liberal arts, he entered the 1997 NBA draft and played briefly in the NBA before plying his trade in Europe. There, Parker spent five seasons with the Israeli Super League basketball club Maccabi Tel Aviv and one season with the Italian Serie A club Lottomatica Roma. With Maccabi he won five Israeli Super League national championships, five Israeli National Cups, three European titles (two EuroLeague Basketball titles and the FIBA SuproLeague title in 2001), and was voted two consecutive times EuroLeague MVP.

After returning to the NBA as a free agent in 2006, Parker was the Toronto Raptors' starting shooting guard. In his first season with the Raptors, Parker helped the team clinch their first ever division title, first NBA Playoffs berth in five years, and best regular season record in franchise history. He helped the Raptors reach the playoffs again in the 2007–08 season, before becoming a free agent in 2009.

On June 27, 2012, Anthony Parker retired after playing nine seasons in the NBA, five seasons in Israel, and one season in Italy. He is currently a scout for the Orlando Magic. On August 8, 2017 he was named the general manager of the Lakeland Magic.

Central High School (Phoenix, Arizona)

Central High School is a high school in the Phoenix Union High School District, Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The campus is located at 4525 North Central Avenue, just north of downtown. It was established in 1957.

Colangelo

Colangelo is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Bryan Colangelo (born 1965), NBA general manager

Jerry Colangelo (born 1939), businessman and sports mogul

Mike Colangelo (born 1976), baseball player

Jerry Colangelo

Jerry Colangelo (born November 20, 1939) is an American businessman and sports executive. He formerly owned the Phoenix Suns of the NBA, the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, the Arizona Sandsharks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. He was also instrumental in the relocation of the original Winnipeg Jets team in the NHL to Phoenix to become the Phoenix Coyotes (now the Arizona Coyotes). In 2014, Grand Canyon University renamed its Christian based school of business after Jerry Colangelo, replacing Ken Blanchard's name sake. From December 2015 to April 2016, Colangelo served as Chairman of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, before serving as a special adviser to the team until December 2018.

He became the youngest general manager in professional sports in 1968 after being hired as general manager for the Phoenix Suns. He has the second longest tenure running the same NBA franchise, exceeded only by Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics.In the summer of 2005, Colangelo was named director of USA Basketball whose team represented the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 FIBA World Championship. Since 2009, he has served as Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Colangelo also serves as Chairman of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), a nonprofit nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage.

List of Toronto Raptors seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Toronto Raptors National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise.

Masai Ujiri

Masai Ujiri (born 7 July 1970) is a Nigerian professional basketball executive, former scout and former player, currently serving as the president of the Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

NBA Executive of the Year Award

The National Basketball Association's Executive of the Year Award is an annual award given since the 1972–73 NBA season, to the league's best general manager. Before 2009, the Executive of the Year was presented annually by Sporting News, but was officially recognized by the NBA. Since 2009, the award has been awarded by the NBA. Voting is conducted by executives from the league's 30 teams. The person with the most votes wins the award.Since its inception, the award has been given to 28 different general managers. Jerry Colangelo, the first general manager for the Phoenix Suns, is the only person to win the award four times. Bob Bass, R. C. Buford, Wayne Embry, Bob Ferry, Stan Kasten, Jerry Krause, Bob Myers, Geoff Petrie, Jerry West, as well as Jerry Colangelo's son Bryan Colangelo have all won the award twice. All of the award winners were born in the United States until then–Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri, who was born in Nigeria, won the award in 2013. Larry Bird, Frank Layden and Pat Riley join Red Auerbach as the only recipients to have also received NBA Coach of the Year. Bird is also the only winner to receive the NBA Most Valuable Player in addition to either of the Coach or Executive of the Year awards.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers (also commonly known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, and one of only eight (out of 23) to survive the league's first decade.

The 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955. The second title came in 1967, a team which was led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Erving and Malone. The 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

Phoenix Suns accomplishments and records

This page details the all-time statistics, records, and other achievements pertaining to the Phoenix Suns.

Sam Hinkie

Samuel Blake Hinkie (born December 1977) is the former General Manager and President of Basketball Operations of the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association. A graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Hinkie was formerly a member of the front office of the Houston Rockets under Daryl Morey. In 2015, ESPN named Hinkie's Sixers as the major professional sports franchise that had most embraced analytics. In 2018, Hinkie was hired as an analytics consultant for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League.

The Ringer (website)

The Ringer is a sports and pop culture website and podcast network, founded by sportswriter Bill Simmons in 2016.

Toronto Raptors

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. Founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada, the Raptors are the only Canadian-based team in the league. They 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. In 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. The team also won four 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.

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