New Book Gives 100-Item History Lesson For Raptors Fans


When the Toronto Raptors score 100 or more points and win their game at the Air Canada Centre, every ticket-holding fan gets a free slice of pizza. Now there’s a new positive meaning to the number 100. Former Sports Reporter Dave Mendonca has a new book out called ‘100 Things Raptors Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’. The book will guide you through the history of the team and may surprise you with some interesting and fun facts about the team even the most diehard fan may not have known. For fans new and old this book is worth a read, and, in the author’s own words, here’s why:

Why did you want to write a book about the Toronto Raptors?

I went to a bookstore in November of last year and I was looking around the sports section and noticed there were no Raptors books. When I was in the store I noticed this book series ‘100 Things fans should know & Do Before They Die’. There was a book for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays but not one for the Raptors. I contacted the publisher to make the book and I knew raptors fans would love this book. For diehard fans they will go back in time and relive some of the heartbreaking moments and the fun moments. For fans new to the bandwagon it’s a whole education about the Raptors and the NBA’s only team in Canada.

How hard was it to narrow it down to 100 things and to pick the number 1 thing a Raptor fan should know?

Fortunately I have been able to know about the Raptors and associate with the Raptors since day one. I was there since the beginning as a 19-year-old kid reporting on the Raptors, getting to interview the players and it helped give me this intimate knowledge of the team and it’s history. As far as picking the number one spot it wasn’t too hard. He [Vince Carter] was the only superstar the team has had and his impact  is still felt to this day on the court for the franchise.

Apr 18, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A general view of the Air Canada Centre in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs between the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards. Washington defeated Toronto 93-86. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

You have been following the team since the beginning, how has the atmosphere around the team changed over the years?

I think at the beginning it was all about educating the fans. I remember reading a quote from Isaiah Thomas where he said he was a ‘24/7 salesman’ trying to show basketball fans how it worked. It was more of an education at the beginning but as the years have gone by it has been interesting to watch how the fans have become more educated about basketball especially through things like social media.  In the early 2000’s with Vince it exploded, he shook the foundation and made it a ‘cool thing’ for people to be fans of the team. Over the course of the past couple of decades fans really started to take ownership. The ‘We The North’ campaign just catapulted it all.

There is an emotional foreward in your book by Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams. It’s like a love letter to the city. How did you get him to contribute to the book?

I originally met Jerome Williams when I was hosting a basketball podcast. He was a great guy who had such energy and passion on the court. So when the opportunity came up for him to write the foreword for the book it was just the perfect fit because this book is about the fans and JYD has always been about the fans.

What is your predictions for the team this year?

Obviously the Raptors are more defensive minded this year and a lot of the prognosticators don’t have them doing well but the Raptors fan in me says we will take a round.  I think they could take a round possibly if somehow they wiggle into a 4 seed which I know is highly unlikely.

Next: Time for a new starting power forward?

For more information on the book click here.