As part of fan favourite week, we decided to ask you, the fans. Who was the Toronto Raptors All-Time Fan Favourite? Now, we’ll crown one ultimate winner.
What makes a player a fan favorite? Sometimes it’s the energy they bring when they enter the game (Lucas Nogueira), sometimes it’s their hard-hat-like mentality (Charles Oakley), sometimes it’s a little harder to define (Jorge Garbajosa). Whatever it is, the Toronto Raptors have had plenty over the years.
Defining a favorite is more of an art or a science, but the best single way to describe a fan favorite is — how beloved is a player relative to his overall production.
Kyle Lowry, Vince Carter, and Kawhi Leonard were/are all loved by the fans, but they’re not really fan favorites. The term fan favorite should be saved for the lesser-known players, the players who Raptor fans love, even if casual NBA fans don’t recognize them.
When finding the ultimate Toronto Raptors fan favorite, there seemed to be two distinct groups of players. There’s the older crowd, players from the late ’90s and early 2000s — we’ve labeled this ” The OG Bracket” — There’s also a younger generation, from the more recent loveable Raptors teams — we’ve labeled this group the “The New Wave Bracket”
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two groups is the amount of winning each has done. The New Wave Bracket is filled with role players from highly successful teams. The OG Bracket has more of a “Bad News Bears” type feel. When the Raptors were just starting, and oftentimes terrible, they were the one silver lining, the one light in the darkness.
Of course, when the field is only 16, there were plenty of players who just missed the cut. Apologies to Keon Clark, Donyell Marshall, Pape Sow, Norman Powell, Fred VanVleet, and many more. All deserve recognition as fan favorites, even if they won’t be the “Ultimate Fan Favourite”.
But for an event more anticipated than Selection Sunday, it’s time to roll out the final bracket!