As we continue our Villains Week, we take a look at some former Toronto Raptors and determine if they were villainous or not.
Every fanbase has its villains. Random players who have destroyed them over the years, media members who continue to talk trash beyond their playing days, perhaps even NBA icons who have made a career of destroying another team’s hope. But no fanbase has a list of “self-villains” quite like the Toronto Raptors.
A “self-villain” is someone who managed to become a villainous figure to the Raptors fanbase, despite actually playing for the Toronto Raptors. These are players who either didn’t give full effort, disrespected the city of Toronto, or did some other type of evil behavior while playing with the team to earn “villain status”.
In many ways, villains from your own team are the most hated players of all. Opposing players are supposed to rip your heart out. LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Allen Iverson, were all just doing their job. To upset your own fanbase takes another level of “sports evil.”
Why Toronto seems to have more of their own players become villains is an interesting question. Part of it probably comes from the franchise’s Canadian roots and a few players who “refused” to play North of the border. Another part likely stems from the franchise’s youth and early dysfunction.
The Raptors were a relatively poorly run organization until recently. Out of dysfunction comes player discontent. Out of player discontent comes disrespectful behavior.
So which players have truly earned villain status? Which players are disliked by fans, but aren’t necessary villains? We give our final rulings.