A new chapter is almost upon us, but basketball lives on. Who features in the best Toronto Raptors starting lineup of the decade?
A lot can happen in 10 years – in life and in basketball – and the reality in which we know can change instantly or overnight. To start the decade, life as we know it was still revolving around Facebook and the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just beginning to take shape. In the music world, we were about to be treated to one of the greatest albums of all-time: Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and CeeLo Green was actually still a thing, and not just an oversized Ferrero Rocher (Google it), oh, and the Toronto Raptors were on the brink of some dark years.
Some very, very dark years. But, in just a few short years, the Raptors would break into some unchartered territory thanks to a new crop of stars, a grizzled head coach, and an absolute genius pulling all of the strings: Masai Ujiri.
First, they had to get through three tough seasons where they combined for 79 wins in 230 games, a lowly winning percentage of 34-percent. In truth, the decade started with the Raptors finishing 40-42 in the 2009-10 NBA season, and Chris Bosh leaving to join the Miami Heat and usher in a period of dominance, but we’re trying to create a narrative here.
To summarise: the Toronto Raptors were dreadful to start the decade. But success was only moments away. Since the 2013-14 season, the Raptors have been nothing short of a success story, averaging 53.5 wins per season and breaking their single-season record wins not once, twice, but thrice.
For a large period of time, the Raptors were known purely for their regular-season success. The organisation oozed regular-season stability, but the playoffs were a curse if nothing more. Postseason embarrassment was the agreed-upon norm for the Raptors, and LeBron James was, more often than not, the proprietor to the Raptors’ demise.