Toronto Raptors: Top six moments from the successful 2010s

Championship Banner - Toronto Raptors(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Championship Banner - Toronto Raptors(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

5) Hosting the 2016 NBA All-Star Game

With the Raptors’ unprecedented success and growing talent in Canadian basketball, hosting the NBA All-Star Game for the first time was a major statement. For an entire weekend, the spotlight was squarely on Toronto. Despite the frigid cold, fans were treated to a memorable show featuring everything from a high-flying dunk contest between Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon to Kobe Bryant’s all-star farewell.

The Toronto Raptors were well represented at these festivities too with Lowry in the starting five and his then backcourt teammate DeRozan rounding out the reserves.

What did it all mean? Many things.

The celebration not only provided a boon to business, but it also helped show audiences and players a diverse, basketball-hungry city buzzing with energy and excitement— this was an attractive place to play in.

It was a validation of how far the Toronto Raptors and by extension Canada had come in the game of professional basketball. Canadian basketball talent was quickly coming up through the ranks and littered throughout NBA rosters.

It was another highpoint in the resuscitation of a once stagnant franchise. This was what MLSE had envisioned several years earlier when it began its innovative rebranding efforts, which included onboarding Drake as a global ambassador in 2013.

Unlike the beginning of the decade, the Toronto Raptors were cool, hip and on the tip of everyone’s tongue.