Thursday December 31 2009 – 6:36pm Eastern – Toronto, ON

As the Raptors were preparing for this “15th Anniversary” season, I compiled a list of the all-time Raptor greats and put together the “All-Time Team”. 

But given that the calendar flips to 2010 tomorrow and a decade will have already passed us by, I figured I’d give you my take on Toronto’s all-decade team.

So … from 2000-2009 … here’s who would make my roster:

PG – Alvin Williams
SG – Vince Carter
SF – Morris Peterson
PF – Chris Bosh
C – Antonio Davis

* Mo Pete and VC could be interchangeable at the 2-3

BENCH:
- Jose Calderon
- Charles Oakley
- Andrea Bargnani
- Jerome Williams
- Anthony Parker
- Donyell Marhsall
- TJ Ford

INACTIVE:
- Jorge Garbajosa
- Matt Bonner
- Jalen Rose

I kept guys like Shawn Marion, Jermaine O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon off the team ’cause they didn’t really log enough games in a Raptor uniform to warrant legit consideration.  Kevin Willis was on the bubble … but the true bulk of his time in Toronto was in 1998 and 1999 … so I didn’t think he was part of the 2000′s “decade” team.

I’m sure the “Comments” section below will rage with debate over certain selections and/or omissions. 

But before you launch away … how ’bout we take a look atthe last 12 months in Raptorland (a very disappointing year to say the least):

January 2009 -The new year starts with 4 wins in 5 games but Toronto quickly falls back down to earth again – and the frustrating season continues – with a mid-month 7-game losing streak

February 2009- Toronto sends Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks

March 2009- The team kicks off the month on a nasty 6-game losing streak and Pops Mensah-Bonsu joins the Raps as a late-season free agent.

April 2009 – A disappointing 2008-2009 season ends with no post-season berth and only 33 wins

May 2009- Jay Triano signs a 3-year contract as head coach of the Raptors

June 2009- Toronto selects DeMar DeRozan out of USC with the 9th pick in the NBA draft

July 2009- Bryan Colangelo acquires Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, and Marco Belinelli … and signs free agents Jarrett Jack and Rasho Nesterovic

August 2009- The Raptors get Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems from Milwaukee for Roko Ukic and Carlos Delfino

September 2009- The new renovations are done at the ACC and the Raptors host their annual Media Day in the new Atrium

October 2009- Training Camp opens up in Ottawa with both Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu sidelined

November 2009 – The Raps sputter to a 6-10 record for the month … getting whacked a number of times … while turning in some of the worst defensive performances in franchise history

December 2009 – Toronto goes 9-6 and finishes the month/year with a 5-game winning streak

Happy New Year folks. 

See ya in 2010.

E. Smith

9 Responses to “The Year and The Decade”
  1. 1.

    Wow, E New year is coming and you are working hard as always! You even put the INACTIVE players! talk about dedication!

    - Raps Fan
  2. 2.

    please eric,,do an all raptors playoff success team/ players,,,,and break down all the success over the 15 year run/history,,,,should be a quick writeup but interesting,,,,,,any other nba team with worse postseason success then the raps in 15 years,,and FYI the raps of USA (clippers) have won more series then the raps,,,,,but curious any other nba franchise worse then the raps when it matters ?

    - lemongellofan
  3. 3.

    Eric:

    When considering the Raptors performance in 2009, everyone seems to be disregarding the impact of a new coaching staff and 9 new players having to be assembled into a Basketball TEAM, that can compete with the Clevelands, Bostons, Orlandos of the world, made up of players with years of experience playing together.

    That’s an unreasonable pipe dream. It just does not happen that way in the NBA.
    Experience in playing together,is just as valuable as having talented players.

    It will take time, but this team will improve as the season goes on. 6-10 was not unreasonable, given the schedule to start, and 9-6 is good progress given the schedule easing somewhat.

    There will still be losing streaks and winning streaks to come but I expect 42/44 wins and a 5th or 6th seed for the playoffs, and then we will see what happens.

    The team will continue to improve also as building blocks like Calderon and Evans return to play, being key pieces in Colangelos building plan, on both offense and defense.

    Although Jack and Banks have managed to cope with the help of Turkoglu, there is no doubt Calderon and Jack will improve the offensive flow that has sufferd while Jose is out.

    - Johnn19
  4. 4.

    Thanks to Eric, I am now the “pessimist” of our blog group.

    So, that said, it is now my responsibility to provide a list of the WORST lineup of Raptors players for the decade?

    This is gonna take some work, but the name Alexander Radojevic is already at the top of my list ;)

    If I don’t get distracted first, perhaps I’ll finish the list.

    - brento.
  5. 5.

    I liked Antonio Davis allright when he was actually playing here instead of listening to his wife too much, but when he is your franchise leader @ centre, you know your team is not the Lakers…or the Celts or the Bulls…

    Here is a quick note off the wire today about some more of our heroes. Sorry for the strong language but htee losers don’t don’t live in reality:

    NEW YORK – Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton drew guns on each other during a Christmas Eve locker room argument over a gambling debt, according to The New York Post.

    Let’s keep it rolling Raps.

    Brento, don’t forget Aruuuuuuuuujo

    - Gary
  6. 6.

    Anyone expecting much from Evans had better temper expectations. This guy is not a saviour; never has been and never will.

    And, more importantly, he’s coming off a serious injury. The type of injury that lingers, and can easily be reinjured. We all recall the troubles Eric Montross had with a soft tissue injury to his foot. Big men and ankel/foot problems are NOT a good combination.

    Regarding getting Calderon back — I’m certain I’m not the only one here who believes the recent improved play has much to do with Calderon’s absence. He simply cannot defend against most starting guards and that deficiency was a huge detriment to the team’s overall defensive play.

    I do not believe having Jose back will improve the team much at all. I think this team needs to move Calderon (or, at least, try) and find a very solid backup guard for Jack.

    Not the best option, but likely better than having Jose start and Jack come off the bench.

    - brento.
  7. 7.

    Brento, kind of agree with you but, I would trade Jose for a upgrade SG because that is our weakest position and then get a solid backup guard for Jack.

    Most likely Jose will stay with the Raptors at the beginning of February and than BC will try to trade him

    BTW: Is there something Kobe Bryant can’t do in the NBA?

    - Raps Fan
  8. 8.

    BTW: Is there something Kobe Bryant can’t do in the NBA?

    You mean besides get away from the fact that he is an adulterous (unconvicted) rapist???

    It’s the old “on the court athletes vs off the court idiots” arguments. I’m one of those “can’t seem to separate them” fans.

    They immediately fall off my heroe worship bus.

    Maybe he and Tiger can get together and swap stories. At least none of his mistresses has come forward to say it wasn’t consensual.

    -No win situation for the Raps tonight: win and they just beat an injury decimated team. Lose and they couldn’t even beat an injury decimated team.

    I’ll take the win.

    - Gary
  9. 9.

    Gary – I don’t even watch basketball anymore for the very reason that the league seems to be filled with piles of thugs. Even though David Stern is trying his best to keep the ‘tude under a blanket, it’s all there for fans to see. I only watch Raps games…could care less about the rest of the league.

    The latest Arenas incident is just disgusting but, sadly, indicative of what is going on throughout most urban centres in North America. The whole hip hop, gangsta, eye for an eye mentality is frightening for everyone – whether you have children, plan to have children, or are a kid, yourself.

    And, while there still remain plenty of athletes that seem like solid role models (Nash, Duncan, Howard), the bad apples of the league are dragging the NBA down.

    If I was commish of the league (or owner of the Bullits, woops, Wizards) Arenas would never play a game again.

    Never. Ever.

    - brento.
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