Despite being born in Toronto, and having lived in one of the city’s suburbs for nearly all of my life, I didn’t actually grow up a Toronto Raptors fan.
When the Raptors played their inaugural season during the 1995-96 campaign, I was 4 years old. So, I can actually say that there has never been a time in my life where I can’t remember being able to watch the Raptors play on TV.
Growing up, I liked basketball, but it wasn’t my favorite sport. Football had my heart. Some of my fondest memories from childhood were Sundays spent glued to the tube watching NFL football with my dad.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching Vince Carter sky through the air in the Raptors’ purple and white jerseys with oversized dinosaurs in the center, but that wasn’t enough to sway my fandom.
When the Raptors traded Carter away to the then-New Jersey Nets in 2004, a big chunk of my interest in the team went with him. Chris Bosh, who starred for Toronto after Carter, was a great player. The team just didn’t have the same amount of pizzazz surrounding them as they did when Carter was around.
On the bandwagon?!
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself that I’m a bandwagon fan. And to be honest, for many years you could call me that. As opposed to being loyal to only to my hometown Raptors, I admit that I instead also cheered on the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat because LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were two of my favorite players.
Cringeworthy? Probably, but isn’t that the nature of basketball? It is a sport, after all, where one player can single-handedly will their team to victory on a regular basis.
Fast forward to the Masai Ujiri era. I can’t help but feel massive amounts of pride for how far the Raptors have come in terms of the success on the court and how much they’ve seen their fan base grow not only across Canada but internationally as well.
In 2018, I’m no longer a basketball fan in the traditional sense. I am someone who is solely passionate about delivering objective and sound coverage of the Raptors and the NBA.
So, with that, I hope you’ll go easy on me for the questionable decisions I made as a young sports fan and instead still choose to support me as I cover the Raptors’ 2018-19 season for the Armchair All-Americans.
I’m excited to get to work!
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