I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
The Greatest Team in NBA History
Many regard the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls as the greatest team in history led by Michael Jordan. There regular season record was 72 wins and 10 losses (recently beaten by the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors going 73-9). The Bulls capped off their historic season with a championship, unlike the Golden State Warriors record setting year.
What does this have to do with the Toronto Raptors? I wanted to point out 2 things.
A) The Raptors inaugural season was 1995-1996, they were an expansion team. Out of the 10 losses the Bulls had, the Toronto Raptors own one of them, as they beat Michael Jordan’s Bulls at home. Another fun fact, is that they were playing there games where the Blue Jays play, in the Sky Dome!
- B) This gives perspective for the Raptors, entering a league as an expansion team. They entered during a time of the dominance of Michael Jordan. It has been a long journey to see the Raptors rise in the NBA and become a regular playoff team & healthy organization.
The Last Dance
A highly anticipated Michael Jordan documentary is coming to Canada and the rest of the world Monday, April 20th via Netflix. Starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. We will get to see an inside look at the true competitive nature of Michael Jordan and I believe it will give many who never watched him live, a new perspective on how he changed and elevated the game of basketball. Make sure to check it out!
A turning point in Raptors history was the acquisition of Vince Carter. Vince Carter had the flair and dunking ability at least, equal to, and I would say greater than Michael Jordan. To see Vince elevate better than Michael and dunk on 7 footers inspired Basketball Canada to grow!
Carter would never measure up to the level of Michael Jordan. One of the biggest differences is, that as good as Michael Jordan was offensively, he was just as good or better defensively. Defense is what sets Michael Jordan a part from most of the super stars in history until today. MJ could change the game on the defensive end as good as he could on the offensive end.
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 1987-88
- 3× Steals leader: 1987–88, 1989–90, 1992–93
- 9× All-Defensive selection:
- First Team: 1988–93, 1996–98
Many people only see the greatness on offense from Michael. It’s only half of his greatness.
The Raptors Roots – Bad Boys
The Raptors were built with the vision of one of MJ’s greatest competitors. Isiah Thomas was the leader of the Bad Boy Pistons, who won two championships, but most likely would have won three if he didn’t get injured in the finals. The Bad Boy Pistons didn’t have any player like MJ, in fact you can count on one hand since MJ retired, teams that have had super stars that can be mentioned in the conversation as MJ. You still need star power, but the greatness behind the Bad Boy Pistons was all about team. This is the roots of the Raptors, and its 25 years later that they have found the right formula.
Kawhi Leonard played a massive part in the Toronto Raptors championship, but there was a lot more to it. We have seen it this NBA Season the Toronto Raptors are all about team. Defensively they keep each other accountable, and offensively it is all about ball movement and trust. Team play on both ends of the floor at high intensity, mixed in with a lot of talent is what made the Bad Boy Pistons so special. The Raptors to me are a reflective image of the Bad Boy Pistons. When the NBA season returns, the Bad Boy Raptors will be right in contention for the Larry O’ B’.
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BY: DAN CHANDRAN – a.k.a THE SPORTS REVEREND
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