The Raptors, like most NBA teams, have been defined by their superstars through the years.
Founded in 1995, their first big star was 1996 Rookie of the Year Damon Stoudamire. And, while Stoudamire was really good, nothing compares to the stardom level that Vince Carter was able to reach. Carter played for the Raptors from 1998-2004 and reached stratospheric levels of stardom after the iconic 2000 Slam Dunk Contest.
When Carter’s time came to an end, the Raptors were searching for a new star, and he came their way in the form of Chris Bosh. Bosh resembled Kevin Garnett is his build and style of play. He became the Raptors best player, team leader and perennial All-Star for almost a decade.
And then, when Bosh left and Toronto was once again looking for a star and leader, they ended up with two: DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The duo would lead Toronto to the playoffs consistently, and even help them to the best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors may be the team of Kawhi Leonard now, but the icons before Kawhi are the guys who built the franchise into what it is today.
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