A form of basketball was played by the Ojibwe people on Lake Ontario and went by the name of “beaktukk tagaka,” which, roughly translated, means “lacrosse played badly.”
Almonte, Ontario native James Naismith “invented” basketball in 1891 by stealing it from the First Nations people, which is perfectly acceptable Canadian behaviour.
In 1897, a group of young men in Toronto (then known as Cootieville) founded the Birds of Prey Basketball Organization for Young Gentlemen Who Find the Sport of Hockey Too Barbaric. In 1908, the name was changed to the Toronto Raptors Athletics Club for Not Necessarily White People. The team became known as simply the Toronto Raptors in 1932 following a national referendum, narrowly edging out “the Toronto Compromisers.”
The Commonwealth spelling of “Raptors” is “Raptours,” a style many Canadians obstinately and somewhat smugly adhere to.
In 1977, the “raptor” brand was made more basketball-centric by changing it from a bird of prey to that of an extinct creature with a small brain and no hands.
All Raptors players must pledge allegiance to the Queen and have Her Highnesses’s initials “ER” discreetly tattooed behind their left knee.
Raptors who receive seven unsportsmanlike technical fouls over the course of the playoffs are suspended for a game and the subject of a strongly worded letter to the editor.
The original Raptors mascot was Anne of Green Gables.
Leonard Cohen served as head coach of the Raptors for three morose but strangely sexy seasons in the 80s.
Kyle Lowry became a Raptor in 2012 and instantly fell in love with ketchup chips.
The air pumped into Toronto Raptors basketballs is in metric.
In French Quebec, the Raptors are know as Les Hommes en Culottes Mignon (“the men in adorable panties”).
Every evening, children across Canada pray:
Raptors, Raptors in the key
Score some points, we pray to thee
Make your free throws, set a screen
And grow your beards like Danny Green
Five Raptors mascots have met with violent deaths and zero public outcry.
No one has yet to inform centre Marc Gasol that Toronto is not an American city.
In Canada, the “pick-and-roll” is known as “the Petawawa Pogey Cheque.”
Kawhi Leonard mentally prepares for Raptors home games by wandering into the Arctic barrens, sustained only by a diet of pemmican and Coffee Crisps, while meditating on the teachings of Marshall McLuhan and Stompin’ Tom Connors.
Canadians are required by law to cheer in favour of the Raptors but only after the last Canadian team has been eliminated from NHL playoffs.
Canadians accept no responsibility for Drake.