For many Raptors analysts and writers, the Raptors lack of a D-League franchise was a serious hinderance to developing young talent. On Monday afternoon the wait was finally over, and the "Raptors 905" were born, and for young players, the Road to the Six begins in Mississauga:
Matt Devlin along with D-League President Malcolm Turner, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Masai Ujiri were the panel assembled to announce the birth of the franchise.
Turner began the proceedings, telling a story about how when going through customs, the officer was beyond excited about the announcement of the team, and how thrilled he is to bring the D-League to Canada. "As the record 19th team in the NBA D-League, Raptors 905 is evidence not only of the value the Raptors place on developing young players but also of their commitment to providing fans with the NBA D-League's unique brand of high quality basketball."
After Mayor Bonnie Crombie talked about how the team will positively influence the youth of Mississauga as well as being a great addition to growth of basketball in the community, Masai Ujiri took to the stage.
Ujiri proceeded to thank his front office team, with special credit to Bobby Webster (VP of Basketball Management & Strategy) for getting the ball rolling on the project and getting all the work done behinds the scenes. He then went on to talk about the purpose of bringing the D-League team to Mississauga "Raptors 905 will give our young players a great opportunity to develop and gain valuable experience, while providing high level, affordable basketball to the community."
The banner for the inaugural season was then unveiled as documented by Eric Smith:
Today was a great step forward in basketball development for the Raptors young talent, even if the name has some skeptics:
They're called "The Raptors 905"? Drake's promotion of Toronto area codes has a lot to answer for, man— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 29, 2015
The Raptors 905. Oy.— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) June 29, 2015
Raptors 905 is where all your married friends move when they become no fun— Andrew Webster (@awebster84) June 29, 2015
What do you guys think of the announcement? (And the name?)