Last week, I was reminded of the infamous Ben Uzoh triple double game in a victory against the New Jersey Nets to close out the 2011-12 season that might have (probably) cost us a really really good draft pick. There’s been plenty of random moments in the history of this franchise. Some great, some not so great. Many of them not so great. So, what’s my favorite random Raptors moment, and I’m talking about non-Raptors beating the 72-win Bulls random moments. Here are a few contenders:
Acie Earl’s 40-point game against the Boston Celtics
Remember Acie Earl, Tony Massenburg and Ed Pinckney a.k.a your three favorite original Raptors a.k.a. the Charles Oakley-Reggie Slater-Gary Trent trio before Charles Oakley-Reggie Slater-Gary Trent showed up? I can’t even remember if I actually watched this game but I definitely remember clipping the box score from the newspaper the next day because Acie Earl scoring 40 points in a game is something you have to cherish with the intensity of an out-of-print Criterion Blu-Ray. There is no YouTube footage of this performance, so here’s a NewVR promo of the Raptors instead:
Vince Carter’s game-winner vs. the Los Angeles Clippers
There are plenty of iconic moments during Vince’s run in Toronto, but this one seems a bit underrated. For a two week stretch there, I felt like Vince was just dominating the league, hitting game-winning jumpers and throwing down dunks on everyone. When the Raptors went on the West Coast and Vince hit this three, I just remember how beautiful his footwork was on positioning himself for the perfect shot. There was a particular grace to the way he set up and just swished in a three to give Toronto the win. There was plenty of euphoria in my living room at 1 am. It was a beautiful time.
Donyell Marshall’s 12 three-pointers
It was a record setting night so why not.
Kyle Lowry’s 36 points vs. Brooklyn in Game 5 vs. Brooklyn
How LIT was the vibe for ACC during Game 5 vs. Brooklyn. I mean, this was some throwback Vince Carter in Game 3 vs. 76ers shit, and Lowry came through with 36 points in a crazy game where the Nets made a huge second half comeback before Toronto held on for the win. We lost Game 6 and 7, but this was an incredible game to watch.
Terrence Ross’s 51 point game
Just because this is what I expect from Terry every single night.
Masai Ujiri creeping on LaMarcus Aldridge during free agency
I’ll never forget this, from Woj:
LaMarcus Aldridge walked out of the lobby doors of the Montage Beverly Hills in early July and found a familiar face in a most familiar repose: Gregg Popovich busting chops. In the hotel’s valet lane, the emperor of the San Antonio Spurs playfully jabbed Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri for signing Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll to a $60 million free-agent contract. Spurs family is Spurs family, and Ujiri had punctured a protégé’s program in Atlanta.
Sixteen million dollars a year, Popovich proclaimed with Aldridge approaching them. “Hey, Masai ought to pay you $35 million a year!”
“If he could, he would,” Aldridge said with a laugh, a nod of respect toward the relentlessness of Ujiri’s pursuit.
There was an inherent awkwardness to the moment, with Popovich and Aldridge understanding why Toronto’s top executive lingered outside the hotel. From far behind, Toronto still chased the biggest available free agent on the market, the Raptors’ general manager endearing himself to Aldridge, selling the starry free agent on a visit that would never materialize.
The Raptors selecting Rafael Araujo
Just kidding, but this video was kind of funny:
So, what are some of your favourite random Raptors moments?