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Most Unpopular Raptor of All-Time Bracket: Guard Region

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From Mike James to Milt Palacio, this region has some gems.

Sacramento Kings v Toronto Raptors Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images

While Sportsnet recently released a bracket to try and rank the favourite Raptors of all-time, over here at HQ we thought it was time for the real, hard hitting investigative journalism that Raps fans are craving over these last two weeks of the regular season.

We must determine the most unpopular Raptor to ever don the uniform.

The bracket consists of four regions, with two being exclusively for big men (since there have been many a bust), one for wings and one for guards, which we begin with today.

Before we get to the bracket, here’s some honourable mentions who just missed the cut in this region: “Master P” Percy Miller, washed up Rod Strickland, gunner Juan Dixon, he of the infamous triple-double Ben Uzoh, and the entire bench core of the 2008-09 team, featuring Roko Ukic, Hassan Adams, Will Solomon and Quincy Douby.

Now, let’s get to the bracket!

Shout out to my roommate @JHennyTweets for the graphic

#1 Mike James vs. #8 John Lucas III

Toronto Raptors v Portland Trail Blazers

The “Amityville Scorer” snagged the top spot in the region, not because of how poor his performance was as a Rap, but rather because the dude shot (and shot and shot and shot) his way to a career season in 2005-06. For a player that never scored more than 12 points per game over the rest of his career, James started all 79 games he played for the Raptors, while averaging 20 PPG and 5.8 APG with a shooting percentage slash line of 46.9/44.2/83.7. He also went bananas in the ultimate stretch of garbage time in April of 2006, topping 30 points five times, including a career high 39 against the Pistons on April 14th, while only being a +1 over 41 minutes.

James put it best when he said, “I been jacking my whole entire career, so when they traded for me, I haven’t played no different from how I always played.” His scoring and shooting averages would halve next season (spent in Minnesota).

Toronto Raptors vs Oklahoma City Thunder Photo By Shane Bevel/Getty Images

I called him “Jack it Up John Lucas” during the 2012-13 season when he was the Raptors’ third point guard behind Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry. And Lucas lived up to the billing. Averaging as many field goal attempts as points, 5.3 per game, he owns one highlight as a Raptor, and the deadpanning of the Jazz announcer tells the story:

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Mike James
    (587 votes)
  • 50%
    John Lucas III
    (593 votes)
1180 votes total Vote Now

#2 Milt Palacio vs. #7 Marcus Banks

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Palacio played 139 games with the Raptors from 2003-05, starting 17 of them and looking truly awful in the process. The real fun comes when you look at his percentages by range, as Palacio shot a shockingly low 48% on layups and an abysmal 16% from the mid-range and 15% from three point range.

You could say those percentages are real PalaciLOW.

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

This is the only photo that exists in our database when you search “marcus banks raptors” and it’s almost poetic that he’s running into the chest of big man region candidate Primoz Brezec. He came to the Raps as a former lottery pick that had flamed out of Boston, Minnesota, Phoenix, and Miami, and managed to stick with Toronto for three seasons, while only appearing in 31 games and averaging just 9.9 minutes per game.

My only memory of him comes from dapping him up one night in 2008 after he exited the Raptors practice court on the 300 level just before tip off. Needless to say I don’t think he got in the game that night.

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Milt Palacio
    (671 votes)
  • 46%
    Marcus Banks
    (586 votes)
1257 votes total Vote Now

#3 Vincenzo Esposito vs. #6 Chris Childs

This is the only image of Esposito I could find in uniform, courtesy of our friends over at Raptors Republic. He was the OG Raptor, being the first man signed to the roster and that’s about the only career highlight he had in the NBA. In true Italian Stallion fashion, his two best games came against the New York Knicks, scoring 18 and 17 points, in April of ‘96. James Dolan would have traded for him.

Raptors v Nuggets

Though probably best known now for socking Kobe Bryant in the mouth while with the Knicks, Childs did have a two year stint with the Raptors after giving “Mr. Musecage” the business. In 95 games as a backup guard, Childs shot just 34% from the field, and finished his Toronto career with nearly as many turnovers as assists.

What he did give us is an incredible feature with YUNG PAUL JONES:

(But really, Childs will most be remembered for this, his last shot as a Raptor.)

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Vincenzo Esposito
    (414 votes)
  • 54%
    Chris Childs
    (502 votes)
916 votes total Vote Now

#4 Jimmy King vs. #5 Shawn Respert

Jimmy King Raptors

The fourth fiddle of the Fab Five at Michigan, King couldn’t come close to replicating his double digit scoring average at the college level in the pros, dropping out of the league after one year with the Raps and just two games with the Nuggets in 1996-97.

His career highlight came in his only start against Minnesota, on April 8th of 1996. In 36 minutes, he scored 10 points on 14 shots and grabbed four rebounds. Wow.

Shawn Respert

In the other half of the college stud disappointment matchup, we have Shawn Respert. Respert was Big Ten Player of the Year in 1995 (his number was retired by Michigan State), and was the 8th overall pick in the draft that year, selected by the Portland Trail Blazers.

With Toronto from 1996-98, Respert was far from a former All-American, averaging just 5.5 points and 1.4 rebounds over 74 games. Yikes.

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Jimmy King
    (238 votes)
  • 50%
    Shawn Respert
    (247 votes)
485 votes total Vote Now

That does it for the first round of the guard region. Check back Friday for the first round of Big Men Region #1.

It is... something.