Toronto is supposed to be a hockey town — at least that’s what we’re told, anyway. Owing to a literal century of history (more than half of which has been spent in misery), it’s tough for the city to shake its hockey roots. But damn if basketball isn’t trying.
We could start with the creation of the Raptors, run through the Vinsanity years, and continue on the present day with the lone Canadian team’s run atop the Eastern Conference, as proof of something special. Or, from director Ryan Sidhoo, we could recommend his nine-part documentary series called True North about the growing stature of the Toronto basketball scene. (There’s a nice write-up here in Exclaim! about the series.)
As mentioned in that link, the series features everyone from current and former Raptors like DeMar DeRozan and Cory Joseph, Canadian ballers like the legendary Steve Nash, upstart Jamal Murray, and real characters like Jamaal Magloire. Of course, what it’s really about is all the different leagues, communities, coaches, and support systems now in place that are working to develop the sport of basketball in Toronto and in Canada. We’re not just a hockey town, is my point.
You can watch all nine parts — yes, indeed! — right here on the NFB’s Youtube page (or on Red Bull TV, which is a thing).
Or begin your journey below with Part 1, “The Roots & The Rise”. Go ahead and share it, leave Ryan a positive comment, and try not to bust his chops too much about being from Vancouver.