Basketball has been gaining popularity in the country and we’ve curated an article on the top Canadian teams in NBA history for you to explore.
In recent years, some of the best players to play in the league have come from the Great White North. They’ve contributed significantly to their respective teams’ success. Canadian ballers have thrived from Steve Nash’s star on the Phoenix Suns to Mario Elie’s ‘Kiss Of Death’ moment that propelled the Houston Rockets to glory during their historic run in 1995. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best Canadian teams in NBA history!
Who are the best Canadian teams in NBA history?
As of May 2023, there have only ever been two Canadian teams in NBA history: the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies.
In Canada, the NBA has had a presence since 1995. The Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies were both granted expansion franchises. The Grizzlies relocated to Memphis in 2001, thus becoming the Memphis Grizzlies. This meant the Raptors, who have remained in Toronto, are the sole Canadian franchise left in the league.
The Toronto Raptors were founded in 1995 and played their first game on November 3, 1995. They have had some successful seasons over the years, including winning the NBA championship in 2019. The Raptors have also won the Atlantic Division seven times and the Eastern Conference once.
Some of the key players in Raptors history include Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, DeMar DeRozan, and Kyle Lowry. Vince Carter is widely regarded as the greatest Raptors player of all time. He played for the team from 1998 to 2004 and helped lead them to their first playoff appearance in 2000.
The Raptors have achieved many notable accomplishments, including setting a franchise record for wins in a season in 2017-2018. They have also had a number of successful playoff runs. This includes a run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016.
Like the Toronto Raptors, the Vancouver Grizzlies were founded in 1995. They played their first game on November 3, 1995, and remained in Vancouver until 2001. They then moved to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies.
While the Vancouver Grizzlies did not have the same level of success as the Toronto Raptors, they still had some notable seasons over the years. Their best season came in 2000-01 when they finished with a record of 23-59. This was not a particularly impressive record, but it was the best season the team had during its time in Vancouver.
Some of the key players in Grizzlies history include Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Mike Bibby. Bryant Reeves was the team’s first-ever draft pick.
Comparison between Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies
While both the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies were Canadian NBA teams, they had very different levels of success. The Raptors have won a championship and have had many successful seasons. In contrast, the Grizzlies struggled during their time in Vancouver.
One of the key differences between the two teams was their head-to-head record. They played each other 11 times during the Grizzlies’ time in Vancouver in the regular season. The Raptors won seven of those games, while the Grizzlies won four.
One of the main reasons Toronto was more successful was its ability to attract top talent. The Raptors have had a number of All-Star players over the years, while the Grizzlies struggled to attract top talent to Vancouver.
Will there be a new Canadian team in the NBA one day?
Currently, there is only one Canadian team in the NBA: the Toronto Raptors. It seems we won’t be getting a second team anytime soon either. In May 2019, the NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, warned fans it’s unlikely, with the NBA ‘not in expansion mode’.
That said, the impact of Canadian teams on the NBA has been significant. The success of the Toronto Raptors has helped to raise the profile of basketball in Canada. It even attracted more fans to the sport. This has also helped to increase the number of Canadian players in the NBA, as more young Canadians are becoming interested in basketball.
"We're just not in expansion mode at this time."
Adam Silver on adding a team in Canada. pic.twitter.com/Ro1p0gj3Ak
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 31, 2019