1995–96 Toronto Raptors season

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1995–96 Toronto Raptors season
Inaugural season
Head coach Brendan Malone
Owner(s) John Bitove, Allan Slaight, Isiah Thomas
Arena SkyDome
Copps Coliseum
Results
Record 21–61 (.256)
Place Division: 8th (Central)
Conference: 14th (Eastern)
Playoff finish Did not qualify

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television TSN, CKVR
Radio CFRB
1996–97 >

The 1995–96 NBA season was the Toronto Raptors' first season in the team's franchise.[1] The Raptors, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, played their first games in 1995, and were the first NBA teams to play in Canada since the 1946–47 Toronto Huskies.[2] The Raptors finished last place in the Central Division with a 21-61 record.

Offseason[edit]

Expansion draft[edit]

The team's roster was then filled as a result of an expansion draft in 1995. Following a coin flip, Toronto was given first choice and selected Chicago Bulls point guard and three-point specialist B. J. Armstrong. Armstrong refused to report for training and Thomas promptly traded him to the Golden State Warriors for power forwards Carlos Rogers and Victor Alexander.[2] Thomas then selected a wide range of players in the expansion draft.

Pick Player Position Nationality Former Team
1 B. J. Armstrong Point guard  United States Chicago Bulls
3 Tony Massenburg Forward  United States Los Angeles Clippers
5 Andres Guibert Forward-Centre  Cuba Minnesota Timberwolves
7 Keith Jennings Point guard  United States Golden State Warriors
9 Dontonio Wingfield Forward  United States Seattle SuperSonics
11 Doug Smith Forward  United States Dallas Mavericks
13 Jerome Kersey Small forward  United States Portland Trail Blazers
15 Zan Tabak Centre  Croatia Houston Rockets
17 Willie Anderson Guard-Forward  United States San Antonio Spurs
19 Ed Pinckney Forward  United States Milwaukee Bucks
21 Acie Earl Centre  United States Boston Celtics
23 B. J. Tyler Point guard  United States Philadelphia 76ers
25 John Salley Power forward  United States Miami Heat
27 Oliver Miller Centre  United States Detroit Pistons

NBA Draft[edit]

Subsequent to the expansion draft, Toronto was given the second pick, after the Vancouver Grizzlies, in the 1995 NBA draft. They selected Damon Stoudamire, a point guard out of University of Arizona, around whom Thomas chose to base the franchise. The selection of Stoudamire was met with boos from fans at the 1995 NBA Draft at the SkyDome in Toronto, many of whom wanted Ed O'Bannon of UCLA, an NCAA Final Four MVP.[2]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 7 Damon Stoudamire Point Guard  United States Arizona
2 35 Jimmy King Shooting Guard  United States Michigan

The first game[edit]

In the team's first official NBA game, Stoudamire recorded 10 points and 10 assists in a 94–79 victory over the New Jersey Nets.[3]

Regular season[edit]

The team played its first season in the Central Division,[4] and before the inaugural season began, sales of Raptors merchandise ranked seventh in the league, marking a successful return of basketball to Canada.[2] As GM, Isiah Thomas quickly staffed the management positions with his own personnel, naming long-time Detroit Pistons assistant Brendan Malone as the Raptors' head coach.[2]

The Skydome — now the Rogers Centre — was the original arena for the Raptors between 1995–1999.

The Raptors concluded their inaugural season with a 21–61 win-loss record,[4] although they were one of the nine teams to defeat the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls,[5] who set an NBA best 72–10 win–loss regular season record. With averages of 19.0 points and 9.3 assists per game, Stoudamire also won the 1995–96 Rookie of the Year Award.[6]

Highs[edit]

  • March 24, 1996 - The Raptors beat the eventual NBA Champion Chicago Bulls by a score of 109-108. Michael Jordan attempted to win the game on the final shot. Though the ball went in, it did not count because the ball left his hand after the final buzzer.
  • March 31, 1996 - The legendary Magic Johnson played his only game against the Toronto Raptors in Toronto. The Los Angeles Lakers won the game by a score of 111-106.

Stoudamire's breakout year[edit]

Stoudamire had a noteworthy rookie season with the Toronto Raptors averaging 9.3 assists and 19 points. He earned the nickname "Mighty Mouse" due to the fact he stands only 5'10" (1.77 m), and that he had a Mighty Mouse tattoo on his right arm going into his rookie season. Damon currently holds the record of having the third-highest assist average ever by a rookie, and rookie record setter for 3-pointers with 133, breaking the 3-point record previously held by Dennis Scott. Damon was ranked second in scoring among all rookies in his rookie season, and led all rookies in minutes played and assists. He received the Shick Rookie of the Month Award twice and unanimously made the Shick All Rookie First Team. That same year Stoudamire was also awarded the Rookie of the Year Award for the 1995-1996 season, receiving 76 of the 113 possible votes and the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Rookie Game. Stoudamire holds the record for being the second-lowest draft pick (seventh overall) to ever win the Rookie of the Year Award, the lowest being Mark Jackson (eighteenth overall). Damon is also known as the shortest player at 5'10" to ever win this award. He did not play the last 10 games of his rookie season due to an injury, Tendinitis in his left knee. The Raptors went 1-5 without him and finished 21-61 in his and the Raptors' rookie season.

Lows[edit]

  • November 15, 1995 – The Raptors lose to the Houston Rockets by a score of 96 – 93. The loss culminates in a seven-game losing streak for the Raptors, the longest losing streak of the season.
  • February 29, 1996 – The seven-game losing streak was duplicated. In a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the final score was 120 – 95.
  • March 29, 1996 – The Raptors suffer their worst loss of the season. The score was 126-86 in favour of the Orlando Magic. Prior to the game, Isiah Thomas and Brendan Malone got into an argument regarding playing time for rookies.

Season standings[edit]

Central Division W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Chicago Bulls 72 10 .878 39–2 33–8 24–4
x-Indiana Pacers 52 30 .634 20.0 32–9 20–21 19–9
x-Cleveland Cavaliers 47 35 .573 25.0 26–15 21–20 13–15
x-Atlanta Hawks 46 36 .561 26.0 26–15 20–21 15–13
x-Detroit Pistons 46 36 .561 26.0 30–11 16–25 15–13
Charlotte Hornets 41 41 .500 31.0 25–16 16–25 13–15
Milwaukee Bucks 25 57 .305 47.0 14–27 11–30 8–20
Toronto Raptors 21 61 .256 51.0 15–26 6–35 5–23

Game log[edit]

1995–96 game log
1995–96 season schedule

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Regular season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
Willie Anderson 49 42 31.9 .440 .305 .856 3.8 3.0 1.18 1.04 12.4
Doug Christie 32 17 25.6 .436 .414 .789 3.8 2.9 1.81 .50 10.1
Acie Earl 42 7 15.6 .424 .000 .719 3.1 .6 .43 .88 7.5
Vincenzo Esposito 30 0 9.4 .360 .232 .795 .5 .8 .23 .00 3.9
Jimmy King 62 1 14.0 .431 .147 .701 1.8 1.4 .34 .21 4.5
Martin Lewis 16 0 11.8 .483 .286 .600 1.8 .2 .50 .19 4.7
Tony Massenburg 24 20 27.5 .510 .000 .662 6.9 .8 .54 .38 10.1
Oliver Miller 76 72 33.1 .526 .000 .661 7.4 2.9 1.42 1.88 12.9
Tracy Murray 82 37 30.0 .454 .422 .831 4.3 1.6 1.06 .49 16.2
Dan O'Sullivan 5 2 27.8 .371 .000 .875 6.4 .4 .40 .80 6.6
Ed Pinckney 47 24 21.9 .502 .000 .758 6.0 1.1 .66 .36 7.0
Alvin Robertson 77 69 32.2 .470 .272 .677 4.4 4.2 2.16 .47 9.3
Carlos Rogers 56 18 18.6 .517 .143 .546 3.0 .6 .45 .86 7.7
John Salley 25 6 19.3 .486 .000 .723 3.9 1.6 .44 .48 6.0
Damon Stoudamire 70 70 40.9 .426 .395 .797 4.0 9.3 1.40 .27 19.0
Žan Tabak 67 18 19.9 .543 .000 .561 4.8 .9 .36 .46 7.7
Dwayne Whitfield 8 1 15.2 .433 .000 .636 3.1 .2 .38 .25 5.0
Herb Williams 1 0 31.0 .375 .000 .000 8.0 .0 1.00 2.00 6.0
Sharone Wright 11 6 27.1 .508 .333 .685 5.2 1.0 .55 .91 16.5

Franchise firsts[edit]

Point: Alvin Robertson

Award winners[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1995-96 Toronto Raptors
  2. ^ a b c d e Laying the Groundwork for the NBA in Toronto, nba.com/raptors, accessed 16 June 2007.
  3. ^ New Jersey Nets at Toronto Raptors, basketball-reference.com, 3 November 1995, accessed 16 June 2007.
  4. ^ a b 1995-96 Standings, nba.com/history, accessed 16 June 2007.
  5. ^ Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors, basketball-reference.com, 24 March 1996, accessed 16 June 2007.
  6. ^ Damon Stoudamire Info Page, nba.com, accessed 16 June 2007.

External links[edit]