Toronto Declares Today ‘Raptors Day’

Toronto Declares Today 'Raptors Day'

Today Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly officially declared it “Raptors Day” in the city of Toronto and coach Dwane Casey and Greivis Vasquez took part in the celebration.

“We’ve been doubting ourselves lately — our static economy, the friction between the downtown and the suburbs, a sense of being overwhelmed by the challenges of our success, the disturbing revelations of our leadership and the sudden, unexpected onslaught of an aggressive nature haven’t ranked these past few years as among our best,” Kelly said. “Then along came the Raptors … first in their conference and in the playoffs. The magic word: Playoffs.”

Check out the sights and sounds from today’s announcement.

Here is Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly’s Raptors Day proclamation:

Raptors Day

May 12, 2014

WHEREAS the Toronto Raptors captured the Atlantic Division championship with an impressive franchise breaking record of 48 victories.

This incredible season was highlighted by a number of milestones and a coveted spot in the 2014 NBA playoffs with home-court advantage. The Raptors finished third in the Eastern Conference with a franchise record number of wins, including a franchise-best 22 road wins. With top 10 NBA finishes in both defensive field goal percentage and points allowed, the Raptors’ remarkable season carried through to the playoffs. The Raptors were also proudly represented at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game by DeMar DeRozan.

Having made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the city came alive with Raptors basketball fever. With an average audience of 732,000 viewers, the Toronto-Brooklyn series was the most watched NBA playoff series on record. Game five was the single most watched Raptors game ever, with an audience of over 1 million viewers from tip-off to the final buzzer. During the exciting seven game series, more than eight million viewers were glued to their television sets across North America.

The passion of Raptors fans was felt throughout the city and united us all. In no other city did fans embrace their team as much as Toronto fans. Every Raptors game was accompanied by a ‘Party in the Square,” where thousands of Raptors fans filled the square outside of the Air Canada Centre, cheering on their team and living up to their reputation of “We the North.”

At the heart of the greatest basketball city in the world, the Raptors make a huge impact in our city on and off the court. Their commitment and loyalty to our communities is seen through their many initiatives such as the DeMar Slam Dunk Book Club, an extra-curricular basketball and reading program for youth across Toronto, and the DeMar All-Star Book Program. In partnership with First Book of Canada, the BIGA Picture and the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, DeRozan’s jersey #10 provides the motivation to get 10 fifth graders from 10 schools to read 10 books over 10 weeks with the completion of 10 book reports.

The 2014-2015 season will be the Toronto Raptors 20th season in the NBA. In 2016, Toronto will have the honour of hosting the NBA All-Star Game. We are extremely proud of the Toronto Raptors and look forward to the next few years of exciting basketball in our city.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim May 12, 2014 as “Raptors Day” in the City of Toronto.