WATCH ABOVE: ‘Thank you Raptors fans’
TORONTO – After a record-breaking season and a playoff series that came down to the wire, the Toronto Raptors are thanking their fans.
In a video posted to YouTube, the team’s star players offer a heartfelt thank you to the Raptors fans for their support and love on a backdrop of images of fans wearing “We The North” and “Northern Uprising” gear.
Calling them “the best fans in the NBA” Raptors players Kyle Lowry, Amir Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Petterson, Greivis Vásquez, Terrence Ross and Jonas Valančiūnas give props to the fans who were so passionate during the playoffs, even Brooklyn took note.
During Game 5 against the Nets, over 20,000 Toronto fans shook the stands in the Air Canada Centre in white “We The North” shirts, mocking their opponents chanting “Broo-klyn” and sang along to the Canadian national anthem as the final buzzer sounded (the Raps won 115-113).
During the game, the Nets tweeted from the team’s official Twitter account, “#Nets fans take note – this is what a playoff crowd sounds like…set your DVD and take notes #RAPTORSvNETS.”
“Thank you for all the love and support…thank you for embracing me since I got here in December from day one,” said Patterson.
Patterson was part of the December 2013 deal that saw Rudy Gay (along with Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray) head to Sacramento for Patterson, Greivis Vásquez, John Salmons, and Chuck Hayes.
The Raptors finished the regular season with a record-high 48 wins.
The team kicked off a major brand makeover ahead of the NBA playoffs with a 60-second video which introduced the “We The North” slogan to Raptors fans and the rest of the league.
The campaign acknowledged the Raptors outsider status as the NBA’s only Canadian franchise.
“We are the North Side, a territory all our own.”
Thousands of fans packed the Air Canada Centre and Maple Leaf Square (affectionately nicknamed Jurassic Park) during their playoff series with the Nets.
Toronto was eliminated from the playoffs after losing 104-103 in Game 7 against Brooklyn.
After the game, Lowry – who becomes a free agent on July 1 – said he’s never been on a team with such chemistry.
While it remains to be seen if Lowry will wear a Raptors jersey next season, coach Dwane Casey till return.
On Tuesday, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri announced the team and Casey had agreed in principle on a new three-year contract through the 2016-17 NBA season.
“From Day 1 last summer, Dwane has done an excellent job both on and off the court,” said Ujiri in a release. “There’s been growth from each player on the roster and the team’s identity of toughness and a desire to always compete has clearly been established.
“We’re very excited to continue to grow and develop this team with Dwane as our head coach.”Follow @heatherloney
© Shaw Media, 2014