Rise Together: Toronto Raptors 2000 -McGrady Re-signs!

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Rise Together: Toronto Raptors 2000 -McGrady Re-signs!

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:41 am

Rise Together: A Toronto Raptors Retro Chise

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By the start of the 21st century, the Toronto Raptors had grown into an NBA phenomenon. With burgeoning stars on the rise in Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady, Toronto became the talk of the NBA. After one playoff appearance against the Knicks, McGrady was due to be a free agent. Ever wonder what the duo could've accomplished together had McGrady stayed?! Lets find out…

Platform:NBA 2K20 PC
Rosters: 2000-01 In Progress (My Own)
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2000-01 Toronto Raptors Roster

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:43 am

2000-01 Season - Roster
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2000-01 NBA News and Transactions

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:44 am

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2000-01 Toronto Raptors Schedule

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:45 am

2000-01 Toronto Raptors Schedule
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Rise Together: The Story so Far

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:48 am

Rise Together: The Story so Far- Part 1.

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After a somewhat respectable 30-52 finish in their second season as an NBA franchise, the Toronto Raptors seemed to be on the right path. Draft picks Damon Stoudamire and Marcus Camby had shown flashes of brilliance, and with another lottery pick in the 1997 NBA draft on the way, the Raptors were compiling a youthful group of talent.

Toronto selected high schooler Tracy McGrady from Mount Zion Christian Academy with the ninth overall pick in 1997. Then-Raptors executive vice president Isiah Thomas was the mastermind behind the pick after team scout Craig Neal discovered McGrady early on. Armed with a 7'2" wingspan, an athletic frame and the ability to handle the ball, defend and shoot, McGrady was an intriguing prospect.

"I lived in the same condominium as Isiah," then-Raptors guard Doug Christie told Bleacher Report. "He called me up to his place." Thomas showed Christie tape of McGrady in high school. After a couple of minutes, Christie stared at Thomas and said, "You can get that kid?" After Thomas replied, "yes," Christie said, "If I was you, I'd get that kid because he just jumped off the screen."

Despite the addition of McGrady, the Raptors lost 19 of their first 20 games of the 1997-98 season, sapping much of the promise and hope from the previous year. Thomas abruptly resigned after a bid to purchase a controlling interest in the team failed. Stoudamire soon followed Thomas out of the door, as the 5'10" point guard was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers after indicating he would not re-sign with Toronto after the season. Coach Darrell Walker also departed, leaving assistant coach Butch Carter to take over on an interim basis.

With new owners, new management, a new coach and new players at midseason, Toronto was starting all over again. "I think the best word I can use at that time was dysfunctional," former Raptors forward John Thomas said. "We were playing in the Skydome—even our home locker room didn't have a sense of a true home locker room. There were a bunch of players that didn't necessarily understand how to vibe together."

The one major beneficiary of the massive shake-up was McGrady, although things didn't necessarily start out well. McGrady found himself in Walker's doghouse throughout his rookie season, and inconsistent playing time left the rookie at wit's end. He nearly went public to the media about disagreements with Walker, but after a conversation with Christie, he decided not to.

"Not that there isn't times that you do those sort of things and they happen, but you're a young player," Christie recalled telling McGrady. "You haven't really even played yet. It's not the time to go and just bust out and say to have this argument with the coach. You keep your head down and keep working hard. You have the talent. You should be playing. You're not, but you have to pay your dues."

Carter looked to give McGrady a fresh start with Toronto playing out a lost season. "Me having a chance to coach Tracy was a blessing for both of us," Carter said. He looked to manage McGrady's minutes so he would be able to gain experience without putting an immense amount of physical stress on his body. "The most important thing is that the first two years is letting a young player's body harden naturally," Carter said.

After the Raptors finished with the second-worst record in the NBA, they ended up with the fourth pick in the 1998 NBA draft. They had their eyes on University of North Carolina teammates Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison. "North Carolina did not want Antawn Jamison and Vince to come and work out for us," Carter said. "Antawn Jamison never did, but we were able to convince Vince's agent at the time to give us a chance."

The Raptors were extremely impressed. Carter (no relation to Butch) wowed the team with his freakish athleticism, and his jump shot was better than advertised. They kept their interest in Carter a secret as the Golden State Warriors, who had the No. 5 pick, wildly pursued Jamison.

"Golden State wanted to draft Antawn Jamison, and they were afraid that we knew that information and felt that we might draft Antawn Jamison ahead of them and flip-flop with somebody later in the draft like Dallas in particular," Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald told B/R. "I think that was their main concern. So they wanted to make sure that they got the player that they wanted. In order to do that, we agreed to sort of flip-flop draft picks and got a little [cash] from doing that."

The selection of Carter paired an interesting duo together. Carter and McGrady were both from the Florida area and knew of each other from playing AAU ball when they were in high school. The two also discovered that they were distant cousins.
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Rise Together: The Story so Far- Part 2

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:55 am

Rise Together: The Story so Far- Part 2

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Over the next two seasons, Toronto underwent a massive rebuild that saw numerous veterans join the club. With Carter and McGrady on the roster, Butch Carter and Grunwald had a plan for rebuilding around their two pillars.

"The previous season Toronto was extremely deficient in defensive field-goal percentage, and if you lower your defensive field-goal percentage, you have to rebound those missed shots," said Carter, who was promoted to head coach. "I had built an analytical model to determine the players in the NBA on winning teams that give the largest amount of energy that was measurable in areas that would make [a team] a success."

Through that analytical model, the Raptors targeted elite offensive rebounders Charles Oakley, Kevin Willis, Antonio Davis and Dale Davis. In a one-year span, Toronto acquired three of the four, headlined by Oakley.

"Well, my goal was when I got there, I told them I'm going to bring a whole different attitude to Toronto that they never saw before," Oakley said. "It was a hockey town, so I told them every year the team will get better."

Other veterans like Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry joined on as well. By the 1999-2000 campaign, Toronto had five players over the age of 30 who played 1,000 minutes or more. The previous season they had none.

"I think teams need a veteran presence to be successful in the NBA," Grunwald said. "I think that's forever true and still true to this day. We were trying to be successful. We had some issues in terms of retaining players in Toronto, and we wanted to make sure that Vince could be retained. And one of the ways, or factors, of that was the team needed to be successful."

As the veterans arrived, they all accepted roles as supporting cast members, allowing McGrady and Carter to incubate. During the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, Toronto nearly made the playoffs, but a late-season swoon caused the team to fall just four games short of the postseason. Carter wowed with a yearlong dunk showcase that ended with his being named the 1999 Rookie of the Year.

McGrady, who was building a highlight reel of his own, took a modest step forward in his sophomore campaign. Surrounding Carter and McGrady was simple. Oakley, Willis and Davis played the roles of veterans who provided a physical presence in the paint. Christie was a defensive ace on the perimeter. Curry and Dee Brown provided the three-point shooting necessary to space the floor when Carter and McGrady faced double-teams.

Bogues was a steady presence at point guard, and youngsters Michael Stewart, John Thomas and Alvin Williams filled out the main roster. "Players had roles to play. It's like a music group," Oakley said. "We were like Earth, Wind & Fire. Vince and Tracy were bassist Verdine White and lead singer Philip Bailey."

When Bogues arrived in Toronto, he had an instant comparison for what he saw in McGrady and Carter. "Once we got there, we saw the ability that Tracy McGrady had and what Vince was doing and continued to do," Bogues said. "They were the two closest to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in terms of physicality, in terms of their game and what they brought to the game."

Indeed, everyone saw what the Raptors had in their two young stars.

"The veteran guys made a pact that we're going to do all the dirty work and everything we need to do to protect these young guys because they're so talented," Brown said.

But with veteran status also came the leeway to establish how the team operated. "We had to make a rule in practice that you couldn't dunk, because Vince and Tracy would try some crazy stuff in practice,” Brown said. "Now you messing with the wrong people because if you dunk on Charles Oakley, Antonio Davis and Kevin Willis, you might get hurt."

They also established a culture for the team. "We were pretty strong in our leadership in terms of what we expected," Bogues said. "We wanted to make sure that they understood professionalism, not just on the court but off the court. How to come to the game properly dressed, how we unified with one another on what we was capable of doing. We knew we had a lot of talent, especially young talent."

The team eventually saw Carter settle into the role of superhero and McGrady as his sidekick. The cousins were close and spent much of their time together, but they were also extremely competitive. "They tried to outdo each other," said Brown. "If Vince dunked on somebody during the game, Tracy's like, 'OK, I got one better than you.' Then he would try to dunk on somebody during the game."
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Rise Together: The Story so Far- Part 3

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:48 am

Rise Together: The Story so Far- Part 3

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Toronto was a surprise story during the 1999-2000 season. The Raptors finished the year with a 45-37 record and qualified for the postseason for the first time in the franchise's then-five-year history. Carter continued to widen the eyes of fans and his NBA peers alike with a wide array of gravity-defying dunks. Tracy was no slouch, either.

The highlight of the season may have been the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, one which saw both cousins enter. Carter was the eventual winner, putting on one of the best dunk contest performances ever after scoring a perfect 50 on every dunk he attempted. McGrady, finishing in third place, also held his own.

Carter immediately drew comparisons to Michael Jordan and became the talk of the NBA. A 51-point outburst on national television soon served a coming-out party for Carter's rising star. "There was days where Vince had to walk around with a hood on and his face covered because it got to the point where he was the biggest celebrity in Toronto for sure," Stewart said.

Now heading into the offseason, McGrady has a max contract offer on the table, but will he take it?
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NBA Draft 2000

Postby seaboh13 on Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:56 am

Raptors draft Morris Peterson with #21 Pick in 2000 Draft.

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June 28, 2000

Toronto -- The Toronto Raptors selected Morris Peterson in Round 1 with Pick 21 in the 2000 NBA Draft. With the future of Tracy McGrady up in the air, the Raptors were wise to select more wing depth. If McGrady re-signs, the Raptors could have plenty of depth. Below is Peterson's profile from Draftexpress.com

Overview: Role-playing swingman who has seen his role decrease in recent seasons. Has very good size, length and strength for the shooting guard spot. Displays decent athleticism, but his physical tools aren't the best. Can knock down shots from the perimeter and put the ball on the floor with decent effectiveness, but has become more and more of a one-dimensional shooter as of late. Knows how to score, but was never the most efficient player around. Will make some plays defensively, but used to be better on this end of the floor. Improved during each of his five seasons at Michigan State, especially as a shooter. Won an NCAA Championship with the Spartans in 2000. Had his ups and down during the first seven years of his career in Toronto, but was always an asset for them. Can do some nice things within his limitations and fits his role well.

Offense: Off the ball lefty that is mostly a shooter for the Spartans. Really takes a lot of 3's. Over 55% of his attempts from behind the arc. Displays a very consistent jump shot and has very consistent three point range. Great catch and shoot guy. Good footwork on the perimeter. Not as effective off the dribble. Average ball handler. Only a decent finisher too. Rarely gets to the free throw line. Moves the ball on the perimeter, but doesn't create for his teammates. Doesn't turn the ball over much either. Brings a lot to the table as a perimeter scorer, but doesn't do a whole lot in close. Runs the floor well. Knows how to get open and can finish the break. Shows good hustle and has no problem taking physical contact when he gets a lead pass in transition. Knocks down his free throws at a decent clip.

Defense: A solid perimeter defender whose intensity allows him to use his size and strength to his advantage. Has a 6-10 wingspan. Couples his physical stature with above average lateral quickness, which has begun to decline as of late. Using his hands a little too much these days. Gets in a low stance and shows good footwork. Uses his length well to contest shots, but can get beat off the dribble. Doesn't take many risks, which is probably good for a player who lacks elite athleticism. Average rebounder for his position. Plays smart. Shows solid defensive intangibles. Will create some turnovers, but isn't consistent on that front. Effectiveness on the defensive end has decreased as of late, and in turn so have his minutes.

The Raptors also drafted 6'3" PG Jason Hart with the #46 pick in the draft. Hart is a Senior from Syracuse and will fight for minutes at the guard spots. Muggsy Bogues has one season remaining. The future of Alvin Williams is up in the air with his impending free agency. Doug Christie is currently slotted to start at the point.
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Butch Carter Out, Carlisle In as Raptors Coach

Postby seaboh13 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:15 am

Butch Carter out, Carlisle in, as Raptors change Head Coaches.

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July 3rd, 2000

>Toronto -- Butch Carter was fired Monday as coach of the Raptors after disagreements with some of his star players.

The Raptors are expected to again compete for the playoffs this season with or without the re-signing of Tracy McGrady. After helping to nurture McGrady and teammate Vince Carter to near superstar status in the National Basketball Association and directing the Raptors to their best-ever season, Butch Carter was abruptly fired as the Raptors' head coach yesterday morning.

The news was delivered to Mr. Carter during a meeting at Toronto's Air Canada Centre by Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald, Mr. Carter's friend of 20 years. Mr. Grunwald told reporters later that he is intent on restoring a sense of stability to the franchise.

"The off-court distractions were disconcerting to fans and the organization and there was no other alternative," a visibly uncomfortable Mr. Grunwald said. "This was the final option."

Mr. Carter, who addressed the media later in the day, said he could see his job in danger even before the season had ended.

"I did not want out of Toronto," said Mr. Carter, who got a three-year, $6-million contract. Carter tried to instigate a power coup in Toronto, and also advocated to trade Vince Carter to the New York Knicks.

In steps Rick Carlisle now, who was an assistant coach under Larry Bird the last two seasons with the Pacers. He was very well liked by the players in Indiana. With Larry Bird retiring from coaching this offseason, and Isiah Thomas taking the reins, Carlisle was initially slated to stay on as an assistant. However the opportunity to jump to an up and coming franchise like the Raptors was just at the right time for Carlisle. Carlisle being a younger coach is being brought in to grow with the young superstar Vince Carter and hopefully McGrady too. Carlisle will appoint Dwane Casey as Assistant Coach.

"I think we have to focus on the defensive end of the floor," Carlisle said. "I believe defense wins games. Having said that we have some superb offensive players. Hopefully we can retain Tracy and he can become a dual threat with Vince. It's time for him to start if he re-signs."

Carter, in his third year with the team, is the sixth NBA coach to be fired this off season. He was in the final year of his contract. Darrell Walker - Wizards, Lionel Hollins - Grizzlies, Don Casey - Nets, Jim Todd - Clippers, Garry St. Jean - Warriors were also fired within the last month.

"The Raptors can be an even better team than their current record," GM Glen Grunwald said. "We are committed to helping this team achieve its true potential this year as the Raptors have some of the best talent in the NBA.

"Butch Carter is a good person and a fine coach. But we felt that a change was necessary to help the Raptors achieve their goals for the season."
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McGrady re-signs with Raptors.

Postby seaboh13 on Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:23 am

McGrady re-signs with Raptors.

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August 1st, 2000

Toronto -- The Toronto Raptors' plan to resign Tracy McGrady has succeeded.

Tracy McGrady called a news conference at the Raptors' practice facility at the Air Canada Centre for 3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday at which time he was expected to commit his future to Toronto in a six-year contract extension worth around $67.5 million US.

The news was trumpeted in Toronto newspapers Wednesday.

"This could be our lucky day," added the tabloid.

McGrady, 21, wasn't speaking Tuesday and Toronto GM Glen Grunwald, saying he was in the dark, could only wait and hope.

After wavering between Orlando, Chicago and Miami during the past week, McGrady has settled on re-signing with the Raptors, his agent said Wednesday night.

"Blood runs thicker than water, Vince convinced Tracy to stick it out with him in Toronto for another few years.” Tellem said.

"We've been talking to Tracy about our desire to make sure he's happy here, and we want him to be a Raptor for life. We have the potential to become one of the best teams in the NBA with Tracy and Vince as our young emerging stars. We have hired a new young forward thinking coach in Rick Carlisle who see's Tracy as an instrumental part of the Raptors future." said Grunwald.

McGrady's extension will be the maximum allowed under NBA rules. He is a three-year veteran of the league.

With his rookie contract expiring today on his existing deal, the extension should keep him in Toronto until he is 27.

After a season spent dodging rumors and questions about his future plans, and giving no inkling to which way he was leaning, McGrady's camp suggested Monday he may be close to signing with the Magic. The Raptors hiring of Carlisle seemed to be the turning point as Carlisle impressed McGrady in a 3 hour meeting late last night.

The Raptors are coming off their most successful season in franchise history, losing to the Knicks in the First Round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after a 45-37 record in the regular season.

Despite being swept 3-0 the series was a lot closer than first meets the eye.

The Raptors are still looking to fine tune their roster this offseason.
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Re: Rise Together: Toronto Raptors 2000 -McGrady Re-signs!

Postby Andrew on Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Already feeling like a better timeline for the Raptors!
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