The Toronto Raptors have been in the Association for 15 years this year, and well they haven't really made the jump from an expansion franchise to a franchise that is constantly on tv and makes the playoffs almost annually.
Whether it was the false hope in Damon Stoudamire, or the memorable but brief Carter/McGrady era, which was crippled by bringing in overpaid veterans and trying to build a team around a pure scorer.
Perhaps it was Carter's departure, which was in the horrible Rob Babcock era which brought the Raptors such busts as Rafael Arujo.
Whatever the cause, it seemed like the Raptors were headed to be a basement team to suffer the same fate as their countrymen the Grizzlies, and be shipped back to the the US.
But then Bryan Colangelo was hired and the team has been retooled and overhauled with a focus on European talent and height at every position. The Raptors have been one of the NBA's most exciting teams of late and won the 07-08 Atlantic Division title. They have real potential to go on a run this year.
They have one of this year's breakout stars Andrea Bargnani who has finally found consistency in his game, and a stronger, more motivated Chris Bosh.
On top of that they picked up Hedo Turkoglu and have a healthy Jose Calderon. It seems like everything is good in Raptorland lately.
They have a motivated team that can shoot the lights out of the gym every night. Their weaknesses has always been defence, but hey, defence may win championships, but offence wins games.
In the regular season winning games is what matters at the moment.
This is not meant to be a long article but just a notice on how Canada's team is on its way to the joining the top of the NBA and taking what they think is theirs.