By James Gleason (@Gleasonavenue)
It was a mid warm spring in 2014, the NBA season was over and for the first time since 2007 the Toronto Raptors were in the NBA Playoffs. It was a year of surprise and promise, Kyle Lowry was becoming the leader and heart of the Raptors we all know now and Demar Derozan was just starting to show that he can be the guy for Toronto when they needed him. Everything was going the Raptors way, and so I made my way to Maple Leaf Square, full of excitement and really not knowing what would happen. These Raptors have never been in the post-season, these Raps were not around when guys like Richard Jefferson and Dwight Howard were making it look like summer league against the Raps. That was a rough and uneasy time, because that team was suppose to be pretty good. A team with just getting really good Chris Bosh, tag teamed with suppose to be monster Jermaine O’neal was looked to be a dangerous team that choked when it got tough. So when they got almost swept by the Magic and a monster of a man Dwight Howard, it turned into years of futility and uneasiness. Chris Bosh eventually left town in 2010-2011, Jermaine O’neal eventually led down the old player trying to keep his career afloat road, playing for teams like Miami, Pheonix, and eventually Boston where he would retire. It felt like a century when the Raptors returned in 2014, so you can see the buzz around the city and you can see that as much as the leafs took control of the Square then, as soon as the Raptors gave us a promising product on the floor, the rabid fan-base people know now started to appear. The Raptors first playoff appearance in 6 years deserved a family of fans to watch outside the ACC to support this new yet recognizable feeling.