Controversies are inevitably part of history. As great as one franchise could be, there’s always some event or episode from the past which is inconvenient, uncomfortable, contentious, or worse. With a good chunk of time and some research, you can discover some surprising things that have happened throughout history. Here, we take a look at the Toronto Raptors’ three biggest controversies.
3. Masai Ujiri’s Altercation
When you’re the head of a team’s front office, all eyes are on you. This was exactly the predicament that Masai Ujiri faced when he allegedly shoved and struck a deputy’s face. Shortly after the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals in Game 6, Ujiri tried to make his way to the court to join the festivities. However, an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy stopped him because he did not have the proper credentials. Furthermore, the deputy wasn’t aware of who Ujiri was. It was only after the altercation that the deputy discovered he was actually a high-ranking team executive. Ujiri, in frustration, tried to push the deputy out of the way. After several shoves back and forth, Ujiri struck the deputy and chaos brewed in the arena. It was not a pretty sight especially considering the overall joyful mood of the situation.
#BREAKING: Sheriff's deputy reportedly pushed and struck in the face by a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive after Game 6 of the #NBAFinals at Oracle Arena, @ACSOSheriffs says. https://t.co/fobdK9iWEq pic.twitter.com/a4X0IysY5Z
— Kristofer Noceda (@krisnoceda) June 14, 2019
2. Celebrating Kevin Durant’s injury
Remember when Raptors fans actually rejoiced when Kevin Durant went down with an Achilles injury?
Back in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant played through an injury in an effort to bring his team another title despite all odds. He aggravated an existing injury which ultimately sidelined him for the rest of the series and the upcoming season as well. The fact that fans cheered on wasn’t a pretty sight.
Not only were Raptors players such as Kyle Lowry reacting in disgust, but Toronto-based rapper Drake was explicitly telling fans not to cheer. It was distasteful to see fans wildly celebrating a major injury to one of the best players in the game. As a sport, this reaction from the fan base was a bad example of prioritizing personal agenda over sportsmanship.
1. Bye-bye VC
Vince Carter essentially quit on the Raptors and the fans have been bitter for good reason. In the early stages of his career, Carter literally made Toronto relevant giving Canada a new sense of hope with their bright young superstar in the making. However, he became displeased with the organization and eventually forced a trade. As the face of the franchise, all eyes were on him as he reportedly even embellished injuries, refused to dunk, and even told other teams the plays the Raptors were about to run.
Due to this, the front office simply had no choice but to send him to the Nets where he got his head straight and finally started playing like he used to. The promising start of his career quickly turned ugly and became one of the saddest chapters in Raptors history instead.