What are Some of the Raptors All-Time Fan Favourites Up to These Days?
Raptors Tenure: 2006-2013
Surely the list has to start with Il Mago, Andrea “Mr. Primo Pasta” Bargnani”. Selected first overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2006 NBA Draft, Bargnani was supposed to be the next Dirk Nowitski, the centerpiece for the Raptors to build around for the next decade. Though he had some decent seasons- namely in 2010-11 when he averaged 21.4 points per game, things never worked out for Bargnani and he was shipped out of town.
His NBA career ended in 2015-16 after a one year stint with the Brooklyn Nets. He went on to play a season in the Euroleague for Saski Baskonia, before ultimately calling it quits. Last year, Bargnani took to social media to announce that he is doing fine physically, but is not interested in playing basketball anymore, citing some personal reasons.
Raptors Tenure: 2004-2006
Ah yes, Rafael Araujo, the man who the Raptors believed in so much that they invested the 8thpick in the 2004 NBA Draft to select him. To call Araujo’s Raptors career a disaster, would be a severe understatement. In two seasons, he averaged less than 3 points in around 12 minutes per game. So painful for Raptors fans is the fact that Andre Iguodala, who would go on to be an All-Star was selected right after Araujo.
Araujo’s NBA Career ended in 2007 after another disappointing season with the Utah Jazz. For the next seven seasons, Araujo played basketball in the Brazilian league. The highlight of Araujo’s career was in 2011 when he made international headlines for shattering a glass backboard with a powerful dunk.
Raptors Tenure: 2003-2005
Donyell Marshall enjoyed a long an successful 15-year NBA career. Though with the Raptors for only two season, he left his mark and was definitely a fan favourite. Marshall will always be remembered for tying Kobe Bryant’s NBA record for three-point field goals made in one game, when he made 12/19 on March 13, 2005 against the Philadelphia 76ers. In two seasons for the Raptors, he averaged 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
After retiring in 2009, Marshall decided to enter the coaching waters. He was an assistant in the NCAA for 6 years before getting a head-coaching job with the Central Connecticut Blue Devils. Regarded as an up-and-coming coach, Marshall is still with Central Connecticut and is reportedly receiving some interest from bigger schools.
Raptors Tenure: 2000-2007
Who could ever forget Mo Pete? One of the All-Time Raptors fan favourites, Peterson was drafted by the Raptors in 2000, and enjoyed a successful NBA career. Mo Pete was known as a sharp-shooter, leader and good role model around the community. As a Raptor he improved every year, and averaged a career-high 16.8 points in the 2005-06 season.
After ending his NBA Career in 2011, Peterson went on to pursue a 2-year broadcasting career in 2015 with TSN. Last year, Peterson opened a restaurant called “MoPetes Sports Retreat” in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.