June 1995: Fans boo Damon Stoudamire pick
When David Stern selected Toronto as the location for the 1995 NBA Draft, the marketing-savvy Commissioner must have had second thoughts. After all, how could an obsequiously polite north of the border crowd possibly measure up to the entertaining Bronx cheers of Draft Day in New York? Not a problem. On June 28, Canadian fans bravely stepped up to the challenge, and proved that we too could be every bit as rude and ignorant as any grits-stained Yank.
When Isiah Thomas selected Damon Stoudamire with the expansion teams first-ever draft pick, the Toronto crowd erupted into an orgy of boos. Devoted fans of a team that had yet to play a single game were outraged that the 5'10" University of Arizona guard was chosen over UCLA forward and NCAA Champion Ed O'Bannon. Not since a multitude of Passover celebrants in an ancient Jerusalem courtyard pleaded for the selection of Barabbas, has a crowd been so vocally and unanimously off-the-mark. Stoudamire would go on to average 19 points and 9.3 assists to win Rookie of the Year, and remains a starting NBA point guard. Ed O'Bannon, on the other hand, averaged 5 points and 0.8 assists in the two years he remained employed in the NBA, and currently works as a Las Vegas-area car salesman.
So how, you ask, can The Flagrancy so freely throw stones at the Raptor organization when we clearly live in a glass house? Because this is the Raptors. We all have blood on our hands.