Toronto Raptors played their first game in the NBA 25 years ago today

When did the Toronto Raptors play their first game in the NBA? Exactly 25 years ago today. Here’s the Toronto Sun on it:

Tuesday is a big day worldwide, with the most anticipated U.S. election in years taking place. North of the border, it’s also a day to reflect on an important sporting anniversary.

For 25 years earlier — Nov. 3, 1995 — the NBA officially arrived in Canada, with the Toronto Raptors taking on the New Jersey Nets at SkyDome.

The Raptors won 94-79, with former all-star Alvin Robertson starring with 30 points and future rookie-of-the-year Damon Stoudamire turning the negative opinions of fans — who had booed him on draft night — around by notching his first of 86 double-doubles with Toronto.

Sporting white, pin-striped jerseys adorned in the front with a large red dinosaur, the Raptors showed more than 33,000 fans what the best professional basketball players in the world could do. Well, kind of. It was a far different era for hoops. The play was more rugged, three-pointers were largely an after-thought (the teams combined for five treys on just 19 attempts), and defence was prioritized and emphasized through the rules of the day. The Nets shot a putrid 33% from the field overall and committed 29 turnovers against only 15 assists.

Up next for the Raptors is the NBA draft, though their only first-round pick is No. 29.

The start date for free agency hasn’t been decided by the NBA yet. But when it begins, key Raptors Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol will be in search of new deals.

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on