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Kieth Allison

Canadians are taking over the NBA

By Sonny Sachdeva, December 4 2014 —

America has always dominated the game of basketball. There may be standout players from all across the globe playing in the NBA, but at the end of the day, the sport is dominated by the stars and stripes, both on the court and in the stands.

In the NBA, Canada has always amounted to little more than the USA’s goofy cousin to the north, churning out a few quality players here and there and one lowly team, but not much else.

After a seemingly endless wait, however, it looks like that is about to change.

The 2014–15 season marks a new era for Canadian basketball, as the red and white have been dominating the game as of late.

Canada’s lone NBA squad, the Toronto Raptors, have risen up from their last-place finishes to become one of the most elite clubs in the league.

The Raptors surprised everyone last season by finishing first in the Atlantic division for the first time in seven seasons and only the second time in history. Their division title placed them third in the eastern conference. The banner-raising season positioned the Raptors above hallowed clubs like the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks.

They haven’t slowed down this season. Led by star guard DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors reign as the top team in the East and they are ranked third-best in the league.

With a talented young squad that is hungry to prove they are a legitimate threat, there’s no telling how far the Raptors could go in the post-season.

Toronto isn’t the only place Canadian basketball is making a dent. Canada has dominated the NBA draft as well.

Canadians Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett were both drafted first overall in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Not only were they the first Canadians ever to be drafted No. 1 overall, but they also marked the first time any country other than the USA has had players taken first overall in consecutive years.

It’s apt that as the red and white begin their NBA takeover, the greatest Canadian to ever play the game, two-time league MVP Steve Nash, approaches the final chapter of his storied career.

The future Hall of Fame inductee has been everything his country could have asked for as an ambassador for Canadian basketball, but injuries have forced Nash to finally hang up his kicks.

As he does, the Canadian basketball legacy will live on through Wiggins and Bennett, and through the now-dominant Raptors, who all seem more than capable of carrying the Canadian torch forward.

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