A packed arena in Calgary cheered loudly as they waited for the much anticipated tip off against the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets on Monday night. The last time the NBA hosted an exhibition game in Calgary was in 1996 when the Raptors took on the former Vancouver Grizzlies.
During first half action we got to see All-Stars Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry on the court. However both sat out for the second half, Lowry not coming back to the court at all.
That didn’t stop the night from being entertaining though, as the NBA surprised Calgary fans with some superstars.
Jerome Williams, aka Junkyard Dog walked onto the court wearing a ‘403’ shirt, showing love to Calgary fans. JYD played for the Raptors from 2001-2003 and in 2006 he rejoined the Toronto Raptors as their community representative.
The crowd went wild as Muggsy Bogues came out with just under 5 minutes left in 3rd quarter. Bogues played for the Raptors from 1999 to 2001 and appeared in the movie Space Jam alongside Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, and Patrick Ewing.
Julius Erving, aka Dr. J came out for a special ceremony as Calgary Flames’ Capitan Mark Giordano and Alternate Captain Sean Monahan presented the slam dunk king with a jersey. Erving is often considered the most talented player in the history of the NBA having won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards and is the sixth-highest scorer in ABA/NBA history with 30,026.
One special ‘Superfan’ was also there. Nav Bhatia was court side sporting his lucky jersey. He was a great ambassador for the Raptors as usual, taking pictures with everyone who asked.
In the end, Toronto lost 106-108, unable to tie the game in the dying seconds and pushing for overtime.
But that’s not what fans took away, as they cheered for their home team and a great night of basketball in Calgary.