Raptors were blown away by "electric" Edmonton crowd

Oct 3 2022, 7:12 pm

If the Toronto Raptors learned anything about themselves on yesterday’s preseason visit to Edmonton, it’s this: they truly are Canada’s team.

“The atmosphere… unbelievable man,” said Fred VanVleet. “It blows me away every time we get to come to these different places that don’t get to see us as much.”

Raptors tickets in Edmonton sold out nearly immediately, with a sold-out crowd packing Rogers Place to see Toronto take on the Utah Jazz.


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The fans were cheering loudly from prior to tipoff right through the postgame, with the local fanbase offering the visiting Raptors a greeting right outside the media area, which VanVleet shared on his Instagram page.

“Edmonton was amazing,” VanVleet added. “You look up to the rafters and it felt like people were hanging from the ceiling. It was just electric. From the moment we checked in the hotel Saturday, it was rock-star treatment, and hopefully, we put on a good show for them. It shows the Raptors brand and just how big we have grown and what we mean to the people and what the game means, what the team means being Canada’s team right now. This is my first time here and it was an amazing experience and hopefully, we can come back soon.”

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who also coaches the Canadian men’s national team, spoke about the growth of the sport across the country.

“It’s moving fast not only for fans but for players, for talent,” Nurse said. “We’re trying to make steps forward with the national team. All of those things working simultaneously together. Us going out, the one NBA team in the country, creating some excitement, getting out and doing some clinics and doing those things we do when we’re out there hopefully helps and continues to grow the game in Canada.”

Toronto rotated their lineup heavily, with no player suiting up for more than 18 minutes in the 114-82 win over the Jazz.

The Raptors continue their preseason schedule this Wednesday in Boston, with a tipoff set for 5:30 pm MT/ 7:30 pm ET.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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