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Sports & Recreation Basketball

We the North

25 Years of the Toronto Raptors

by (author) Doug Smith

foreword by Vince Carter

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Basketball, General, History
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

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"Doug Smith always gets the first question in any Raptors press conference--as the dean of our press corps, he's been in the front row for every development over the past 25 years. There's no one better placed to write a history of our team's first quarter century."
--Nick Nurse, head coach, Toronto Raptors
Bringing Jurassic Park to your home, a celebration of Canada's most exciting team.

When the Toronto Raptors first took the court back in 1995, the world was a very different place. Michael Jordan was tearing up the NBA. No one had email. And a lot of people wondered whether basketball could survive in Toronto, the holy city of hockey.

More than two decades later, the Raptors are the heroes not only of the 416, but of the entire country. That is the incredible story of We the North, told by Doug Smith, the Toronto Star reporter who has been covering the team since the press conference announcing Canada's new franchise and the team's beat reporter from that day on.

Comprising twenty-five chapters to mark the team's first twenty-five years, We the North celebrates the biggest moments--from Vince Carter's amazing display at the dunk competition to the play-off runs, the major trades, the Raptors' incredible fans, including Nav Bhatia and Drake, and, of course, the challenges that marked the route to the championship-clinching Game 6 that brought the whole country to a standstill.

We the North: 25 Years of the Toronto Raptors tells the story of Canada's most exciting team, charting their rise from a sporting oddity in a hockey-mad country to the status they hold today as the reigning NBA champions and national heroes.

About the authors

Doug Smith has written or co-written ten books, including How to Tax a Billionaire: Project Loophole and the Campaign for Tax Fairness, Consulted to Death: How Canada's Workplace Health and Safety System Fails Its Workers, and Joe Zucken: Citizen and Socialist, which won the Manitoba Historical Society's Margaret McWilliams Award. "As Many Liars" was nominated for the 2003 Manitoba Book Awards' Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-fiction.

Doug Smith's profile page

Vince Carter's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A Toronto Star "top bestelling book" of 2020

Praise for We the North:

“Doug Smith always gets the first question in any Raptors press conference—as the dean of our press corps, he’s been in the front row for every development over the past 25 years. There’s no one better placed to write a history of our team’s first quarter century.”
—Nick Nurse, head coach, Toronto Raptors

“Very rarely in the business of professional sports a coach and sports writer can become friends! Doug is that rare person, because of his integrity and his reputation for the truth. I didn't always agree with him, but I never thought or felt his opinions were personal. As a professional coach that's all you can ask for. Doug was that writer. I have the utmost respect for him as a writer and a man.”
—Sam Mitchell, former head coach, Toronto Raptors

“There’s no better person to write a book on the Raptors than Doug! He’s seen the high and lows of the organization in every way! I look forward to reading this tremendous masterpiece!”
—Damon Stoudamire, first Raptors draft pick

“If anyone in Toronto can say they’ve seen it all and been [with the Raptors] every step of the way it’s Doug Smith.”
Breakfast Television, CityTV
“If you’re a basketball fan, this book will be a slam dunk. . . . We the North takes readers on a twenty-five-year journey from the birth of the Raptors franchise all the way to its championship season in 2019. Smith recounts all the big moments and key players that helped transform this team from the relative obscurity of its early days into one of Canada’s most successful and popular teams.”
Everything Zoomer
“An apt and loving take on a team that has built its own identity and represents the city of Toronto better than any other major sports entity, despite a comparative lack of history and tradition. That the Raptors had to fight the entire way, while being overlooked and underestimated on both sides of the border, just makes this story that much more rewarding.”
—Quill & Quire

Other titles by Doug Smith