The Raptors “celebrated” their sweet sixteen birthday by winning 22 games, which marked the second lowest win total in franchise history. They sucked. No denying that, but to give their suckage some perspective and context, I thought we look at other recent expansion teams and see how they fared in the first 16 years of their existence.

The stats below are for the first 16 years of the franchise’s existence:

Memphis/Vancouver Grizzlies

Age: 16
Playoff Appearances: 4
Playoff Series Wins: 1 (Active in 20010-11 Playoffs)
.500 or above seasons: 6
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2am: They didn’t do anything when they were in Vancouver because Stu Jackson was a sorry excuse for a GM and the city couldn’t satisfy the lust of NBA players. Overall, the team was managed about as well as the Harvey’s I just came back from (cashier had it made, was just pocketing the money and not giving receipts. Winning!). The move to Memphis looked shaky at first, up until Hubie Brown got them a sniff of success; a few years of more suckage, a good trade and decent drafts, here we go. Remember Bryant Reeves? That guy was more bear than human, forget starting center, he should’ve been the mascot.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Age: 22
Playoff Appearances: 8
Playoff Series Wins: 2
.500 or above seasons: 8
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2:07am: For the first seven years they were awful. Garnett came and he took them to the promised land, and by promised land I mean seven straight years of first-round playoff exits. Then they had one good year where they went to the conference finals (Garnett’s MVP year). Since then they’ve had seven straight playoff droughts. What’s next for them? Seven straight years of Kurt Rambis looking like a guy who finished the overnight shift at that Harvey’s I was talking about. Prediction: Kevin Love traded in 3, 2, 1…

Orlando Magic

Age: 22
Playoff Appearances: 8
Playoff Series Wins: 5
.500 or above seasons: 9
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2:11am: Didn’t win more than 31 games for their first three seasons, then Shaq was drafted and fortunes changed. Got them to the finals and bolted a year later, the Penny Hardaway years came and went. T-Mac did his thing…basically a lot of mediocrity and first-round exits. The most entertaining aspect of the early Magic teams were the Lil Penny commercials with Tyra Banks (before she became a psychopath and started eating Harvey’s for breakfast).

Charlotte Hornets

Age: 23
Playoff Appearances: 9
Playoff Series Wins: 4
.500 or above seasons: 11
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2:16: Like any expansion team they lost a lot early (20, 19 and 26 wins in first three seasons), Alonzo Mourning (two-kidney version) and Larry Johnson gave them a taste, he went to Miami and soon the Glenn Rice years started. Never quite a threat to do anything, kinda like that security guard at Harvey’s. C’mon dude, you got a baton in your hands whose primary use is to scratch your ass.

Miami Heat

Age: 23
Playoff Appearances: 9
Playoff Series Wins: 4
.500 or above seasons: 7
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2:20am: Zo and Tim Hardaway teamed up to form some good teams, the closest they came to doing anything great was in 1996-97 when they won 61. Lost meekly to Jordan’s Bulls in five games. A consistently good team who were always a threat in the playoffs. This was the time when the city of Miami was genuinely enthused about basketball and didn’t need artificial injections of passion.

Dallas Mavericks

Age: 31
Playoff Appearances: 6
Playoff Series Wins: 4
.500 or above seasons: 6
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2:26am: Five straight playoff trips after their three-year initiation, some of the oldies included Derek Harper, Sam Perkins and Detlef Schremph. After those guys left they drafted Jamal Mashbrun, Jimmy Jackson and Jason Kidd to form the three J’s. That didn’t work out and they ended their first sixteen years on a six-year playoff outage which lasted a total of 10 years. Shockingly brought Dick Motta back.

And finally….

Toronto Raptors

Age: 16
Playoff Appearances: 5
Playoff Series Wins: 1
.500 or above seasons: 5
Titles: 0

Drunken comment at 2:31am: You know how it all played out. The numbers don’t lie when they say the Raptors have had the worst first 16 years of any team created in the last 40 years. The only category they have an advantage against any other team is in playoff appearances, where they have one more than Memphis/Vancouver. They lose everywhere else.

Good day!

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