Raptors Gift Guide

The ULTIMATE Raptors Gift Guide

Does the Raptors fan in your life already have, well, everything? We’re willing to bet they would love something from our Raptors Gift Guide this holiday season.

The only thing constant with the new normal is that it seems to change every day. But this holiday season should leave at least one tradition intact: Christmas Day basketball games.

These annual, marquee matchups always feature the biggest teams in the NBA, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic had Raptors on the docket for the first time in league history. With the NBA’s upcoming schedule still as-of-yet unreleased, we don’t know which teams will play on Christmas. What we do know for sure is that the league is coming back in time for the holidays, and for Raptors fans, that’s reason enough to celebrate.

To kick the new season off in style, here’s our Raptors Gift Guide. Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or just to treat yourself, there’s something for everyone here, from vintage threads and unique art to next-gen video games.

Half-good Nick Nurse / Descendents Shirt

Tapping the oft-forgotten market of jock punks, this shirt from Toronto artist Tristan Douglas takes Milo out of the iconic Descendents logo and swaps in the reigning Coach of the Year. Recently featured in more than a few fashion magazines, this regularly re-stocked shirt tends to sell out quickly, so act fast if you see one available. 

On sale at the time of print for $17.50 CAD

Leeloodles Shirt

Drawn by artist Leeloo Monleon when she was just 7-years-old, this is the Raptors logo like you’ve never seen it before. Crafted with the kind of charm and care you can only get from a passionate child, Leeloo’s doodles (under the name Leeloodles) have only grown since her parents first printed up this shirt, and now features everything from anime art to woven blankets.  

Get one for the whole family! T-shirts are available in sizes ranging from toddler to adult. $35-35 CAD

Nick Nurse Hat

What started as a curiosity early in his coaching tenure has become a surprisingly sought after piece of merchandise. While it may seem odd at first to wear a coach’s logo on your head, you’ve got to admire Nurse’s branding acumen. And what started as a bit of an inside joke with his Nike rap has been turned into a force of good: when you buy one from his website, you’re also supporting the Nick Nurse Foundation, which works to empower children and young adults to be the best versions of themselves.

Adjustable Snapback – One Size Fits Most. $50 CAD

Jack Armstrong Merch

With apologies to Chuck Swirsky, Jack Armstrong has earned his place as the best Raptors broadcaster of all time. And now, finally, you can wear his signature catchphrases — Brooklyn accent not included. While his shop features shirts and hats with such classics as “HELLOOOOO” and “Rack it up Danny G,” our pick has to be the “Get That Garbage Outta Here” shirt in St. Paddy’s green. 

Available in adult sizes XS-3XL. $20 CAD

Raptors Face Covering

We’re all doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in most cases, that starts with wearing a mask. But why opt for plain old medical blue when you can rock your Raptors colours? The team’s official NBA store features face coverings in multiple colours, with a range of logo styles and material options.

Variety of multipacks available. Starting at $18.99 CAD

Damon Stoudamire Jersey

If you’re going to wear a throwback, why not go back to the beginning? Mighty Mouse is the original Raptors superstar, putting up a pinch under 20 and 10 in his rookie season. Stoudamire didn’t leave Toronto on the best of terms, but true fans can forgive and pay tribute to his big games (including that major upset over the 72-10 Bulls!) in this classic Dino purple jersey.

Available in Men’s size S-5XL. Starting at $159.99 CAD

We The Champs Book

A lot has changed since the 2019 title run, but Raptors fans aren’t soon to forget what an incredible year that was. From the unexpected (and bittersweet) DeMar DeRozan trade to the absolutely bonkers championship parade, 2019 was a year worth remembering over, and over, and there’s no better way to reminisce with Alex Wong’s incredible writing and We The Champs top-notch photography.

$19.95 CAD

We The North Book

Doug Smith has been on the Toronto Raptors beat since the beginning, and here he tells the franchise’s quarter-century story from the inside out. With a foreword from Vince Carter, this is a must-have for older Raptors fans who’ve been there since the beginning and younger ones wondering what those mid-90s teams were really like. Basketball in Toronto, and Canada, has changed a lot since that first season, and Smith’s been there through it all.

$32 CAD

Drake Cereal Art

Based in Portland but from Toronto, Sarah Brown’s incredible store is filled with incredible basketball-inspired art, including an entire line of We The North pieces. Her affinity and love for Toronto basketball shine through in her work, capturing what makes the culture special. If we had to pick our favourites, the hip-hop head in us says the  Tribe Called Quest or Dr. Dre inspired artworks are top of the pack.

Print sizes from 11″ x 14″ to 24″ to 36″. Starting at $30 USD

Signed Vince Carter Dunk Photo

Vince Carter’s departure hurt because before it happened, he felt like family. But as the old wounds have healed we can finally go back to appreciating Air Canada for putting Toronto basketball on the map, and what better way to remember the good ol’ days than with this signed photo of one of his iconic rim-rockers? At his peak, Vince energized the city, and if you need a reminder of what that felt like, just look at JYD’s grinning face trailing behind him.

$149.99 USD

Raptors Neon Sign

Raptors Gift Guide

Forget a nice rug, this is the piece that will really tie the room together. While perhaps a bit too bold for the living room, this neon light will make you the envy of Raptors fans everywhere… and maybe your neighbours, too, depending on how close the nearest window is. This light may not match the atmosphere of a game in person or the ambiance of your local watering hole, but it can take at home game experiences to the next level.

$674 CAD

NBA 2K21 - Next-Gen PS5 / Xbox Series X

Sports games are often the best way to introduce yourself to the next generation of gaming, and for anyone lucky enough to land a PS5 of Xbox Series X, NBA 2K21 is the obvious choice. The only basketball game in town is an incredible sim, and with its new photorealistic graphics is the best way to take the Raptors on their next title run, play with classic teams or embrace your inner Masai in the game’s generation-spanning franchise mode.

$89.99 CAD

Donation to Lowry Love Foundation

When it comes to basketball, Kyle Lowry is the king of Toronto. He represents what we love about the sport, and the city, leaving it all out on the floor when he plays and giving back to those when he’s not. And so while we wait for the much-deserved statue Raptors fans have been clamouring for, why not give back? The Lowry Love Foundation helps underprivileged and disadvantaged Philadelphians and Torontonians, and a donation on behalf of the Raptors fan in your life is a gift that can truly make a difference in someone’s life. 

Damon Stoudamire Cameo

If you’re new to Cameo, it’s great. On it, you can commission celebrities, athletes and famous folks in-between to make short little videos for a usually reasonable price. There are a few former Raptors on the service: Danny Green, Jamario Moon and Damon Stoudamire among them. So if you’re not feeling the jersey option, why not ask one of these ex-Raptors to send the fan in your life some holiday cheer over video?

$50 USD

Raptors Wrapping Paper

Raptors Gift Guide

Because you’re going to need something to wrap all these gifts with. 

$4.99 USD

MJKO youth boxing

BELONGING

In a solo sport like boxing, ‘belonging’ may not be the word that comes to mind. But, behind every fighter is a misfit family of sorts, thrusting them up in moments of glory and supporting them when they fall. It’s this exact family environment Kamal and her husband Ibrahim, a champion lightweight boxer, are creating at Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO). The program focuses on camps, after-school programs and training sessions to teach both mental and physical strength through the sport of boxing. “At MJKO, we create a sense of belonging. I think every single person that gets into the ring is a winner,” said Kamal.

After surviving a sexual assault days before her sixteenth birthday, Kamal was left feeling lost. Growing up in a small town in Nova Scotia, she felt afraid to speak up. “The experience of being assaulted, it changed me from an athlete to a competitive person, someone very trusting to the exact opposite,” she said. After moving to Toronto at 18 for a fresh start, she was introduced to boxing coach and Canadian Olympian, Egerton Marcus who helped show her the way. “It was difficult, the boxing world is not inclusive. It was 100% male.”

"It was difficult. The boxing world is not inclusive, it was 100 percent male. But from the very second I put on the gloves, I felt like I started to change. Boxing and that process, it healed me as a person"

“I was nicknamed Bambi,” she said with a laugh, because she struggled with her feet and often apologized after landing a hit. “My coach thought I was crazy for wanting to fight,” but this wasn’t about victory, it was about confidence. “As a woman, it was the most freeing experience I’ve had in my entire life. I didn’t have to be a girl. I didn’t have to be kind, I didn’t have to be anything but an athlete trying to survive.”

Kamal aims to create a space where kids can learn independence and self-worth but along the way they’ve taught her lessons of their own. “The biggest gift that the kids have taught me is time; all they want is your time.”

Where some people might see pain, Kamal and MJKO see healing. “To use boxing to heal, you have to use vigorous physical activity or it doesn’t work. We’re not counselors. We’re not therapists. You have to help them realize that through the motion of sweating through the motion of pushing through the hard stuff that yes, it can be scary and it can be messy, but that’s alright.”

The way through isn’t always easy, and for many of these kids life may have more uphill battles to come but maybe through the power of sport, they’ll know that they can persevere. 

“Once I shared my story, boxing helped lift that weight of shame to say, you know what? You did your best. That's I think what boxing teaches you; you have to do your best in that moment, and then the rest is okay.”