Ed O'Bannon Taught Us The Fans Aren't Always RightPublished by Toronto Mike on July 21, 2009 @ 21:53 in Toronto Raptors
I just read an article about Ed O'Bannon who's suing the NCAA over its use of former student athletes' images in DVDs, video games, photographs, apparel and other material. Every time I hear the name Ed O'Bannon, I remember the lesson he taught us Raptor fans in the mid-90s.
The Toronto Raptors were an expansion team back in 1995 and we had the seventh pick in the NBA Draft Lottery that summer. The draft was held at SkyDome, so plenty of Raptor fans were in attendance. The Vancouver Grizzlies picked Bryant "Big Country" Reeves at #6 and there was no doubt who the fans wanted us to draft at #7.
Ed O'Bannon had a monster 1995 in the NCAA for UCLA. He was the key to UCLA's 1995 NCAA Basketball Championship, winning the John R. Wooden Award as well as the Oscar Robertson Trophy that year. We knew Ed O'Bannon, he was a household name, and we wanted him to be our first ever draft pick.
Isiah Thomas selected Damon Stoudamire, a point guard out of the University of Arizona, and the fans at SkyDome booed. I watched it live and I remember the boos. O'Bannon went to the Nets at #9.