Things took a turn this past summer with #NBAFinals MVP Kawhi Leonard (@kawhileonard) and shooting guard Danny Green (@DGreen_14) both leaving for Los Angeles during free agent season, signing with the Clippers (@LAClippers) and Lakers (@Lakers) respectively.
In spite of these departures, the @Raptors have remained a massively popular topic on Twitter during the summer and early fall as a returning cast of veterans and upstarts look to repeat during the 2019/2020 NBA season.
Here is a snapshot of the @Raptors conversation on Twitter as we head towards opening tip-off.
Since it was first introduced in 2014, #WeTheNorth has since become one of the most iconic Twitter hashtags in Canadian history. Usage of the hashtag has hit new highs in 2019.
There have been more mentions of #WeTheNorth on Twitter in 2019 than any year in history. In fact, there have been more mentions of the hashtag on Twitter in 2019 than in the previous four years (2015-2018) combined.
Furthermore, there were more than 4x more #WeTheNorth Twitter mentions this past offseason, compared to 2018. This insight all #WeTheNorth Tweets sent between July 1-September 30, 2019 to Tweets sent between July 1-September 30, 2018.
Expect millions of @Raptors fans in Canada and beyond to keep the hashtag front-and-centre in the NBA conversation this season.
The Team and the Talent
Not only were the @Raptors easily the most mentioned Canadian sports team during the first half of 2019, they were also the most mentioned Canadian sports team during this past offseason. From July 1-September 30, 2019, mentions of the @Raptors team account outnumbered mentions of the officials accounts of the Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays). They also outnumbered mentions of the Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs).
In addition, the @Raptors enter the new @NBA season as one of only two Canadian sports teams with more than 2,000,000 followers. Over the past 12 months, the @Raptors following on Twitter has grown by 28%.
Over the past 12 months, Gasol has more Twitter account mentions than any other member of the 2019/2020 @Raptors and any other professional athlete currently playing in Canada.
Here are the five top names in that category.