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Naismith Cup
Sport Basketball
Founded 1995
Country(ies) Worldwide
Ceased 2004
Last champion(s) Canada Toronto Raptors

The Naismith Cup was an annual pre-season National Basketball Association exhibition game between former Canadian rivals, the Toronto Raptors and the Vancouver Grizzlies, played at neutral sites across Canada. Named after the Canadian inventor of the sport of basketball James Naismith, it was originally created to raise money for Canada Basketball.

The series began in 1995, and ran for six seasons until 2000. Due to a lockout of the players by the NBA, no game was played in 1998. The move of the Grizzlies to Memphis, Tenesee to become the Vancouver Grizzlies for the 2001-02 NBA season led to the demise of the game.

However, in 2003 the game was revived as a matchup between the Raptors and an international club at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. In 2003 the opponent was the Panathinaikos A.O. of Athens, Greece, while in 2004 the Benetton Treviso of Treviso, Italy visited Toronto.

The Raptors were victorious in all but one of the Naismith Cup games played. They won the Vancouver series 4-1, and also defeated both international teams they played.


Season Date Location Arena Winning Team Score Losing Team Attendance
Toronto-Vancouver series
1995 October 21 Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg Arena Toronto Raptors 98–76 Vancouver Grizzlies 11,203
1996 October 27 Calgary, Alberta Canadian Airlines Saddledome Vancouver Grizzlies 80–77 Toronto Raptors 15,104
1997 October 20 Halifax, Nova Scotia Halifax Metro Centre Toronto Raptors 107–98 Vancouver Grizzlies 8,190
1998 October 19 Vancouver, British Columbia General Motors Place Cancelled
1999 October 18 Edmonton, Alberta Skyreach Centre Toronto Raptors 110–84 Vancouver Grizzlies 12,852
2000 October 12 Ottawa, Ontario Corel Centre Toronto Raptors 97–92 Vancouver Grizzlies 14,783
International series
2003 October 10 Toronto, Ontario Air Canada Centre Toronto Raptors 100–76 Panathinaikos BC 17,749
2004 October 20 Toronto, Ontario Air Canada Centre Toronto Raptors 86–83 Benetton Treviso 10,668


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