On Nov. 3, 1995, the Toronto Raptors tipped off against the New Jersey Nets and changed the sports landscape of the city.

The Raptors are now a team to be reckoned with but it wasn’t long ago that people would have laughed at the notion they would ever win an NBA title, let alone by the time their 25th anniversary rolled around.

Why did they become champions? What were the turning points? How comedic, chaotic, tumultuous, and triumphant has the last quarter-century been?

Raptors beat writer Doug Smith (Toronto Star) has pretty much seen it all covering the team from Day 1, and oftentimes he would say, “Man, that’s one for the book.”

Now you have it.