Could it get weirder?

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

The Raptors always have been, well, strange.

Goofy things seem to follow this franchise around. Sometimes the stories are funny. Sometimes the stories are tragic. But there always has been a healthy dose of the unusual.

Here's a subjective list of the 10 strangest stories in Raptors history:

DANCE PAK MEMBER FIRED

This kind of stuff could happen only to the Raptors. One of the members of the club's dance troupe was axed when it was discovered there were naked pictures of her on the Internet, where she uses the alias Lindsey Marshal. This led to several days of intense coverage in Toronto newspapers, as the "vixen or victim?" debate roared.

JOHN SALLEY'S NEW YEAR'S EVE BASH

So what's a car in Lake Ontario and a bunch of stolen leather coats among friends? Everyone relax! Actually, there wasn't a lot of relaxing in the wake of a party in downtown Toronto with which Salley, a Raptors forward at the time, was associated. Chaos ensued because of poor security, and Salley later lamented, "I just lent my name to it, okay?"

BAD STEP FOR ERIC MONTROSS

One of the nicest men ever to play in the NBA was Eric Montross. He was a team-first guy, a hard worker, and someone who always endeavoured to get the most out of his ability. So how did it all end for the powerful seven-footer? He broke a bone in his left foot while gingerly stepping over a baby gate in his home and never recovered.

BRENDAN MALONE PLAYS FIVE SHOOTING GUARDS

The tension between original Raptors coach Brendan Malone and general manager Isiah Thomas bubbled over one night at the SkyDome, when Malone played five shooting guards at the same time. Malone wanted to illustrate what a bad team he had. Thomas saw it as a naked attempt to humiliate him, and Malone was fired at season's end.

OLIVER MILLER HAS HEART PAINS

It was the end of the horrific 1997-98 campaign, and Oliver Miller and coach Butch Carter were at each other's throats. Before a game in Philadelphia, a mischievous and rotund Miller claimed he was having heart pains, and dramatically was wheeled out on a stretcher. Asked to comment, Carter said, "If they find a heart, tell them to take it out."

CHRIS CHILDS GETS THE SCORE WRONG

Game 5, first round, 2002. The Raptors are trailing the Detroit Pistons by only three points in the dying seconds. But rather than working the ball into a better position, Chris Childs heaves up a desperation shot, obviously trying to get fouled, that misses wildly. Afterward, Childs belligerently insists the Raptors had been down by four points, not three.

CHARLES OAKLEY ATTACKS JEFF MCINNIS

No one could break the tedium of a morning shootaround like Charles Oakley. Still burning over an off-season incident involving Jeff McInnis, then of the Los Angeles Clippers, and a female known to Oakley as well,

Oakley fires a ball at a shocked McInnis' head. Oak then brazenly claims nothing happened, despite the fact TV cameras saw everything.

VINCE CARTER GOES TO COLLEGE GRADUATION

It's the biggest day in Raptors history, Game 7 versus Philadelphia in 2001. But that morning Carter attends a graduation ceremony in North Carolina before flying to Philly. Either fittingly or unfortunately, depending upon your view, Carter then misses the buzzer-beating shot that would have won it.

CARLOS ROGERS OFFERS KIDNEY TO SISTER

It started with an innocent question: "Carlos, why did you write '4 RENE' on your sneakers?" Carlos Rogers' sister, Rene, was desperate for a kidney transplant. Carlos had offered one of his own kidneys to save her, despite the fact it might ruin his career. Tragically, Rene became too sick too quickly for a transplant, and she died soon afterward.

BUTCH CARTER SUES MARCUS CAMBY

Undoubtedly, the strangest of the strange. During the heat of a Raptors-New York Knicks playoff series in 2000, Camby -- an ex-Raptor -- called Raptors coach Carter a liar in a newspaper story. Shockingly, Carter sued Camby.

If Carter's idea was to distract the Knicks, it didn't work. New York swept Toronto and Carter was fired that summer.


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