Nobody said this would be easy.

Although the Toronto Raptors aren’t as old as some other NBA franchises, ranking the 15 greatest players in the team’s 27-year history was a painstaking process for the Complex Canada team. There was much internal debate, nitpicking, some standstills, even some passive aggressiveness. Turns out that we—like the legions of devotees out there in Raptors Nation—are incredibly passionate about this team. And that passion can sometimes get us feeling a little emo, as we’re sure you will be while reading this list.

The Raptors franchise is officially in its late 20s—an age when many of us experience quarter-life crises, feeling directionless while those around us pop out babies and climb up the career ladder. But the Raptors are an accomplished 27 years old: 12 playoff appearances, seven Atlantic Division titles, one Eastern Conference title… oh right, and one NBA championship. Not too shabby. If there was any intense soul-searching to be done, it would have been right now, during a supposed “rebuild season” after losing their franchise player. And yet, the Raps are on the verge of making a post-season run nobody expected. The team’s institutional identity, forged over the years, is still deeply ingrained: gritty, hard-working, always willing to share the ball, never willing to say die. 

So, ahead of Kyle Lowry, one of the finest to ever don the dino jersey, returning to Toronto for the first time since joining the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade deal this past summer, we wanted to reflect on the architects who made the Raptors the proud, self-assured millennial franchise it is today. We ranked this list based on the following criteria: individual play as a member of the Raptors, contribution to team success, and lasting impact on the organization and the city. And maybe how cool we thought they’d look in the above illustration.

Here’s our list of the 15 greatest Toronto Raptors of all time. Get ready to @ us. —Alex Nino Gheciu