The Toronto Raptors — yes, your Toronto Raptors — are NBA champions. That’s not a typo or a pipe dream, it is a reality. While it may take a while to sink in, the party has already started in various Jurassic Parks around the world.
This team that has as many lottery picks as my high school intramural team, sits atop the proverbial mountain.
Kawhi Leonard was everything we could have hoped for and so much more. After stopping a possible three-peat in Miami, he’s done the same in Golden State.
Kyle Lowry capped off a historic playoff season with the performance of a lifetime, forever changing the meaning of “Playoff Kyle.”
Fred VanVleet went from an undrafted afterthought to receiving an NBA Finals MVP vote (Kawhi had the other 10). What an unbelievable journey.
When Pascal Siakam started playing basketball, DeMar DeRozan was starting for the Raps. Now he’s playing 46 minutes in an NBA Finals-winning game, scoring the final field goal while guarded by the league’s best defender.
Danny Green’s 6 three-pointers in Game Three will live in Raptors lore, but his outstanding defense throughout the Finals isn’t getting the recognition it deserves.
Serge Ibaka punished the depleted Warriors front court on both ends of the floor throughout the Finals, becoming an NBA Champ before his more heralded former Thunder teammates, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Norm Powell won’t get enough credit, but he was a key contributor in shutting down Steph Curry with the box and-1 defense in Game Six, after Klay Thompson went down. His bond with fellow Californian may go a long way in Kawhi re-signing.
Marc Gasol, along with his brother Pau Gasol, are now the first set of brothers to become NBA Champions.
OG Anunoby had as difficult a season as anyone could imagine. To have it end with a championship must feel especially sweet for him.
Jeremy Lin becomes the first Asian to become an NBA Champ.
Patrick McCaw has now been an NBA Champ in each of his first three seasons.
Nick Nurse out-coached Steve Kerr in an NBA Finals. Let that sentence sink in. He took the long route to becoming an NBA head coach, but Nurse’s experience prepared him for any and all situations. He will never pay for a Fisherman’s Friend again.
Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster deserve all the kudos they’ll receive. They knew the ramifications of trading the face of the franchise, but do your due diligence and dig up those cold takes, because the alienated fans from last July are probably the loudest supporters now.
The Toronto Raptors are NBA Champions!!! Now let’s get this party started!