So the Toronto Raptors are the 2019 NBA Champions of the world but first some facts about the game of Basketball.
Did you know Basketball was invented by a Canadian named James Naismith in 1891
Did you know the first NBA game was played in Toronto Canada in November 1946.
Toronto Raptors have not won an NBA championship in 73 years.
Now enough of some history lesson about Basketball, Toronto Raptors celebrated on the streets with supporters their first ever win in NBA history.
At the start of the season not many predicted the quality of the Raptors would get them this far. Over the year they have been seen to be an average team with no real prospect of making it to the conference finals much less winning the NBA championship.
But this year was to be different with the addition of arguably the best player in the NBA right and leagues finals MVP winner Kawhi Leonard who has masterfully led the team to victory shouldering the pains and gains through the thick and thin like a true leader would.
In addition they added Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin (linsanity) to the team and of course the golden child Pascal Siakam as well as veterans such as Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry the longest tenured Raptor to form a magical combination draped in unity and a singular focus on winning.
They fought through the conference finals blocking out every sports commentator negative prediction that they would fail and not make it to the finals. Now in hindsight i think they all lacked foresight and were biased in their opinions.A truly Global team, within the strength of the Toronto Raptors are two African players, Serge Ibaka from the Congo and Pascal Saikam aka spicy P from Cameroon. They poured out their hearts on the floor and gave their very best. Ibaka made sure the rim was protected by blocking layups and grabbing every rebound. On the other hand Siakam coming into the NBA for the first time his first season and his first team showed his determination and resilience when he dominated in game 1 of the finals. Beating an injury prone Golden State Warriors 114 – 110 in Game 6 at the Oracle centre in Oakland which is home to the GSW. The dream was finally realized and history was made.
With great joy and excitement Raptors President Masai Ujiri (pictured below) who himself was a former Basketball player in Europe and America and who is the only non american to have won the NBA executive of the year 2013 whilst with the Denver Nuggets. He is also the only non american to hold the position of the president of basketball operations currently with the Raptors. Born in England to Nigerian father and Kenyan Mother he expressed his interest in Basketball at age 13 and as they say the rest is history.
It would appear a lot of people took the day off work and many parents requested for their kids to be taken off school in other to attend the celebration. And from all indication why not enjoy the moment for it could be the first and last time the Raptors ever win a trophy in our life time.Stations, street and businesses were closed as an estimated 2 million people flooded the streets to celebrate the victory in a spectacular fashion. One reporter described the scene as a “there is an enormous crush of humanity”. A sea of red Raptor fans at the Jurassic park.
The convey included five open top buses carrying the players and smaller pick-up trucks with the team’s mascots standing on the roof while the president of the Raptors basketball team as well as coaching staff all rode in convertibles
And of course we could not have parade without the native and huge raptors supporter, Drake who was seen on one of the double Decker buses riding with Kawhi.Watching the live stream the atmosphere was electric and beautiful. From chatting MVP to singing we are the champions and then the traditional “Let’s go Raptors”!!!! to different speakers congratulating the team and saying thank you.
They were handed the key to the city in recognition of their special contribution to the city of Toronto through winning the championship as well as renaming a boulevard “Raptors way”
Some of the players expressed their appreciation for the fans and the Raptors organisation to fans delight. Even Drake had a few words on the stage. He suggested everyone took a minute to give each other a hug as they all deserve the championship win.
From us here at Hitvibz we say Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors 2019 NBA Finals Champions.