Construction player Kyle Lowery was so overwhelmed that he “couldn’t think” as he stared at the microphone. “Toronto!” Canada! Baby, we brought it home! “He called fans in Canada. “That’s why I play basketball. This is what I do. He is considered a reserved character. But it was certainly not a time for moderation.
The Toronto Raptors made sporting history. A Canadian team won the championship title in the North American Professional League NBA for the first time, with their final win against defending champions Golden State Warriors. In game six, the team around stars Leonard and Laurie won 114: 110 against the team from Oakland. It is the first NBA title for the Rappers in their 24-year NBA history.
Basketball has been a staple sport in Canada for weeks and has pushed ice hockey into the background. Thousands of people watched the game being played in Oakland on a giant screen in the fan area in front of the Toronto area. There was no stopping when the last siren started ringing. Fans in the city, under the glow of firecrackers, blocked the main traffic arteries in the center and climbed at traffic lights. Similar images were seen from coast to coast, in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver. “We the North” was the battle cry of the fans.
Lori contributed significantly to the success with 26 points and Leonard was the deciding man in the series anyway. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals Series (MVP). He said, “I wanted to make history here and that’s what I did.” Leonard had already received the award with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and is only the third player after LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to be crowned MVP with two different teams.
On Monday, the Raptors failed to secure the title with a home win in Toronto. But they had already won two games by three and four. Now the last test came on the opponent’s floor. In terms of drama, the sixth game in the “Best of Seven” series was hard to beat. Neither side was able to gain a clear lead. By halftime it was 60:57. The Golden State Warriors, who have been the NBA’s best team in recent years and NBA champions in the last two years, gave the Raptors an edge. It was 111: 110 for the Raptors to last ten seconds. It is in basketball for almost eternity. When Danny Green lost the ball through an incorrect pass in 9.6 seconds, the Warriors suddenly had a chance to win, but could not take the chance. In 0.9 seconds Leonard was awarded two more free throws and the Rappers 114: 110 were brought out of reach for the Warriors in front. His last Golden State Warriors game in Oakland ended in a disappointing defeat before he moved to San Francisco.
Basketball originates in canada
Another key player for the Raptors in this encounter was Fred Vanvelt, who threw five three-points in crucial game scenes. Like Lennard, he received a total of 22 points. For the Warriors, Kell Thompson was the most successful player with 30 points – until he was eliminated at the end of the third quarter when he injured his knee. This was the second major setback for the Golden State Warriors: In game five, Kevin Durant tore his Achilles tendon. He returned to the team for the game after an injury. The defining player for the Warriors was Stephen Curry (21 points).
“Fans will go crazy in Toronto,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse predicted after the fourth game. “This is the Canadian team,” said Nurse, who only took command of the team earlier this season. He should be proved right. 37 million Canadians were behind the team, commentators have repeatedly noted. “This is Canada’s biggest success for many decades,” said a sports fan in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. “Everything Looks at the Raptors.” This has never happened before: Canadian sports fans don’t just watch their beloved ice hockey, with the Stanley Cup final series ending a few days ago without much enthusiasm. For the first time, the NHL has been overshadowed by another major sports league, the NBA Basketball League, to many fans.
Fans in many areas of the country have a love-hate relationship with Toronto when it comes to ice hockey – something very different now seen in basketball. The Raptors had made it to the playoffs for the past five years, but they had never come this far. Now, for the first time, a Canadian team played for the NBA title, and for the first time the games were played outside the USA in the Best of Seven Finals series. American broadcasters never had to travel to their northern neighbor to report in the final round.
When the Toronto Raptors won the title, the trophy went to the country where the inventors of basketball first came. James Naismith was born in 1861 in the small Canadian town of Almonte, a four-hour drive north-east of Toronto and about an hour from Ottawa. He studied sports and worked as a sports teacher in various cities. As a teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts, he had a brilliant idea in 1891: He gave fruit baskets to banana railings and threw balls into baskets to keep his students busy in the hall during the winter. And they developed rules that physical attacks on an opponent should be forbidden and football should be an option.
A sport that initially conquered the continent developed from these origins and in 1936 was recognized as an Olympic sport. The final series with the Toronto Raptors, which was very well known even before NBA boss Adam Silver’s last game, was a “homecoming of sorts”. Toronto Raptors owner Larry Tannenbaum is already looking to the future. “The trophy will remain in Canada,” he hopes for years to come. And many millions of fans, many of whom were electrified by the sport for the first time, are convinced that Canada will not only be a hockey, but also a basketball country in the future.