What a season this has been. There were questions about this team and its potential, as a result of the Lebronto sweeps. People questioned “Will he stay or will he go?”. In the end, the regular season didn’t matter. The trade didn’t matter. None of that mattered as soon as the team held the O’Brien firmly in their grasp. There is no way to describe the jubilation in Toronto as I write this. Kawhi Leonard has brought the NBA championship back to Toronto, in his 1st season with the Raptors. In a season riddled with fairy-tale story lines, this is the only fitting ending.
At the biggest stage, the Raptors exorcised their playoff demons. Series after series, the team kept grinding. One could pinpoint the exact moment that we started to believe. The Game 7, history-making buzzer beater against the 76ers. It seemed impossible. All of that series Toronto had struggled against the 76ers length. It seemed like it was over, but Kawhi pulled a rabbit out of his proverbial hat. At that very second, Kawhi Leonard instantly became a Toronto legend. With this title, he is deservedly the greatest Raptor of all time.
What Were the Odds?
The Raptors have overcome tremendous odds to get there. There must be credit to the one man that made this season possible. Masai Ujiri. Over the course of last offseason and some of the regular season, Masai trimmed the roster. He traded away poor defenders for lengthy athletic veterans. He bet big on the Kawhi Leonard trade, and got the biggest possible payout. It is hard to imagine Kawhi leaving this team. Not after this. But if he does, then there is no ill will. Kawhi Leonard has done what he set out to do for this franchise. He got everyone over their playoff hump, and that is perhaps just as valuable as this championship. Leonard knows how to face his demons, and he just taught the Raptors the way. Just look at how Kyle Lowry balled out.
This run has been nothing short of a roller coaster for Raptors fans. Through the highs and lows however, the fans stuck with their team and they believed. We believed that this was all possible. The trust and the love for the city is always present with the fans, and as they believed the rest came to play. Enjoy this for what it is. We don’t know when this will happen again, so as Kawhi says “Enjoy the moment.”