It's a little ironic our road trip out to the Great American Midwest began with a pit stop in Canada, but if you have the chance to be in the 6 when the Raptors bring home their first NBA title, who can say no?
For what it's worth, our notoriously friendly neighbors up north lived up to their reputation. Their fanbase has taken a lot of heat recently for their reaction to Durant's injury, and somewhat deservedly so, but the criticism has been a bit overblown. First and foremost, anyone who believes their own fanbase wouldn't react in similar fashion is lying to themselves. Secondly, Toronto fans have been quick to make amends, raising over $10,000 for Durant's charity.
That mini-rant aside, the Raptors fans we watched the game with in Jurassic Park were extremely friendly and polite. That is, of course, until they started smashing cop cars and climbing light poles. Apparently not even mild-mannered Canadians can resist the urge of a good post-championship riot, and it was an awesome experience to be a part of it. The streets of downtown Toronto were full well into the hours of the AM, and I heard the words "We the North" enough times to last a lifetime.
So congrats, Toronto, you guys deserve it. Even against a shorthanded Warriors squad, stealing three games at Oracle is no easy feat. Kawhi played like the best player in the league all postseason, Kyle Lowry consistently rebounded from tough performances, and Pascal Siakim further cemented his claim as the NBA's Most Improved Player. The rest of the supporting cast (looking at you, Fred VanVleet) had their championship moments as well. In an era of the super-team, it was refreshing to see a team mostly made up of unsung heroes capture a title.
Up next should be one of the wilder NBA offseasons in recent memory, and rumors of Kawhi's next destination will be swirling before the city can even host a parade. But for the time being, none of that matters. Enjoy the celebration, Raptors fans, and thanks for hosting us. It's an experience we won't forget.