The Toronto Raptors are the 2018-19 NBA champions. Just typing that statement is kinda crazy in itself. The unconventional journey that this franchise had to go through to be at the top of the NBA mountain is astounding.
The team had length, depth, athleticism, and far superior health which allowed Toronto to close down Oracle Arena, and the two-time reigning champions Golden State Warriors. There was doubt in the air, but I think the players knew they were never going to let this opportunity of a lifetime slip away during Game 6.
Like all fairy tale journeys, they all begin with failure. In each of the past 3 seasons, the Raptors tried to get past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and failed. The king’s departure to the Los Angeles Lakers cracked open a door of opportunity which followed with some calculated risks and personnel changes orchestrated by Masai Ujiri (the team’s president of basketball operations). They swept out coach-of-the-year Dwane Casey for an inexperienced coach Nick Nurse and sent top asset DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs to rent an MVP championship caliber player Kawhi Leonard. It was a gamble no other team would’ve ever taken, except Toronto.
But then something unexpected happened. These two pinnacle pieces would create an unstoppable movement that brought belief and confidence throughout the team. Their journey throughout the NBA Playoffs would be filled with ups and downs but each and every player stepped up to the occasion, especially Kawhi Leonard. The fun man brought a stabilizing influence to the entire franchise and it truly paid off for this anxious Raptors team. Now the Toronto Raptors are immortalized and the team’s gamble has officially paid off and will never be forgotten.
Side Note: This will be the last issue of THE lazy NBA for 2018-19. The lazy will step back into hibernation over the summer, and return at the beginning of next season. I would just like to add that this year’s been an absolute blast, and just like last year, I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Thank you so much for all my loyal followers, and I’m sure you’ll all be ready to take on another NBA journey (or taco) with me.
But for now and until next season, zzz…