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#pounditWednesday, January 19, 2022

Articles tagged: Toronto Raptors

Fred VanVleet has awesome quote about what Raptors will do if Leonard leaves

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet knows as well as everyone else that Kawhi Leonard may leave Toronto this offseason, and he’s prepared for the possibility.

VanVleet said Sunday that he’ll have a simple solution if Leonard departs for another team: they’re just going to beat him.

It’s the best attitude VanVleet and his teammates could possibly take. Leonard may well leave, but it’s clear that the Raptors don’t want this to be a one-off either way. VanVleet played a key role in the Finals and can certainly score and come up big in key moments, as can many of his teammates, and he clearly has the attitude to match.

Nick Nurse believes Raptors can give Kawhi Leonard ‘good deal’

The big question that lingers around the Toronto Raptors after winning the NBA title is whether they will be able to retain forward Kawhi Leonard.

Coach Nick Nurse believes that the Raptors can make a compelling case to the star free agent, and they can give him the deal he wants in a place where he’s beloved by the fans.

There is one disadvantage the Raptors have that they may not be able to overcome: geography. The Los Angeles Clippers have made no secret of the fact that they want to bring Leonard back home to Southern California this summer, and he may be interested. Nurse and the Raptors will be desperate to convince Leonard that he has a good gig on a contender right now, and there’s no reason to change that.

Raptors expect up to two million people to attend victory parade

Toronto Raptors fans

The Toronto Raptors are preparing for a truly massive crowd to attend the victory parade celebrating their first NBA title.

The parade is planned for Monday, and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is preparing for a huge event. MLSE Head of Community Affairs and Events Mike Bartlett told Chris Fox of CP24 that he could estimate between 1.5 and 2 million attendees.

Bartlett promised to deliver the “biggest party Toronto has ever seen” on Monday, culminating in a rally at 12:30. Players will be carried along the parade route in double-decker buses.

Considering the lines and crowds that Jurassic Park attracted during the team’s playoff run, it’s easy to see how they could come by such a crowd estimate. The scenes in Toronto are going to be very, very wild on Monday morning.

Raptors drew staggering TV ratings in Canada for Game 6 of NBA Finals

Toronto Raptors We the North

The Toronto Raptors set record after record with TV ratings during their playoff run, which culminated in some truly staggering ratings as they closed out the championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

The game averaged 7.7 million viewers across all channels in Canada, making it the most-watched TV program in Canada in three years and the most-watched NBA game ever in Canada. 15.9 million Canadians were estimated to have tuned into some part of the game, which represents 44 percent of the country’s population and a record.

The ratings in Toronto and Hamilton were especially impressive. 82 percent of people watching TV in Toronto and Hamilton tuned into the Raptors, which is the highest non-Olympics audience in the market.

The Raptors just experienced their best season in franchise history. Their 58 regular season wins were their second-highest total ever. Unlike past years when they had to contend with LeBron James in the conference, James’ exodus to the Lakers in the Western Conference gave the Raptors a new hope. They took advantage of the opportunity by acquiring Kawhi Leonard and later Marc Gasol in a trade, really making a run for the title. It paid off, and now the popularity of the Raptors in Toronto and the country is at an all-time high.

Masai Ujiri promises Raptors will win more championships

Masai Ujiri Raptors

Masai Ujiri was largely responsible for building the roster that helped the Toronto Raptors capture their first championship in franchise history, and he is not going to be satisfied winning just one.

Following his team’s win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, Ujiri “guaranteed” that the Raptors will win more titles in his tenure with the team.

The biggest takeaway from that remark is that Ujiri doesn’t plan to go anywhere. The Raptors president is going to be pursued by numerous rival teams this offseason, and at least one is prepared to make a massive offer to convince him to leave Toronto. He could — and should — use an offer like that to get more money from the Raptors, but he clearly wants to stick around.

Ujiri took a risk by trading for Kawhi Leonard knowing he could be a one-year rental, and it has already paid off. If Leonard decides to stay for at least another season, there’s no reason the Raptors can’t start thinking about a repeat. And even if Leonard does leave, Ujiri is considered one of the best executives in the NBA for a reason. He’ll figure something else out.

City of Toronto celebrated like crazy after Raptors’ win

Kawhi Leonard bottle

Toronto Raptors fans have been waiting a long time for their team to bring home a championship, and the way the city celebrated following Thursday night’s win helped put the popularity of the Raptors into perspective.

All major cities throw massive victory parades when their team wins a title, and they’re usually attended by hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of fans. But after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the city of Toronto could not wait to get the party started. Check out these awesome videos:

While they had one really embarrassing moment during the playoffs, the way Raptors fans supported their team was incredible. It’s usually an exaggeration to say an entire city got behind a team, but it looks like that is exactly what happened in Toronto.

Oprah Winfrey show in Toronto cancelled because of NBA Finals

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors were unable to close out the Golden State Warriors on Monday, much to the detriment of Oprah Winfrey and her fans.

Live Nation Ontario announced in a tweet on Tuesday that the media icon’s show scheduled for Fri. Jun. 14 at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena (the home of the Raptors) had to be cancelled due to the requirements of the NBA Finals.

Game 6 of the Finals will take place in Oakland on Thursday. Should the Warriors win that contest however, Game 7 will be held in Toronto on Sunday.

It goes without saying that Winfrey’s event likely would have gone ahead as planned if the Raptors had taken care of business in Game 5. With head coach Nick Nurse getting a lot of blame for the loss, it’s probably safe to assume that he won’t be getting a free subscription to O Magazine any time soon.

Raptors players tell fans not to cheer Kevin Durant injury

Warriors KD injury

Toronto Raptors players had to step in and tell some ill-mannered fans not to cheer Kevin Durant’s injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night.

Durant went down with a non-contact injury to his lower right leg early in the second quarter of Game 5. As he got up and began to limp off the court, some fans were heard cheering. Durant’s Golden State Warriors teammates did not like the cheering and were raising their arms to ask what the fans were doing. That’s when some Raptors players like Kyle Lowry told the fans to stop and show some respect.

Durant was trying to play despite not being at full strength. And while he’s a great player and his presence on the floor increases the Warriors chances of winning, no fans should ever cheer an opponent getting hurt, especially one who was trying so hard for his teammates and the sport.

Some athletes got on the fans for cheering:

Raptors fans have been commended for their passion, but this was not their best moment.

Raptors have unique plan for Canadian anthem before Game 5

Toronto Raptors

As is always the case, the 2019 NBA Finals has been loaded with big names performing the national anthem. With a team from Canada involved, fans have been treated to twice as many performances from groups like The Tenors and Metallica. But on Monday night, the fans get to treat themselves.

According to Blake Murphy of The Athletic, the Raptors have decided to let the fans at Scotiabank Arena handle the singing of “O Canada” prior to Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors. The U.S. anthem will be performed by Monica.

The Raptors have a chance to win their first title in franchise history if they defeat the Warriors on Monday, and their fans have given them a huge advantage throughout the postseason. Since Game 5 has the potential to be the final game of the season, it’s a great time to let the fans sing the anthem.

If you saw the incredible line of people waiting to get into Jurassic Park before Game 5, you know how juiced Raptors fans are. That should be one heck of a collective anthem performance.

Look: Jurassic Park line is incredible over nine hours before Game 5

Toronto Raptors fans

The Toronto Raptors will have a huge audience on Monday night as they try to claim their first NBA title over the Golden State Warriors.

Case in point? The line to get into the outdoor Jurassic Park viewing area was huge over nine hours before tipoff. It stretched around the entire building, despite being a rainy weekday.

People are clearly aware that spots are going to be at an absolute premium on Monday evening, but they want to be a part of what they hope will be a historic night. Some fans have been lined up for a very long time, but their patience is finally close to being rewarded.