This was especially a win for Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri who put this team together and made big changes in the off-season to ensure that the Raptors are where they are today
History was made on June 14, 2019, as Toronto Raptors brought home the NBA Championship for the first time in the franchise’s history.
Torontonians will feel it has been a long time coming. This city of Toronto celebrated this title as only Toronto can; with a parade that would rival any parade in celebration history. The entire city drenched itself in red as the bus carrying the famous trophy along with the team made its way across Toronto.
Toronto are finally the kings of the NBA. This history-making year changed the shape of how the NBA will think of handling its talents.
This was especially a win for Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri who put this team together and made big changes in the off-season to ensure that the Raptors are where they are today. He traded the biggest superstar in franchise history Demar Derozan for Kawhi Leonard who was a rental with a year left on his current contract. It worked, and how.
He also got rid of “Coach of the year” winner Dwayne Casey for a first timer in Nick Nurse. It worked too.
These are the kind of gambles general managers are afraid of taking but Ujiri went ahead with his decisions. It was perhaps a last-gasp risk to try and land the trophy but it was a well calculated risk and it paid off.
An upstart @Raptors squad dethroned defending champion @warriors Thursday, defeating the Warriors 114-110 to win the @NBA Finals and capture the first crown by a club from outside the United States.https://t.co/zycmkRj7Mt#BASKETBALL #NBA #NATIONALBASKETBALLASSOCIATION #TORONTO— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) June 14, 2019
NBA franchises will look at what Toronto did this year and re think how they shape their teams.
So what is it about this Toronto team that makes it special? Let's break down the details as to what made them champion.
This is not a team with a bulk of superstars unlike teams compiled to win championships in previous seasons like Golden State Warriors and LeBron James' title-winning teams.
This Toronto team had one All Star but with the best supporting cast, arguably in NBA history.
This is perhaps one of the deepest squads and benches in the history of the NBA, comparable to the 2015 Golden State team.
The opposition couldn't live with the overall depth of this team, whenever, Kawhi took minutes on the bench, the bench players always ensured the team stayed in the game or furthered their lead.
Another victory for Ujiri who put together this team.
Another advantage of this team is their length, longer players with greater skillsets ensured they were able to win the personal battles against the best team in modern NBA history in Golden State.
The last of their strengths was of course, Kawhi. He duly delivered. He was absolutely superb. He was a superstar and solidified himself as one of the top three players in the NBA.
The last little bit of characteristic they needed to be successful is luck. That is a part of sports and fortunately the Raptors had it. Golden State suffered the worst injury crisis in franchise history with both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffering long term injuries.
This however, is a part of sport and every team rode their luck to a certain extent to win a championship.
This should not deter from the gloriousness of the raptors and their first title. What a season for the Raptors, what an accomplishment.
The Toronto Raptors are the NBA champion. Congratulations!