Raptors fans take over Toronto streets in celebration
It was quite a street celebration in downtown Toronto after the Raptors pulled-out a Game 6 victory against the Golden State warriors in Oakland.
The last minutes of the game were truly tense moments for Raptors fans in Toronto and also across Canada.
Restaurants, bars and for that matter any public space like a supermarket that you might expect to find lots of people were relatively deserted as people sought out places to watch the game. But after more than 20 years of trials and tribulations, finally, "We did it!".
As I ventured down Yonge Street from Bloor St West toward Dundas Square, everyone's elation was apparent. I have never seen my fellow Torontonians in such a collective elation as horns honcked continually into the wee hours of the morning. Fans were jumping and dancing with Canadian and Raptors flags in the middle of intersections alongside other spontaneous celebrations. These also included a lot of high-5s among former strangers in large street celebrations. The crown embraced an amazing energy in a huge party atmosphere.
Fans celebrated as an expression of support for the Raptors and Canadian national pride for the Raptors bringing home an international championship to Canada. However, in my view, part of this celebration also sent a message to all those sports commentators south of the border who showed a complete lack of respect for the Raptors as "the team from Canada".
The U.S. sports commentators did not have the same respect for the Raptors as the Las Vegas betting odds makers.
For U.S. sports commentators the Raptors became a relatively small footnote alongside speculation about Kevin Durante and how they expected that the Warriors would eventually find a way to win the NBA finals as they expected. There was relatively little respect for the overall excellent team with amazing chemistry that they Raptors represented.
As a result, the Raptors played as continual underdogs even after they led the Warriors in the championship series.
It was great to see that the Raptors organization respected our city and country enough to put together such an amazing group of players unlike, namely the under-achieving Toronto Maple Leafs organization which seems content to exploiting the Leafs name simply for commercial profit as a result of Leaf fans willingness to pay for Leafs tickets no matter what they do.