Not to dump on the Toronto Raptors’ parade, but it’d be awesome if Kawhi Leonard signed somewhere else this offseason, if only because it would solidify how badass this season’s accomplishment was. The dude had an acrimonious split from the Spurs, was traded to a team he “had no desire to play” for, then took them to the franchise’s first-ever championship within the same season. There’s no way for him to top this. Leave now, man, while the expectations have been exceeded tenfold. Go do this for another team! Hell, take the Clippers to the Finals.
In the meantime, while Leonard takes his time to figure out what he wants, he’ll soak in the glory, like he did at today’s festivities. The Board Man will wink at his own college trash talk, celebrate with his girlfriend and unsurprisingly subdued daughter, and make fun of his own strange, possibly diaphragm-based laughing technique:
You can tell from the reaction of Leonard’s teammates: He pays attention to more than he lets on, and likes to keep it that way.
Kawhi was also able to have a meeting with Plant Guy, the drunk, jubilant Raptors fan who toted a big plant as he walked around the city following the team’s title win Thursday night. The actual plant given to Leonard was a bit smaller, sadly:
There was a scare at the ceremony in the afternoon when two people were shot and a portion of the crowd dispersed. The injuries weren’t life-threatening and two suspects were taken into custody as the rally went on. The scenes before and after that were much happier. The streets were packed, Marc Gasol was tanked and having fun with the crowd, and everyone did their best to ignore or or boo Premier Doug Ford.
And yes, that cornball was there.
Let’s end on a better note: Kyle Lowry wearing a jersey of Damon Stoudamire—the Raptors’ first-ever draft pick—and holding the trophy on top of a bus.