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1 year later: Raptors remember NBA Championship

Last Updated Jun 13, 2020 at 10:38 am MST

The basketball shot heard around the world, a missing tooth, Drake massages and a country united over basketball.

It’s something Raptors fans could only dream of and many still can’t believe it happened. June 13 will mark the one-year-anniversary of the Raptors winning their first NBA Championship.

“To be honest with you, it still hasn’t hit me that the championship is real,” shooting guard Norman Powell said. “I think there have been times when you think about it and it’s like, it’s here. It’s real. But besides that, when those moments come where people tell me, ‘Hey, what up, Champ?’ you know, I still find it a little weird. It’s like, man, I’m really a champion. That’s like a lifelong childhood dream and you accomplished it. So, it’s still weird, but it feels right.”

There were so many memorable moments from the Raptors historic playoff run but it may surprise you that the Championship crowning moment isn’t included in some of their favourite moments.

“We had so many tough moments, crazy moments, beautiful moments, amazing moments all at the same time,” Serge Ibaka said. “The moment I think—I don’t know if I want to go with—the Kawhi (Leonard) shot against Philly or the last nine seconds, if I’m not wrong, of game six in The Finals. You know what? I’m going to go with the Kawhi shot because after that shot, I was like, ‘You know what? This year is our year.’”

Raptors fans who live in Toronto also remember June 17. That was the day where it seemed the team;’ Championship parade went on forever.

While we all know that Marc Gasol had the time of his life that day, the bus ride the night they won in Oakland was also a night to remember.

“Oh man. It was probably one of the best rides of my life,” said Fred VanVleet who lost a tooth turning a game in the Finals.

“Kyle just wanted to keep playing, ‘We are the Champions’ over and over and over again on the speaker. Everybody is a little under the influence, heading to get something to eat, get changed and just realizing we had the rest of the summer to enjoy this,” added Van Fleet. “Our team was really serious and locked in when it was time to play and time to win, but then when it’s time to have fun, we let loose. We’ve got some guys who really enjoy themselves on our team so that was fun.”

To this day, the players still can’t believe how much it meant to their fans.

“I feel like everybody was just so proud of us as a team (and) as the players,” Ibaka said. “The way people were talking to me when they saw me everywhere I went, it was like we changed their lives. You know, to us it’s just a game. We love this game. But I didn’t know how impactful it was for a lot of Canadians.”

For the Nick Nurse fans out there, four special edition bobbleheads have been released to capture the coach’s moments during the championship run.

Watch: A CityTV camera operator on what it was like to capture the historic win