Toronto Raptors


Raptors Championship Parade and Rally #RealTalk

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 478"There are no words. Today was one of the worst days of my life when it should have been one of the best, not just for the shootings, so many other fails by the City of Toronto and MLSE." That Tweet was sent by Brian this evening so I phoned him up to talk about it. This episode is exactly 40:51.

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Raptors Championship Parade and Rally #RealTalk

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Scenes From the Raptors Championship Parade

Once we wrapped up today's Hebsy on Sports, I put the episode online and jumped on my bike to head east along the waterfront trail. I didn't really have a plan, I just knew I wanted to be a part of today's Raptors Championship parade.

It became apparent at Lake Shore and Strachan that I wasn't going to be able to bike much further. The crowds lining Lake Shore by the Princes' Gates were already pretty deep. At this point, I found the aforementioned Hebsy and we made our way to a great spot and took in the action.

Hebsy

The weather was perfect, the fans joyous and plentiful, and our Raptors did not disappoint. I took in the parade and biked home to catch the rally on TV. As I type, the parade still hasn't reached Nathan Phillips Square. I'm pretty pleased with my decision to lock up at Strachan.

Here's a dump of pictures and video I took from my spot just east of Strachan. What a day!

Raptors Championship Parade

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Raptors Championship Parade

Raptors Championship Parade

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Our Raptors are the 2019 NBA Champions! #WeTheNorth

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Win It For (Part II)

This is part two.

Part one is here.

Win it for me. I was so excited to witness the birth of a franchise, I recorded that first game against the Nets to VHS. I have Alvin Robertson’s name tattooed on my cranium. I’ve wanted this moment for 24 long years.

Win it for every one of us who watched a Raps game at the cavernous dome. It was an awful team, and a terrible basketball venue, but basketball had arrived in Toronto and we were going to be there through thick and thin.

Win it for Leo, who always wanted to play for the home team that was born too late. He’s been a key part of broadcasts since day one and was at my door bright and early on a holiday Monday after a double overtime win.

Win it for Mike Kic. He was the biggest Raps fan I knew, and he left the party far too soon. He’d be going bananas right now.

Win it for Canada. We The North is more than a clever marketing slogan, it’s a statement of unity. Millions across this nation are tuning in to watch Toronto vs. everybody. O Canada!

Win it for Toronto. I love this city, so diverse and full of love. We long suffering sports fans deserve to party like it’s 1993.

Win it for James. I rarely see him without his Kawhi jersey these days and every time I tell a new Raps fan I was watching in the preseason, he reminds me he watched summer league. James only passionately loves two teams and this means the world to my boy. Most of all, win it for him.

Kic would be going bananas right now

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Win It For

Win it for Damon. We wanted Ed O'Bannon, but Isiah knew better.

Win it for Doug. In those early days, he didn't get nearly enough credit. He was the glue when a terrible team was playing in the dome.

Win it for T-Mac. Like a comet, he shone brightly for a very short time, before heading for home.

Win it for Vince. He was half man, half amazing, and put us on the NBA map.

Win it for Oak. He cost us Camby, but provided a veteran presence to a young team on the rise.

Win it for Mo Pete. Only one man played more games for the Raps, and in an era where the most exciting moment was a slam dunk competition, he gave us the miracle.

Win it for JYD. He drove through a snowstorm from Detroit to join us and I'll always love that guy.

Win it for Chris. In the post-Vince era, he was the star. Nobody pulled down more rebounds or blocked more shots, and only one man scored more points.

Win it for José. Only one man played more seasons for the Raps, and nobody gave more.

Win it for Jonas, T Ross, Delon, C.J., Jakob, Greivis, and all who had to go in order to build our 2018-19 Toronto Raptors.

Win it for DeMar. No Raptor has played more games for the franchise, played more minutes, scored more points or played more seasons. He improved every season, leading us to within two wins of the finals and, when all hope was lost, he got us. Most of all, win it for him.

But most of all, win it for James

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Our Toronto Raptors are Headed to the NBA Finals

Our Toronto Raptors claimed their first ever Eastern Conference championship with a 100-94 Game 6 win over the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the NBA Final.

Four wins to go.

Ibaka

My Raptors Bud

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Raptors Renaissance

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 442: Michael Grange

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 442In this 442nd episode, Mike chats with Sportsnet's Michael Grange about his years writing for the Globe and Mail, his work at Sportsnet covering basketball, RJ Barrett, the Toronto Raptors and more. This episode is exactly 2:05:31.

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Michael Grange and me

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Ping Me When the Seasons Start

Last year, it felt like the Leafs season was 82 exhibition games until the real season began against Boston. It was a (mostly) entertaining 82 games, but it just didn't feel like it mattered. When the real season started, we bowed out in the first round to Boston.

This season feels awfully similar. Last night, I was picking up my kids at YYZ and by the time we got home the Leafs were down 5-0. That's no fun, but I sure didn't panic. We clicked over to the OKC / Brooklyn game and came back when it was 5-3. The finish was great fun, even though we lost, but again, it really didn't matter. The real season for this team starts in April.

I feel the exact same way about the Raptors. The Raps are essentially playing an 82 game exhibition season before the real season begins in a month. Nick Nurse is mixing the new in with the old and trying various combinations and strategies before things matter. More often than not, it's thoroughly entertaining, but when we lay an egg as we did against the Cavs, it doesn't faze me. This regular season simply doesn't matter. Like the Leafs, the Raptors will be wholly judged by what happens in the playoffs.

For what it's worth, I could see the Raps winning the Eastern Conference, but I'd be shocked if the Leafs escaped the second round. Still, I'd like to see what happens when the seasons start.

We're almost there...

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Raptors Trade Jonas Valančiūnas, Delon Wright and CJ Miles to Grizzlies for Marc Gasol

The Toronto Raptors have acquired Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valančiūnas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick.

The three-time All-Star is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists over 53 games this season in Memphis, his 11th in the NBA.

Fuck it... we've got Kawhi Leonard this season... let's go for it.

gasol

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