The Toronto Raptors won its first NBA championship in franchise history Thursday night, and for the people who congregated at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion - a.k.a Jurassic Park Sault Ste. Marie - they knew they had just been a witness to something special.
The Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors, 114-110, to take the NBA Finals in six games.
“It’s history,” said Raptors fan Tori Ivey, surrounded by family and friends at the pavilion. “We’re living history right now!”
Ivey is originally from Toronto, and she’s been a Raptors fan her entire life.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I didn’t get to catch much of the series, but this was the best game to be at, so I’m happy.”
As revelry took over Jurassic Park Sault Ste. Marie, an image of Raptors star Kawhi Leonard flashed on the pavilion, which served a projection screen for the game.
“M-V-P! M-V-P!” the fans chanted.
Chase Peplow, a junior basketball player for White Pines this past year, agrees with that sentiment.
“This win was actually insane for the Raptors,” Peplow told SooToday. “Kawhi Leonard, that man’s different. He is different. He’s too good at the game.”
“Nobody can hold him.”
Injuries plagued the Golden State Warriors throughout the finals, but still managed to have some close games with the Raptors regardless.
“With the Kevin Durant injury, Klay Thompson injury and Kevon Looney - that was three of their starters gone,” said Peplow. “It might have been a whole other outcome if they didn’t get injured, but I had faith in the Raptors the entire time.”
The Toronto Raptors have now made 11 playoff appearances since the franchise was founded in 1995.