Monday’s championship parade for the Toronto Raptors was not without its problems, but for the most part, people enjoyed the experience in a respectful and joyous manner. Despite some serious delays, over-crowding, and a pair of shootings that left four injured, Toronto came out to make memories while the Raptors celebrated the franchise’s first NBA title.
From Kawhi Leonard’s hilarious display of self-awareness, to the crowd at Nathan Phillips Square greeting Premier Doug Ford with chorus of boos, here are some of Monday’s must-see moments from this historic Toronto event.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 17, 2019
Nav “Superfan” Bhatia has never missed a Raptors home game in the team’s existence. He was rewarded for his devotion to the club by being named grandmaster of Monday’s march.
Plant Guy finally meets Kawhi
— blogTO (@blogTO) June 17, 2019
One of the lasting images from the post-game celebrations following the Raptors’ championship-clinching victory last Friday was of one fan carrying a large plant, seemingly ripped from the ground, and telling reporters it was a potential housewarming gift for Kawhi Leonard, should he elect to re-sign with Toronto. Plant Guy finally got to hand off one of his goods to the NBA Finals MVP on Monday.
Marc Gasol living his best life
Marc Gasol chugs an entire bottle of wine pic.twitter.com/d6HcpQwkOQ
— The Render (@TheRenderMedia) June 17, 2019
Raptors centre Marc Gasol was in peak celebratory form Monday, which included him chugging an entire bottle of wine.
Lowry’s ‘Five More Years’ Chant
Crowd to Kawhi: ONE MORE YEAR
Kyle Lowry to crowd: FIVE MORE YEARS pic.twitter.com/rYImiYzVTv
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) June 17, 2019
While Toronto prepares to play the waiting game on Kawhi’s future, fans greeted him with a chant of “one more year.” Kyle Lowry did us four better, leading onlookers into a “five more years” chant.
Frank Gunn’s outstanding photo of Kawhi
— Frank Gunn (@frankgunnphoto) June 17, 2019
Canadian Press photographer captured what could ultimately become one of the lasting images of Mr. Leonard’s Toronto tenure. Thousands of fans reflected in Kawhi’s sunglasses as he travels through the parade route. Ominous? Yep. Awesome? Also yep.
Doug Ford showered in boos
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) June 17, 2019
Love him or hate him, Premier Doug Ford being greeted at Nathan Phillips Square by a chorus of boos was rather hilarious.
Matt Devlin calming the crowd in the face of panic
Tragedy struck during the rally at Nathan Phillips Square when gunshots interrupted speeches, leaving four people struck and numerous others injured while many attendees scrambled to safety. Raptors play-by-play man Matt Devlin took to the microphone to calm the crowd. Devlin’s measured approach likely saved people from being trampled and/or injured trying to flee the Square. Hats off to you, Mr. Devlin.
Kawhi gets the last laugh
KAWHI DID THE LAUGH pic.twitter.com/nAX6LZ2IoO
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) June 17, 2019
Kawhi Leonard’s first viral moment in a Raptors uniform didn’t come on the basketball court, but rather at his own introductory press conference when the “Fun Guy” dropped his now iconic laugh. Clearly, Leonard is a self-aware man. He ostensibly dropped the mic by finally giving an encore performance of the laugh.
Image via @Raptors