Title: Raptors Recalibrated: Closing the book on the 2019 NBA championship
Date: June 14, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column looked at the Raptors clinching their first ever championship with a Game 6 victory over the Warriors.
OAKLAND, Calif. — There was a moment Thursday night when the Larry O’Brien Trophy was left alone just outside of the visitor’s locker room at Oracle Arena. The 2019 NBA champion Toronto Raptors had completed their media obligations, including a final team photo, and were assembling on the bus for what someone described as a “big fucking steak” before their celebrations would surely continue somewhere in San Francisco (for now, and elsewhere later). The buses were being loaded, and with few others around, I was left face-to-face with the trophy players and coaches work their entire lives for.
I crouched down into a squat to take a picture that I failed in keeping my own reflection out of. In a quick moment of reflection on the series and the playoffs as a whole, I whispered to the L.O.B.
“None of this is sustainable.”
I kid. The Toronto Raptors won the 2019 NBA championship, and that is the most sustainable type of history there is in sports. The end of the playoffs doesn’t require a recalibration, really. There is no next game to adjust or prepare for, at least until Las Vegas Summer League in a few weeks. It feels like we should put a bow on things, though, and take a quick look back at how the Raptors won their first ever title.