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Oh Canada

I know we are a little wrapped in our London, SE7 lives but up in Canada today they are having their own wild ‘it never happens to us’ celebrations.

I’ve long had a soft spot for the basketball team Toronto Raptors. The sole Canadian representatives playing in an all-American, money sodden NBA. The Raptors are worthy underdogs never appearing in a Championship final nor having much won anything. Yet I’ve seen them a few times and their fans stick with them through the mediocrity.

However, these last couple of seasons good things started to brew, and this one with a new coach, and with some star signings such as MVP Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors comfortably saw off more richer, renowned and frankly more favoured teams and made it to the Championship finals to play the all star Golden State Warriors led by the fabled Steph Curry.

But last night at the home of Golden State in Oakland, Leonard and the peerless Kyle Lowry and superb Freddie VanVleet led the Canadians to a 114-110 win taking the series 4-2 win. The whole of Canada celebrated long and hard as the first North American sports title headed across the border since 1993.

Golden State have been the golden generation for most of this decade and have appeared in the last five NBA Championship finals, but Toronto fought them toe to toe in a breathtaking series, which led me to stay up later than normal a few nights.

The Warriors will point to injuries to crucial players such as Kevin Durrant and Klay Thompson and although to a layman it seemed that at any minute Steph Curry and his teammates’ Man City-type precision passing and shooting would take the game past the street fighting Raptors, the intrepid Canadians hung in there like an Arctic breeze and were not to be defeated.

Sadly, despite millions of Canadians cheering their team on, there weren’t any countrymen in their line-up last night. Yet Canada and especially Torontonians, point to their very own James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball in 1891, and it was in the north where the first ever game was played.

The NBA title may never have lived in Toronto before, but it has now gone home.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stewart Pope #

    As an Addick I read your comments regularly and enjoy the perspective. Basketball is a game I don’t see much point in however I bow to your expat view of life having lived abroad myself. I will visit NYC next week to see my son and his young family and will visit the NY Mets, just to enjoy the atmosphere but will bone up on the rules on the plane.
    All quiet on the CAFC website today which is hopefully a good sign, too much froth on News Now although S/London press are generally good. Hugged a bloke at Wembley in the 94th minute who I had never met before, a good day out just below the Royal Box. Apparently he used to play a lot of golf with Mike Bailey (another cheap departure at £40k). Like many of us there, we’ve been going for circa 60 years and are used to highs and lows but a great way to win it. Don’t let the bugger grind you down- Come on you Reds!

    June 14, 2019
  2. Thanks Stewart.

    Basketball even at the highest level can be monotonous, but that will happen when you play 82 games in a regular season, but the play-off’s are a bit more exciting. Mind you there are 162 baseball games, but at least there is sunshine and beers at your seat!

    Great day wasn’t it. I watched the highlights again today 😊.

    The old bugger. I know. I haven’t commented on here on any takeover stuff for ages as I really couldn’t see any end to his ownership in sight. Still can’t, just need for him to see sense and have a little humility and reward LB.

    Enjoy New York.

    June 15, 2019

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