Becoming an NBA champion is a remarkable achievement. Since the league merged with the ABA in 1976, there have been a grand total of 15 different franchises that have claimed the coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. Forever is inescapable, and the Toronto Raptors earned a place in history that no one can ever take away.
Ask the leaders of the franchise now, though, and from Masai Ujiri to Kyle Lowry to Pascal Siakam they are united in their front that winning one title and falling short in their title defence has only made them hungrier for more rings. For Ujiri, it’s even personal, having been robbed of that moment to celebrate properly by a security officer in Oakland on the night of that fateful Game 6.
What would winning another title mean historically? Since the merger, only eight franchises have done that and dynasties have only been built by the Lakers, Bulls, Spurs, and Celtics. Losing Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard certainly put a damper on that immediate possibility, but the Raptors have so much more going for them that could keep them in the championship conversation for years to come.
Here are five factors that should have the Raptors in position to battle for the Larry O’Brien trophy over and over again.