TORONTO — It was a gray and gloomy morning in Toronto on Tuesday, with rain showering the city off and on throughout the day. But as the afternoon hit, the sun started to shine — almost as brightly as the Raptors‘ new championship rings.
Prior to tipoff against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Raptors presented their players and coaches with their championship rings and unveiled the 2019 NBA champions banner in the rafters of Scotiabank Arena.
Here are some of the features of what the team called the “largest NBA championship ring” ever produced:
A 1.25-carat diamond atop the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the largest single diamond in any professional sports ring
The front of the ring depicts the Toronto skyline and Scotiabank Arena, along with the team’s chevron logo
The 74 diamonds in and around the Toronto skyline represent the team’s 74 wins in the regular season and playoffs
Above the arena on the front of the ring are six round diamonds representing “The Six,” which rapper and Raptors global ambassador Drake popularized as another reference for the city of Toronto
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 22, 2019
16 rubies and the 16 jersey numbers of the players on the championship roster encircle the ring
Inside the ring, the championship logo is engraved above the Raptors’ postseason series records and a ruby is set inside a maple leaf representing Canada
One side of the ring features the player’s name and number
The opposite side features “World Champions 2019” above the Raptors’ logo
In total, the ring boasts 14 carats’ worth of diamonds and more than 650 total diamonds; both are the most ever in any professional championship ring.
Peter Kanis, president of Baron Championship Rings, said his company started preparing concepts for rings before the Finals ended but got a boost in the process after talking with Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.
“He became a very important person in the transition to the masterpiece we have today,” Kanis told reporters at halftime of Tuesday’s game.
Drake and superfan Nav also received rings, the team confirmed.
The banner — which hangs near the spot where Kawhi Leonard‘s bouncing shot sent the Raptors to the Eastern Conference finals — is next to just two other banners: a 2019 Eastern Conference championship banner and a single banner commemorating all six of Toronto’s Atlantic Division titles, replacing the individual banners the team used to have for each title.
When it was time to unveil the banner, Lowry took the mic and called his teammates over to stand behind him, then led the crowd in a countdown. As the drape covering the banner fell, Queen’s “We Are The Champions” blared throughout the arena as fireworks and pyrotechnics went off.
The black banner features a gold Larry O’Brien Trophy, with “Toronto Raptors” and “2019 World Champions” in white above and below the trophy. It is trimmed in red, and the names of the players are featured on the sides.
Lowry also played a role in the conceptualizing the ring, according to the president of Baron Championship Rings. Peter Kanis said the company started preparing concepts for the rings before the Finals ended but got a boost in the process after talking with Lowry.
“He became a very important person in the transition to the masterpiece we have today,” he told reporters at halftime of Tuesday’s game.
Each of the fans inside the arena received a replica of the championship ring.