Story behind Toronto Raptors’ record-breaking championship ring

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TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors’ championship ring, which features tokens of the city and the team’s victorious season, is a record breaker, on many accounts.

“In the centre of the ring you’ve got the Toronto skyline with the Larry O’Brien Trophy right in the middle, Scotiabank Arena and then the “North” chevron right in the centre there and there are 74 diamonds in the circle to represent the wins in the season and the playoffs,” Peter Kanis, the president of Windsor, Ont.-based Baron Championship Rings, said.

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The largest championship ring in NBA history sets a record for most diamonds, most diamond total carat weight and the largest single diamond.

“They wanted it to stand out,” Kanis, who has helped make many championship rings in his career, said. “To get the diamonds in the skyline we had to make it a certain size.”

“It’s by far the nicest ring.”

The rings were handed out to the Raptors players, coaches and front office staff during a pre-game ceremony during the team’s 2019-2020 home opener at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night. During the ceremony, fans watched the championship banner be unveiled from the rafters after the rings were handed out.

Masai Ujiri

The design process for the ring included officials with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and management of the Raptors, as well as Kyle Lowry representing his teammates.

“During the whole process you get information and feedback on what we create with our preliminary designs, they give us what they want on the ring and then Kyle wanted three things; he wanted to represent the city, the country and the team,” Kanis said.

He added that Lowry wanted the ring “blinged out” with “as many diamonds as possible.”

Kyle Lowry

“This isn’t just a ring for the Raptors – it’s a ring for the city of Toronto and the country of Canada,” the five-time NBA All-Star point-guard said in a news release issued on Wednesday.

“The details in the ring reflect things that are important to us and are symbolic of our championship season. I think it’s one of the best rings in the history of the NBA.”

Each player’s ring contained a personalized message with a ruby inside a maple leaf and the championship series scores.

“Outside of their name and number on the ring, they also got a personalized engraving inside the ring for each person,” Kanis said.

The team’s global ambassador Drake posted photos sporting the ring on his Instagram as well.

Superfan Nav Bhatia also earned himself a championship ring.

Replicas of the championship ring were handed out to fans in attendance of the game on Tuesday night and are available for purchase through the Toronto Raptors.

The reigning champs picked up where they left off last spring with a 130-122 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans in the regular-season opener for both teams.