We the Champs: One year since Toronto Raptors’ championship run


Last year, on Thursday, June 13, 2019, tens of millions of Canadians were glued to their TV or camping out to party in Jurassic Park, as the Toronto Raptors made their march toward their first NBA championship. The team has become iconic, a cast of players that no one else in the league believed in: Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Fred Van Vleet, Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and many others, who all created some of the most memorable moments in Canadian sporting history.

As the one-year anniversary of the Toronto Raptors’ first championship gets closer, we revisit the top moments — from Kawhi Leonard’s “The Shot”, to the all-out battle in the semi-finals, to toppling an NBA dynasty in the Golden State Warriors.

Doug Smith, the Toronto Star’s reporter on the Toronto Raptors talks to Adrian Cheung about the Raptors’ championship run, his memories covering the franchise for 25 years and what a restarting NBA season, in the middle of a pandemic, will look like.

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Doug Smith says hearing the national anthem at Game 1 of the NBA finals was a very emotional moment.