Ignore the naysayers, the Raptors deserved to win

Published 2:33 pm Friday, June 14, 2019

Should there be an asterisk next to the Toronto Raptors first ever NBA Championship?

That was the question everyone was asking Friday morning after the Team From the North shut down Golden State’s hopes of a three-peat Thursday night, and I think it’s completely ridiculous.

The debate is this: Toronto won a championship—its first ever NBA championship since joining the league more than 20 years ago—but they didn’t really win it fairly, because Golden State had a couple key players out at the end.

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Kevin Durant has been hurt for well over a month, and Golden State proved that it could win very handily without him.

Even when he returned for the 12 minutes he played before hurting himself again in Game 5, the Warriors showed everyone it wasn’t Durant or bust. They won the game—barely, albeit, but they won it.

Klay Thompson, easily the surest 3-point shooter Thursday night, took a spill toward the end of the third quarter and didn’t return. Turns out his ACL is torn. He led the team with 30 points in the loss.

The Raptors certainly didn’t do anything to create these injuries for the Warriors. All they did was play the team in front of them, dealt with them—injuries and all, and beat them. I’m sure it’s heartbreaking for Golden State and its fans to know their team might have had a shot at winning a third straight title if their best players were healthy, but being healthy is part of the sport. The Raptors could have just as easily lost Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry.

It was a fun playoff run to watch, and a drama-filled, super intense Finals. It’s also nice to see someone else playing for the championship other than Cleveland and the Warriors.