LeBron giving big props to Raptors fans and the country, “never been part of anything like it” pic.twitter.com/mthQzw3FUv
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) May 28, 2016
The Cleveland Cavaliers almost swept their way to the NBA Finals. The only thing that really stopped them from doing that was supreme home-court advantage of the Toronto Raptors.
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and company were able to turn things around so much they went from being 0-2 in the series to tying it up after a pair of wins up north. Some NBA pundits even apologized to Canada for being wrong about the scrappy Raptors. Still, the Cavs were able to rout the Raptors in front of their raucous home crowd on Friday night to seal a spot in the Finals.
Cleveland was expected to make it this far; the Eastern Conference Champions hat LeBron dons every year might as well have been made before the season began. By contrast, it was only a month ago Toronto was happy to make it past the first round – a reality not lost on its adoring fan base.
When the great Doris Burke interviewed LeBron immediately after Game 6, the roar from the Raptors crowd was still overpowering. The four-time MVP was in shock.
“First of all, uh, Do you hear this? Unbelievable respect and much respect to these fans, to this country. This is unbelievable. I haven’t been apart of something like this in my 13 year career, this is special. I really appreciate what this team did”.
That might be in part because the Raptors fans themselves haven’t seen this in, well, ever. Their gratitude was on display for their team in a way you would only expect from about 20,000 Canadians in a packed stadium and another few thousand outside in Jurassic Park.
The Cavaliers will wait to see the result of the Western Conference Finals, while the Raptors and their fans will wait in anticipation for next year with the knowledge they can play deep into May.