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Raptors championship parade: Huge crowd takes to the streets to celebrate

Raptors championship parade: Huge crowd takes to the streets to celebrate
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard takes a selfie while holding his playoffs MVP trophy during the NBA basketball championship team's victory parade in Toronto on Monday. (Frank Gunn / Associated Press)

Last week the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA title after 24 years in the league. Their 114-110 win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night also clinched the city’s first major sports championship since the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.

In other words, the citizens of Toronto have been waiting a long time for this.

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At least 1.5 million fans were expected to jam downtown Toronto for the Raptors’ victory parade Monday morning. It’s no wonder that some of them were already camping out as early as 6 p.m. Sunday to claim their spots along the parade route.

The celebration, however, was marred by a shooting that left two people wounded. Toronto police detained two individuals and recovered two firearms. Festivities and speeches were briefly halted before resuming.

One of those early arriving fanatics may or may not have been point guard Kyle Lowry’s grandmother.

Regardless of the actual number, a ton of people came out for the festivities.

Members of the Toronto Raptors ride on buses during a victory parade Monday in Toronto.
Members of the Toronto Raptors ride on buses during a victory parade Monday in Toronto. (Tijana Martin / Associated Press)
Fans climb the arches at Nathan Phillips Square ahead of the Raptors' championship parade Monday in Toronto.
Fans climb the arches at Nathan Phillips Square ahead of the Raptors' championship parade Monday in Toronto. (Andrew Lahodynskyj / Associated Press)

Of course, super fan rapper Drake was on hand. He rode the double-decker buses with the team (he is the Raptors’ global ambassador, after all).

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard poses with his NBA Finals MVP trophy and rapper Drake.
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard poses with his NBA Finals MVP trophy and rapper Drake. (Frank Gunn / Associated Press)

A Kawhi Leonard imposter got a lot of attention from the crowd.

Meanwhile, the real Leonard was kicking back with a cigar while wearing a hard-to-find official “Board Man Gets Paid” shirt from New Balance.

Needless to say, a good time was had by all — with the possible exception of a stoic Nick Nurse, the Raptors’ head coach who at least in this shot doesn’t appear to be enjoying himself.

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