The Raptors players and coaches were presented with their NBA Championship Rings and unveiled the new 2019/20 NBA champions banner to the elation of the Toronto fans.
Despite widespread doubt regarding the Raptors 2020/21 season, the Raptors have managed to perform against some of the top teams this year.
It’s been a while since the Raptors players and coaches were presented with their Championship Rings back at the end of the 2019/20 NBA season to the elation of the Toronto fans. Except these weren’t just your average rings.
So what constitutes the ‘largest’ rings in NBA history? Well 14 carats’ and 650 diamonds in total should do it. Here’s a breakdown of what each ring features;
- The front of the ring depicts the Toronto skyline and Scotiabank Arena, alongside the team logo.
- Each ring has a 1.25 carat diamond on top of the Larry O’Brien Trophy, which constitutes the largest single diamond award in any sport.
- The Raptor’s 74 wins on the road to the title are represented by diamonds in the Toronto skyline.
- The ring boasts 16 rubies and the 16 jersey numbers of the players on the roster encircle the ring.
- Inside the ring, there is the championship logo and a ruby inside a maple leaf representing Canada.
- One side of the ring labels the player’s name and number.
- On the opposite side is “World Champions 2019”, just above the Raptors logo.
The banner is hung next to two other banners; the 2019 Eastern Conference championship banner and a single banner celebrating all six of Toronto’s Atlantic Division titles, as a replacement t
So the individual banners from before. A definite upgrade for the team and the Scotiabank Arena. The blue banner features a gold Larry O’Brien Trophy, with “Toronto Raptors” and “2019 World Champions” and finished with red trim.
Kyle Lowry led the unveiling of the banner and gave a heartfelt speech thanking the team and the individuals who’ve helped the team achieve this monumental feat. Even the fans got championship rings, though they were replicas it was a nice gesture.
Speaking of nice gestures, in light of recent events regarding the NBA’s Daryl Morey’s tweet and their relationship with China, the Raptor’s fans gave away thousands of t-shirts on their opening night.
Predictions & Expectations for the Raptors’ 2021/22 season
All eyes will be on the Raptors as the season gets underway. The question lingers, as to whether they can reach the heights we saw during their title-winning season. But, with starman Kawhi Leonard now playing his basketball in Los Angeles, it seems unlikely.
But, as the other teams are preparing there is certainly a sense that maybe this team hasn’t got what it takes.
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They’ll have to fight to make the cut for the postseason
The loss of Kawhi cannot be understated. The Raptors have struggled to adapt to life without Kawhi, as is seen in recent seasons. But, it wouldn’t surprise us to see them putting in a significantly less impressive league performance and end up missing out on the postseason. Some of the best players from the title-winning team are very much in decline.
There’s every chance that the raptors will go on to make the postseason, and they deserve to be held in high regard after what they’ve achieved. But it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see them get tipped by the Bucks, 76ers, Celtics, Pacers and others, who, on paper, seem to have their number.
An over-reliance on Pascal Siakam
Siakam is now the main man in Toronto. Given that the East is weak, he may even have a shot at the All-Star team, if he lives up to expectations.
Hopefully, he can fill the void left by an ageing squad and the loss to their starman. However, since Leonard left he hasn’t filled the boots of California man adequately. With a string of injuries and a lack of consistency, it’s a real challenge for coach Nick Nurse.
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