After being the dominating force of the National Basketball League (NBA) for more than four years, it seems as if the reign of the Golden State Warriors has finally come to an end at the hands of one of the best two-way players of the league in Kawhi Leonard and a feisty Toronto Raptors team who not only made their first appearance in the NBA Finals this season but also won their maiden title along with it.June 14, 2019
Albeit the Warriors were cursed with extremely unfortunate injuries, taking out some of their best players in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson at the worst moments possible but this should not take away from the fact that a team like the Raptors who were always considered to be 'good but not good enough', defeated some of the most talented rosters in the league such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwuakke Bucks during the playoffs series and the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
While role-players like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam showed up big time, especially in crunch time, when they were needed the most, the contributions of Kawhi Leonard demand a special mention.
Board man gets champagne! pic.twitter.com/YvlnleQOW9— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 14, 2019
Traded to the Canadian squad less than a year ago, that too during the time he was down and away with a severe ankle injury, Leonard was not only able to understand how the team functioned but also became their beacon of hope, the leader they desperately needed to make it to the Finals and win it all.
After facing toxic levels of criticism from the San Antonio Spurs fans for not representing the city on the court for an entire year, 'The Klaw' winning the title and the 2019 'NBA Finals Most Valuable Player' award was probably the best way for him to redeem himself and consolidate his name as one of the best athletes the league and the basketball world has ever seen.June 14, 2019
This is also not for the first time Leonard has stopped a dynasty from winning three consecutive championship titles or as they say a 3peat. Winning his very first NBA title in 2014 against the powerful Miami Heat which consisted of star players like Dwyane Wade, Chrish Bosh and Lebron James, all in their prime, Leonard won his first NBA Finals MVP back then.
Now again, heading into the 2019 Finals Leonard shocked the Warriors and the world when he led his side to winning all three games in the Warriors' homecourt and sealing the deal with a couple of free throws in the final moments of Game 6 in Oakland.
Nobody could have written the narrative of the Toronto Raptors' first title any better than this.