For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors have won the NBA Finals, beating the Golden State Warriors in Game 6. The Raptors are the first major Canadian sports team to win a championship in 26 years — not since the Blue Jays and Canadiens both claimed victory in 1993 has a Canadian team been so successful.
The final score: 114 - 110
This win concludes a monumental run for the Toronto team, which has catipulted basketball to the very centre of the national discourse and even eclipsed hockey as the most popular sport of the season.
Even a majority of Americans supported the Raptors going into the finals. Perhaps more astonishing: the team has also gained traction among Montrealers, who organized their own "Jurassic Park" events in the city centre.
Revellers are likely to take to the streets of major Canadian cities tonight. The Toronto city government reportedly has a plan in place to control ecstatic crowds. If the earlier antics of Raptors fans are any indication, tonight will be chaotic.
Watch the MTLBlog video below to see how Montrealers turned out for the Toronto Raptors!
Following the immense success of the Raptors this year, as well as the enormous following the team has quickly earned, the NBA may be more inclined to explore possible expansions or investments in Canada.
The Raptors were originally one of two Canadian teams. Their counterparts, the Vancouver Grizzlies, were also established in 1995. The Vancouver franchise was relocated to Memphis Tennessee in 2001.
Tonight, thousands of Canadians will celebrate this historic victory. Stay safe, and be sure to follow the direction of local law enforcement. Stay tuned for more news about the Toronto Raptors and their future prospects.