Toronto Raptors basking in championship glow ahead of massive city parade



TORONTO – Looking a little bleary-eyed but with smiles a mile wide, the NBA champion Raptors returned to Toronto over the weekend to begin the next phase of their celebration.

Hundreds of thousands of supporters are expected to pack the city’s downtown core Monday morning for a parade that will serve as one last blowout after the Raptors won their first league title with a six-game victory over the Golden State Warriors.

“I stopped at one place on the way home last night and the whole place went crazy when I walked in the door,” coach Nick Nurse said Sunday. “It’s awesome, it’s exciting, the people waiting at the airport last night. I’m excited to see what it’s going to be like tomorrow.

“I think again, there’s a lot of specialness to it because it’s the first one, the way that Canadians went about this and how much they supported the team.”

After celebrating Thursday night’s victory into the wee hours in Oakland, the party continued with a stop in Las Vegas. Some players went to Los Angeles after that while others returned home to a hero’s welcome Saturday evening at Pearson International Airport.

Matthew Achtymichuk