The Toronto Raptors did not let the departure of Kawhi Leonard upend their championship celebrations. The team keeps getting more swag to highlight their 2018-19 season, from their massive and ornate champion rings to the jackets that were given to them by superfan and Raptors ambassador Drake, the team is proud of last year’s accomplishments.
The newest addition to their championship collection is a pair of shoes that highlight everything great about the team’s historic run.
The Raptors become NBA champions
When the Toronto Raptors acquired Leonard, they knew that it might not be a long-term signing. The team gave up fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan for the former Finals MVP, and many wondered if gambling away their established core would bring anything worthwhile. Still, Leonard showed that even in a one-year rental, he was worth everything that the team gave up for him.
The team may not have been the number one team throughout the season, but they showed that they could compete on any given night. Whether it was Leonard and Kyle Lowry leading the way or the role players doing the heavy-lifting while those two sat, the Raptors competed nearly every night. When Toronto acquired an aging Marc Gasol, the team went into the playoffs as one of the deepest teams in the NBA with Serge Ibaka, Fred Van Vleet, and rising star Pascal Siakam having marquee years.
The playoff run was memorable. Although the Finals were plagued by injuries to the Warriors, the Raptors eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers on a Leonard three at the buzzer and the league-best Milwaukee Bucks. People can besmirch the championship due to injury, but the Raptors showed up and handled every opponent who came their way.
The championship rings and custom jackets
The Raptors’ championship rings were gigantic. They weren’t just champions for a city or state like several NBA teams, but an entire country. The rings were filled with 16 rubies to commemorate the different players on the Raptors’ team. On top of that, 640 diamonds brought the ring to an astonishing 1.25 carats. With the Toronto skyline on the rings, it was the perfect testament to the historic moment.
On top of that, the jackets that the team received from Drake were also impressive. The bomber jackets featured the names of the entire roster on the right sleeve and the Canadian and U.S. flags on the left sleeve. The front had Drake’s OVO logo on the right-hand side. Finally, in the back, there was a drawing of a raptor on the Larry O’Brien Trophy with “The Best in the World” written on it alongside “2019” and “Champions.”
Now, the team can add some shoes to wear to their jackets and rings.
Adidas AM4 “World Champs” shoes
Adidas commemorated the championship with a good-looking shoe that includes many of the features from the ring and jacket. It takes on a while mold with red heels and black laces to match the palette of many of the Raptors go-to jerseys. The team’s logo can be seen on the heel of the shoe, with the dates and scores of the postseason run. On top of all of this, the right shoe has “World” written on it, and the left shoe has “Champs” written on it.
The shoes dropped on November 17, and as a limited edition release, they may be hard to find for anyone who doesn’t have the deep pockets to afford them. All Championships are special, but in a league where many of the same teams win over and over again, the first championship for a franchise is an especially special moment that deserves all of the celebrations around it.