Jimmy Butler offered baskets to every teammate20 April 2020 / Miguel Coelho
The 30-year-old didn't want his teammates to remain rusty... So he gifted them baskets
Kawhi Leonard is set to return to Toronto tonight when the LA Clippers face the Toronto Raptors in a clash between heavyweight teams, both contending for the Larry O’Brien trophy. He's set to receive his championship ring, and the Raptors even prepared a brilliant tribute video to "The Klaw".
Fun Guy in town. pic.twitter.com/RdAwMTuZES— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 11, 2019
We all know Leonard’s legacy in “The 6ix” is pretty much cemented. Traded from the San Antonio Spurs, he arrived in Toronto in hopes of bringing a championship to the city, something that never occurred in their 24 years of existence. With an unforgettable playoff run, defeating the juggernaut that is the Warriors even without some of their best players, the Raptors claimed their first ever title, leading millions of people to celebrate in the streets during the championship parade.
Fast forward to now and the Raptors are still a force to be reckoned within the Eastern Conference, as they have legitimate aspirations of going back to back. More known by crumbling under pressure in the playoffs in previous stints, the team from Canada reinvented themselves and are now a model to follow, whether be it for their drafting skills, or finding and believing in players no one took a chance (do the Spurs come to mind?). Can we say Kawhi Leonard was the final piece on this puzzle, leading them to a championship and consequently changing the “we’re good but not great” mentality they had in the previous seasons? Or is this an underappreciated invisible work from Masai Ujiri throughout the years?
Even though none of this would have happened if Kawhi didn’t perform at an incredible high level during last season, truth is, the Raptors are still an elite team without him. The ability from the front office to find gems throughout the years has been remarkable, starting with Delon Wright, Norman Powell, Pascal Siakam, and finishing with Fred Vanvleet and Terence Davis. It’s safe to say that there won’t be many players with Kawhi Leonard’s abilities for the foreseeable future, but at the moment, losing Masai Ujiri could be a much devastating blow to the franchise.
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