By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Toronto Raptors had their NBA Championship Parade yesterday, a massive celebration to mark their first ever title in pro basketball.
Of course the joke is that the Raptors used the same parade route the Toronto Maple Leafs have had in waiting since 1968.
There's so much to be said about the Raptors Championship and the attention it captured.
As I said last week, how many people told you they seldom watched basketball....but this Raptors run was a tremendous hook for their attention ? That certainly applies to me.
Or, how many people speculated how crazy Toronto would be IF BOTH the Raptors and the Leafs ever had similar playoff runs and playoff success simultaneously ?
But Toronto belongs to the Raptors for the moment and maybe long term, that is, unless the Leafs manage to get beyond the first round in the NHL Playoffs or the Blue Jays emerge as Major League Baseball contenders....which I don't see happening in the near future.
Yes, the Argos & TFC have championship seasons on their resume, but the response and degree of fan interest for those victories was almost silent compared to the crescendo of the last 2 & 1/2 months with the basketball team, a Lovefest that climaxed with yesterday's parade.
Sure, the victory party and celebrations, like the Championship itself, is technically in the past. Looking forward, there's uncertainty pertaining to Kawhi Leonard's future with the Raptors, plus there will always be injuries, issues and factors that impact a team coming off a championship season.
But for the moment, for many moments this Spring, it was a spectacular celebration of basketball in Canada thanks to the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors,
I'm Fred Wallace