Nigerian born President of Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri made history winning the first ever franchise title for the team in game 6 of the NBA finals series played in Oakland, Califonia in the early hours of Friday.
Ujiri, who is the initiator of the Gaint of Africa Basketball Camp and former Nigeria international was criticised for decisions to trade some players and the sacking of their coach.
He was lambasted just over a year ago for trading away franchise player DeMar DeRozan for Leonard.
However, the gamble has paid off in the biggest way possible as Leonard led the Raptors to their first ever NBA title.
It was a remarkable playoffs for the 27-year-old in general, finishing with 14 30-plus point games.
But it was in the Finals where he truly shone and was duly named the 2019 NBA Finals MVP.
With this award, Leonard joins some elite company by becoming only the third player in history to be named the NBA Finals MVP with two different teams.
In one crazy-loud night in the Bay Area, the Raptors went from their slogan of “We The North” to “We The Champs” as they toppled the depleted Warriors’ dynasty in a 114-110 thriller to win 4-2.
It was blinding bad luck for the Warriors. This final game in Oracle Arena history saw the champion’s heart of Klay Thompson, who suffered what appeared to be a serious left-knee injury late in the third quarter but came back from the locker room area onto the court to shoot his free throws to finish his night and season at a stirring 30 points.
The Warriors wanted to win this for their fallen superstar Durant and then they wanted to win it for the fallen Thompson, too, but ran out of ammunition despite playing down to the final wild seconds.
Up 111-110, Raptors’ Danny Green got the pass at midcourt and threw it away with 9.8 seconds left. But Golden State couldn’t convert as Stephen Curry threw up a brick. A scramble for the ball at midcourt led to a Draymond Green timeout with .09 seconds left but the Warriors didn’t have one, resulting in a technical and their possession. And it was all but over.
Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet officially became a hero in Canada for eternity as he delivered big with 22 points. The undrafted guard out of Wichita State epitomized a roster bereft of a single lottery pick.
Pascal Siakam scored on a runner in the lane to give Toronto a 111-108 lead to cap a 26-point night.