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Toronto Raptors Win 1st NBA Championship

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Some good news now for our neighbors to the north.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MIKE BREEN: There's a new NBA champion. And it's a team from Toronto, Canada.

MARTIN: The Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship last night, beating the defending champs - Golden State Warriors.

NOEL KING, HOST:

This is the first championship in Toronto's 24-year history as a franchise. And NBA commissioner Adam Silver pointed out that this victory has some historical significance.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ADAM SILVER: Basketball has come full circle in Canada. It was invented by a Canadian. The first NBA game was in Toronto - and now an NBA championship.

KING: A championship after a series that was marred by injuries - Kevin Durant, the Warriors' forward, tore his Achilles in game five. And then in last night's game, Warriors guard Klay Thompson tore his ACL.

MARTIN: Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard was named finals MVP. He took that honor once before when he played with the San Antonio Spurs. This all puts him in company with only two other players who have won the honor on two different teams - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James. Here Kawhi Leonard is speaking with ESPN's Doris Burke.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAWHI LEONARD: You know, I had a great support system. I just kept working hard, working hard and had my mind set on this goal right here.

KING: The win for the Raptors also seems to have broken what has been called the Drake curse. The rapper Drake is a huge Raptors fan, but players who took pictures with him and then posted them on social media have had some bad luck. After the game, Drake called the victory poetic.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG RINGS")

DRAKE: (Rapping) 'Cause I got a really big team, and they need some really big rings. They need some really... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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