Fans took to the streets of Toronto, honking horns and lighting fireworks into the overcast night sky after Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points to help the Raptors advance to their first-ever NBA Finals with a 100-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
But many fans also took to Twitter and other social media to express their sheer joy at the NBA franchise finding new heights in its 24th year.
“Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors organization, my good friend President Masai Ujiri, Raptors coaches, and players!” said NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors organization, my good friend President Masai Ujiri, Raptors coaches, and players!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 26, 2019
Canadian Olympians were also ecstatic with the win, tweeting their support to the Raptors.
“Eastern Conference CHAMPS! Congrats Raptors! All of Canada is going KAWHIAAZY!” said Olympic ice dance gold medallist Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont.
Sprinter and three-time Olympic medallist Andre de Grasse of Markham, Ont., drew the ire of some fans who were worried he’d jinxed the Raptors when he tweeted “HOLY!!! Are we about to go to our first ever NBA Finals” before the final buzzer sounded.
De Grasse quickly added: “Hang on for 29 more seconds!” with an emoji of hands folded in prayer.
Retired CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge, who has a picture of Leonard screaming in celebration as his Twitter avatar, wondered if the superstar forward might be able to help out the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are in a 52-year Stanley Cup drought.
“Do you think there’s any chance Kawhi knows how to skate?” quipped Mansbridge.
Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas replied to Mansbridge: “That’s a great question, Peter!”
New York Times sports reporter John Branch piled on Canada’s Stanley Cup drought that dates back to the Montreal Canadiens winning in 1993.
“If you would have told me, say, 25 years ago that a Canadian team would make the NBA finals before one won the Stanley Cup Finals again, I would have thought you had been drinking too much Zima,” said Branch.
Several members of the Blue Jays voiced their support for their fellow Toronto sports team.
“Shout to the Raptors man. Amazing amazing. City is on fire. Keep going!” said Marcus Stroman, who was in attendance at Scotiabank Arena with rotation-mate Aaron Sanchez.
“Look at them Raptors go! What a win! The city is buzzin’! Keep it going boys!” said Toronto pitcher Matt Shoemaker.
Shout to the @Raptors man. Amazing amazing. City is on fire. Keep going! 🇨🇦— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) May 26, 2019
The Raptors will host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, have appeared in five straight league finals, winning the title three times.
“We not cooking wit NO CURRY till the finals over. Periot,” said Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall.