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‘Get you a poncho!’ Raptors awash in bubbles, first title

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SportsPulse: What was once thought to be an impossible task is now reality: The Toronto Raptors have won the NBA Championship, dethroning the Warriors.
USA TODAY

OAKLAND, Calif. — Danny Green burst out of the visitors locker room at Oracle Arena on Thursday night and greeted the media with bursts of champagne.

“Get you a poncho!’’ cried out Green, the Toronto Raptors guard who was wearing a plastic poncho and goggles atop his head. “Get you a poncho!’’

The party had started inside the locker room after the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA title in franchise history with a 114-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors. And Green’s advice was no false warning.

Nick Nurse, the Raptors coach, emerged from the locker room. Soaked.

Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors star and NBA Finals MVP, emerged. Soaked.

Soon the locker room opened to the media and a champagne bath was the price to pay to see the following:

►Marc Gasol, the Raptors center, gingerly stepping between Cuvee 89 Brut Rose bottles while FaceTiming with his wife, Cristina.

►Serge Ibaka, the Raptors forward, still holding the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy 20 minutes after he held it atop his head as he carried it into the locker room.

“This is my love,’’ he said, gazing at the trophy awarded annually to the NBA champions. “I’m going to keep it.’’

But a smiling Ibaka knew the moment was to be shared.

“This is for all of Canada,’’ he said. “They should be proud. They should have fun and enjoy the moment.’’

The bedlam contrasted with some of the earlier celebratory moments that will fill photo albums and remain emblazoned in memories.

►There was Leonard, who wore a poker face through the Finals, finally breaking into a huge smile and celebrating with his teammates.

►Kyle Lowry, the Raptors point guard, beaming with his two young sons standing on either side of him.

►Pascal Siakam, the Raptors forward and a proud native of Cameroon, draped in a Cameroonian flag.

But the more dignified moments gave way to controlled chaos, with the floors littered with champagne bottles and puddles of bubbly.

By the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house — unless you happened to be wearing goggles.

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Follow Josh Peter on Twitter @joshlpeter11

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