Toronto Raptors have ended the Golden State Warriors dynasty to be crowned the 2019 NBA champions after a 114-110 win in Game 6. It was the team’s first ever appearance in a finals and they made it count to deliver Canada’s first ever NBA championship.

While Kawhi Leonard was named the NBA Finals MVP for the second time in his career, it has been a team effort from the Raptors to dethrone the back-to-back champions. Game 6 saw Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam step up and top score with 26 points apiece but it was Fred VanVleet, who stepped up when it mattered scoring the bulk of the Raptors points in the fourth quarter.

Leonard joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only three players to win NBA Finals MVP with two different franchises. The small forward credited his hard work and life experiences for his impressive performances this season, especially since he missed the entire 2017-18 campaign through injury.

The obvious free agency question was put to Leonard with the whole of Canada and the Raptors team hoping the soon-to-be free agent commits his long-term future to his current employers. Reports have suggested that he will leave and head back to Los Angeles, but winning a championship could change the situation.

Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors runs down the floor in the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., Jan. 13, 2019. Rob Carr/Getty Images

But the Raptors forward made it clear that his entire focus was on celebrating the win with his teammates. Once the celebrations end, all the focus will shift on Leonard’s free agency decision, one that could impact the entire NBA going forward.

Meanwhile, there was a lot of respect for the Warriors after the game, especially since they played all but 12 minutes of the finals without their best player Kevin Durant. Klay Thompson also missed one game and then got injured in the third quarter in Game 6 when he looked in good rhythm having scored 30 points. Moreover, the Oracle Arena would have hoped for a better send-off after 47 seasons as the Warriors move to a new arena in Mission Bay, San Francisco from next season.