The Atlantic

A Historic NBA Championship for the Raptors

The Golden State Warriors were hampered by injuries, but the league’s newest victors were built to seize on the opportunity.
Source: Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports / Reuters

Midway through last night’s sixth and deciding game of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Toronto Raptors’ star forward Kawhi Leonard sized things up from the top of the three-point arc. Leonard—6 feet 7 inches tall and 230 pounds, with wide hands and a stony expression—took two hard dribbles to the rim, jump-stopped, and rose for a layup, but the Warriors center Kevon Looney arrived to deliver a hard foul. Leonard muscled through the contact and made the shot anyway, extending the Raptors’ three-point lead and embodying, for a moment, a team-wide theme: of hard work done simply, of advantages unflashily accrued.

By the end of

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic8 min read
The Power Of Fear In The Thawing Arctic
Living north of the Arctic Circle meant learning fear and its power to motivate in the face of danger—whether from a bear or climate change.
The Atlantic10 min readPolitics
The 2020 Congressional-Retirement Tracker
For the second consecutive election, more Republicans than Democrats are forgoing reelection, a potentially ominous sign for the GOP in 2020.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Why Isn’t Trump Helping the Autoworkers?
The president has been happy to stand up for manufacturing employees on the campaign trail, but has done conspicuously little as GM workers go on strike.