Hours of anticipation gave way to unbridled euphoria as a sea of Raptors fans greeted the newly crowned National Basketball Association champions with cheers, whistles and chants on Monday, but elation quickly turned to fear when gunshots interrupted the celebration in downtown Toronto. "I had no doubt that we could win in Toronto and we will win some more in Toronto".
Hundreds of thousands of fans lined the parade route, which began at Exhibition Place and ended at Nathan Phillips Square, where the rally was held.
Leonard has been incredibly secretive about his plans moving forward, but fans couldn't help but notice that even his Chief Business Strategist, "Uncle Dennis" joined in on the "FIVE MORE YEARS" chant.
Tory and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were with the Raptors players on stage at the rally when the shots occurred.
"I'm a fun guy", Leonard said.
The site was quickly overflowing with fans of all ages and police worked to stop more people from entering the area, which the city said was at capacity.
Earlier, well over a million people attended a celebratory parade.
Kawhi Leonard takes a selfie in front of the crowd in Toronto. "I'm really hot and exhausted, but I'm going to stick around", he said.
Kyle Lowry, the longest-serving member of team, expressed excitement on Twitter about the gathering hordes.
As crowds swelled along the streets, several people were put on stretchers due to dehydration.
Over the weekend, Toronto Mayor John Tory suggested employers give people a little time off work Monday so they can be a part of history.
The convoy arrived almost two hours behind schedule near Toronto's city hall, where the team was greeted on a stage by Trudeau and other dignitaries.
Leonard's decision to stay with the Raptors may influence the decisions of Green and big man Marc Gasol, who could both leave town as free agents this summer.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford was expected to watch the festivities from Nathan Phillips Square. "When else am I going to get a chance to do this?"
The mayor, dressed in his now-famous black-and-gold Raptors blazer, urged all fans to celebrate the team's historic win. Sam Maraj, 36, had been watching the Raptors play since he was a little boy and was "made fun of in high school" by his classmates, who at the time were cheering for the New York Knicks.
They beat Golden State Warriors over six games in the Finals and it was Toronto's first major sporting success since the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.
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