TORONTO — All the risks Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri took proved worthwhile.
Trading for Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol, sacrificing depth, signing Kyle Lowry to a three-year contract in 2017, replacing Dwane Casey after last season with first-time NBA head coach Nick Nurse — all worth it for the Raptors.
Toronto reached the NBA Finals for the first time in the franchise’s 24-year history with a 100-94 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 on Saturday.
Was it worth that wait? That’s a resounding yes from Lowry, who lost in the conference finals to Cleveland and LeBron James in 2016 and lost to James and the Cavs as the top seed last season.
“It’s taken a long time to get here in my career, 13 years, seven years here,” Lowry said. “I’ve run into one guy (LeBron James) for a while. We were given the opportunity — he left — and we beat a really good team in Milwaukee. For me, I’m going to savor the moment, but I’m not satisfied. Our goal is to win the NBA championship. We’re just going to keep getting better and plugging away.”
That’s a yes from a country of Raptors fans who have created one the best atmospheres in the NBA.