People are mad at the Toronto Raptors for calling themselves World Champions
The Toronto Raptors are so beloved for their NBA championship win last season, it's easy to assume the team can do no wrong in the eyes of Canadians.
But the controversial choice of words on the championship banner unveiled at the Raptors' home opener is proving that Canada does in fact have the ability to say something negative about the Raptors after all.
When the Raptors' championship banner was revealed during the ceremony on October 22, it looked a little different than those from previous winning teams.
Instead of the words "NBA Champions" sprawled out across the banner, the words "2019 World Champions" were written instead.
The Toronto Raptors historic championship banner ceremony was epic #Toronto #Raptors #TorontoRaptors #ScotiabankArena #RTZ #WeTheNorth #NBA pic.twitter.com/wazvFaZSWa— blogTO (@blogTO) October 23, 2019
"I love the Raptors and their NBA Championship, the Raptors however are not World Champions. Your banner and rings could say North American Champions, anything more is ludicrous and insulting to the rest of the world," one Twitter user wrote of the decision online.
Clearly some fans aren't impressed with the choice of words, and many are pointing out that the NBA only includes basketball teams from North America.
Sorry but you are not world champions, Spain is. You are champions of a closed, private league. That’s it.— Mikko Ronkko (@MikkoPete) October 23, 2019
Many are also alluding to the fact that there is in fact a world champion in basketball, and it's not the Raptors.
Spain is actually the current world champion, after defeating Argentina in the final of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Love the @Raptors and all but how is it that they are ‘World Champions’ now? Didn’t the @FIBA have a tournament this year and Spain won?— James Stiver (@James_Stiver) October 23, 2019
Some are saying the Raptors' decision to call themselves world champs actually takes away from the accomplishments of Spain's men's national basketball team.
Spain are the current world champions. The Raptors are the NBA champions. It’s ludicrous to deny Spain their fair due.— IsMiseLeMeas (@Spraoi) October 24, 2019
But despite disappointment from some outspoken fans, Raptors president Masai Ujiri is standing by his decision.
In an interview with Toronto Star sports columnist Dave Feschuk, Ujiri said the decision to go with "World Champions" required much deliberation.
In the end, he said he felt it was the right decision because he sees his team as different than the rest of the American NBA teams.
"As the only team outside the U.S.," Ujiri told Feschuk, "I think we’re a proud representation of the rest of the world."
Join the conversation Load comments