New Brunswick

'I had goosebumps': Miramichi Raptors fans take in Game 2 of NBA Finals in Toronto

On most Sunday nights, Josh Lewis and Dylan Dickson would be stocking shelves at the Atlantic Superstore in Miramichi, but last night they were sitting three rows away from former U.S. president Barack Obama, cheering for the Toronto Raptors at the NBA Finals.

Miramichi friends, co-workers heading home after cheering for Toronto Raptors at NBA finals

Josh Lewis, left, and Dylan Dickson enjoy Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. The Miramichi friends and co-workers say being there was 'surreal.' (Submitted by Josh Lewis)

On most Sunday nights, Josh Lewis and Dylan Dickson would be stocking shelves at the Atlantic Superstore in Miramichi, but last night they were sitting three rows away from former U.S. president Barack Obama, cheering for the Toronto Raptors at the NBA Finals.

"You could hardly even hear yourself think," Dickson, 23, said of Game 2 in the best-of-seven series. "The atmosphere in that arena was unbelievable — like I still can't believe it."

"I had shivers going down my spine — it was just awesome," said Lewis, 24. "I never experienced anything like that. It was just so surreal." 

The friends and co-workers won tickets to the second game of the Finals through a Loblaws contest that asked them to recognize a colleague. They unknowingly nominated each other.

"We got these tickets and came out to Toronto, met Sarah [Davis], the president of Loblaws, we met [executive chairman] Galen Weston — the experience is crazy," Lewis said.

Josh Lewis and Dylan Dickson, at centre, are flanked by Loblaws president Sarah Davis and Shoppers Drug Mart president Jeff Leger at the Toronto Raptors game on Sunday night. Lewis and Dickson won fifth-row tickets through a contest at the Chatham Atlantic Superstore where they work. (Submitted by Josh Lewis)

Ahead of the game, the friends headed to Scotiabank Arena to buy Raptors jerseys.

Lewis said he went with the "old-school" Tracy McGrady jersey while Dickson went with Vince Carter. McGrady played for the Toronto Raptors from 1997 to 2000, while Carter played in Toronto from 1998-2004 and led the team to its first ever playoff appearance in 2000.

Lewis grew up playing basketball and said this NBA Finals has changed the sport forever in Canada.

"This is history being made," he said. "People are going to know who the Toronto Raptors are now."

Josh Lewis, 24, and Dylan Dickson, 23, won a pair of tickets to Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto through their employer, Loblaws. They are both Raptors fans and bought 'old-school' jerseys ahead of the game. (Submitted by Josh Lewis)

When asked if rapper Drake, who sits next to the Raptors bench, was behaving himself, the friends said he wasn't so animated once the Raptors fell behind the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter.

"I seen him going at Steph Curry a couple of time," Dickson said, laughing.

Dickson said even though the result was not what he wanted, with the Raptors losing 109-104 in Game 2 and the series now tied, it was still "a hell of an experience" to be there.

"Just being in that arena, feeling the atmosphere and how electric that place was was really crazy. I had goosebumps."

Lewis and Dickson are flying home Monday afternoon and will be back to work at the Chatham Atlantic Superstore on Tuesday night.

The price of tickets to Toronto Rapters games right now are through the roof. They range from several hundred for cheap seats to tens of thousands. But two men from Miramichi struck it lucky and won tickets in a company sponsored contest. Dylan Dickson and Josh Lewis work at Chatham Atlantic Superstore. They joined Jonna Brewer the morning after Game 2. 8:04

About the Author

Vanessa Blanch is a reporter based in Moncton. She has worked across the country for CBC for nearly 20 years. If you have story ideas to share please e-mail: vanessa.blanch@cbc.ca

with files from Information Morning Moncton

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.