Several Raptors players, coaches, staff return to Toronto for the first time since historic win

Several Raptors players, as well as coaches and staff, returned to Toronto Saturday evening — and fans were ready for them. 

Victory parade and rally for the team is set to take place in Toronto on Monday

Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Danny Green were among the Toronto Raptors players to return to the city Saturday evening for the first time since their historic Game 6 win. (John Hanley/CBC)

Several Raptors players, as well as coaches, staff, and a hard-fought championship trophy, returned to Toronto Saturday evening — and the city was ready for them. 

It's their first time back in the city since their historic win in Oakland, Calif., and there was a long line of excited fans at Toronto's Pearson International Airport ready to welcome home their returning champions. 

Airport staff were also prepared for the return of the victorious players, greeting their plane with a water salute display. 


Although Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) had said the players wouldn't be coming back tonight, several them, including Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam and Danny Green, ended up catching the evening flight back. 

Coach Nick Nurse, who now has a shrine dedicated to him in downtown Toronto thanks to devout fans, also returned. 

Marc Gasol, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam were among players to emerge from a Delta plane that landed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport Saturday evening. 3:37

The team — the first franchise outside the U.S. to win the NBA title  — beat the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

A victory parade and rally for the team is set to take place in Toronto on Monday.

The players are expected to travel the parade route in open-air double-decker buses with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy beside them.

Much of Canada was swept up in the team's exhilarating playoff run, with fans celebrating long into the night after the big win.

The victory also marks the first time a Canadian team has secured one of the big four professional sports championships since the Toronto Blue Jays won the 1993 World Series.

'For all the fans from Toronto, everywhere in Canada, this is for you,' says Raptors player Serge Ibaka. 'And you deserve it!' 0:56

With files from The Canadian Press


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