Friday, June 14, 2019 View this email in your browser

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors, 2019 NBA Champions!



Did you get any sleep last night? Or were you like most Canadians who witnessed the Toronto Raptors make history - up way past midnight, marching in the streets with fellow Raptors fans, watching post-game highlights, and lighting fireworks? Let's just say it was a late night at Pressed HQ. After a Game 6 win last night against the Golden State Warriors, the Raptors are NBA Champions for the first time ever.



Still can’t believe it!
The odds were against us. The Warriors are 6-time champs and have a starting lineup that includes Steph Curry. But the Raptors were ready. After trading wins in Games 1 and 2, the Raptors went to Oakland (home of the Warriors) and won two games. They just needed one more win to seal the championship, but missed their chance in Game 5 in Toronto. Game 6 was a different story.
About last night
The teams traded baskets the whole game – there were 16 lead changes – and up until the last second (0.9 seconds to be exact), Raptors fans weren’t sure if their team was going to pull it off. They did. With a whole country watching (there were at least 40 viewing parties across Canada), the Raptors hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy and Kawhi Leonard (who else) won MVP. The haters will say we won because the Warriors were injured – Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Kevon Looney – but does it matter? The Raptors are NBA Champions.


So, how did we get here?
24 years ago, the NBA expanded into Canada with the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies. The Raptors became Canada's team when the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis in 2001. Through the years, fans saw stars come and go – Vince Carter led the team to its first playoff appearance, Chris Bosh took us to a Division title, we put our hopes in Damon Stoudamire, Andrea Bargnani, Rudy Gay… and then came DeMar.
The fan favourite
In 2009, the Raptors drafted DeMar DeRozan. Together with Kyle Lowry and Coach Dwane Casey, DeRozan took the Raptors further than they’d ever gone before – most games won in a regular season, playoffs five years in a row, and a conference finals appearance. But each year, the Raptors fell short of the Finals and even shorter of the Championship. And last summer, President Masai Ujiri made the tough but game-changing decision to trade DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard.


I guess no one’s sad about that anymore?
Still sad, but grateful that Ujiri had the foresight to know it was the right thing to do. Danny Green, Marc Gasol, and Jeremy Lin were also added to the roster. It was a new team that played great together. The Raptors finished the regular season in 2nd place overall with high hopes for their first-ever championship. They had to win 16 games to get there.
And that’s exactly what they did.
After losing Game 1 in Round 1 against the Orlando Magic, the Raptors won the next 4 games and faced the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. It took 7 games and an epic buzzer-beater shot, but the Raptors came out on top. Next up: the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo – this one took 6 games. Four wins against the bucks and four more against the Warriors and today, the Raptors are world champions.


White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving at the end of the month after a two-year run. Sanders has one of the hardest jobs in the White House - she’s the first line of defence against the media, and she must protect the White House and the President while also being truthful. Sanders has backed Trump’s rhetoric that the press is “the enemy of the people,” and has compared the media’s behaviour to her three kids. Despite that, Sanders said she has loved every minute of the job, even the hard minutes. For the record, she hasn’t shown up for work (briefing the media on what the president has been up to) for 94 days. Sanders is one of many senior advisers who have come and gone through a revolving door at the White House. She’s leaving the job to return home to Arkansas and there’s speculation that she will run for governor of the state.


The man accused of murdering 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in March pleaded not guilty. Reminder: a 29-year-old Australian man (whose name we won’t repeat) walked into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15th and opened fire, all while streaming the massacre live on Facebook. The accused killer was handed 92 charges and will be the first (and let’s hope the last) person to face a terrorism charge in New Zealand. He was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation in April to make sure he was fit to stand trial, and yesterday, a judge confirmed that he’s good to go. The trial will start next May.


Botswana and Ecuador are the latest nations to decriminalize and legalize gay marriage. First, the South African nation of Botswana’s High Court ruled that sections of its criminal code that punished same-sex partners were unconstitutional. And it was same same but different in the South American country of Ecuador, where the Constitutional Court agreed to legalize same-sex marriage. #loveisloveislove


• Taylor Swift is launching a clothing line with fashion designer Stella McCartney. The collaboration celebrates her upcoming album, Lover, out Aug. 23. T-Swift also dropped a new song, You Need To Calm Down.

• Madonna’s latest album Madame X is here.

• Watch the teaser trailer for Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.

• Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian gave us a Sister Q&A in matching pink silk bathrobes. Totally normal sibling stuff.

• Reminder: Sunday is Father’s Day. Celebrate with matching NBA championship t-shirts?

Have a great weekend!