Toronto Raptors: Kawhi Leonard’s impact will remain even after he’s gone

Toronto Raptors, Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors, Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Rim Removal

One thing that should be noted is what the Toronto Raptors victory did as far as continental awareness of travesties that have been happening in the GTA for over 20 years. The city continually removes rims from the basketball courts of at-risk neighbourhoods. The major complaint? The noisy basketballs.

The cries from local residents that also include drug activity near some courts may be true as basketball courts tend to be gathering places. Everyone is made to suffer because those calling the cops cannot tell, or do not care to tell the difference.

This is not an issue limited to at-risk neighbourhoods as this practice also takes place to a different degree all across the Greater Toronto Area. Some areas remove the nets at specific time frames to avoid having kids play basketball after a certain hour.

Again, the given rationale was that of noise complaints from residents. The Toronto District School board softened their stance on this and now promise a six-month pilot program where they leave the rims up for the students and neighbourhood’s children to play on.

When Masai Ujiri was first made aware of this he reacted with surprise and disbelief. He was so shocked that rims were being taken down across Toronto that all he could do was ask for confirmation “really?”, and say that he would gladly take the rims and courts back to Africa. Winning the championship gave Toronto the national spotlight.

That spotlight was soon turned on what was happening in the neighbourhoods. Because of this, the city of Toronto, due to embarrassment, has promised to stop the untimely removal of rims. Top players like Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers even chimed in to show their displeasure of what was happening in the city of the NBA champions.

Perhaps even more noteworthy is that the video taken was of a park next to former all-star and Raptor, and current assistant coach Jamaal Magloire’s former high school Eastern Commerce. Mayor John Tory, who wore the same Raptors custom suit throughout the NBA playoffs, was the one who took notice and promised to put a stop to it.