The Toronto Raptors were one of the biggest stories in the nation in 2019. Their magical run should land the team on a five-dollar bill.
There’s no doubt that in the spring of last year, Canada was united in a way that hasn’t been seen in many years. There was collective energy invested in the success of the nation’s basketball team, the Toronto Raptors.
With the Bank of Canada working on the production of a new five-dollar bill, they are looking to the public to determine whose face should adorn the blue plastic in Canadians’ wallets. In commemoration of the Raptors winning the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, they should be featured on the new note.
Currently, Sir Wilfrid Laurier has his image on the five. He was Canada’s charismatic Prime Minister from 1896 to 1911. Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada governor has announced that Laurier’s time on the banknote is up. Canadians will have their input on who should replace him.
There have already been many names floated as potential replacements. Terry Fox is one of those suggestions. He was the able-bodied amputee who ran the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run that lasted 143 days and 3,339 miles, in support of raising money for Cancer research. Gord Downie, the author and lead singer of the Tragically Hip has also been a popular nominee. Either one would be fine choices, but we wish to submit an alternative idea.
With the process in its infancy, there have been Canadians from multiple domains who would all be fine choices for the new bill. The 2018-19 Raptors should ultimately be on a version of the currency. Whether it is a special edition bill or a permanent installation, the team deserves the honor.
Detractors from the idea will point to the lack of Canadian players on the team itself. Though Chris Boucher was the sole Canuck on the court, the team is still a representation of Canada. Just like a large population of the country, the Raptors were a collection of individuals who were born in different nations and came to Canada to do great things.
Using the Raptors’ image for the bill should not diminish the accomplishments of other great Canadians. Instead, it celebrates a shared experience from fans of the team from coast to coast. There aren’t many instances where Canadians could find a cause they rally behind. The 2018-19 Raptors playoffs run was like nothing else.
There was a giant viewing party outside of Scotiabank Arena named Jurassic Park and many satellite sites where fans gathered publically to watch and root on the team. This doesn’t even happen for Olympic events that feature Canadian teams. The postseason run was a special moment in time for the country, which is why it would be best exemplified on legal tender.
The specific image to go on the face of the bill should also be up for debate. Our top 10 list of moments for a franchise-altering year had the title win right at the top. Perhaps this suggests that a team photo with the trophy would be best. However, the more iconic picture would be one that depicts “the shot“. It would look incredible in blue since it would perfectly match the colour of Kawhi Leonard’s tongue at that moment.
While a decision is still a long way from being made, we will continue to champion the cause for the Raps and their chip.