Here's what both sides are saying about the Raptors championship ring controversy
It seems that some Toronto Raptors fans and former players alike are a little up in arms about the fact that not everyone who contributed to the team's success received one of its NBA championship rings.
As is tradition, every player on the team's roster at the time of the championship win on June 13 got a ring, which is pretty standard despite the fact that the NBA has no formal rules dictating who should or should not be a recipient.
But individuals like Raps ambassador Drake and superfan Nav Bhatia each received a ring for being "part of who [the team] is," — making Bhatia the first fan in the history of the NBA to be bestowed with such an honour — causing some to question why players who participated in the Raptors' regular season didn't receive the same recognition.
Namely, Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and CJ Miles, who were traded before the playoffs began. Valanciunas in particular, as he spent 6.5 seasons with the team.
The Raptors gave rings to Jeremy Lin, Jodie Meeks and Eric Moreland whose on court contribution to the championship was...NOTHING... but not to Jonas Valanciunas? Forget Miles and Wright who were bit-players. Ignoring Jonas seems petty, cheap and disrespectful. #raptors— Bob McCown (@FadooBobcat) November 19, 2019
Many think the choice makes sense, suggesting that giving former players their own rings would be akin to handing out participation trophies.
Not quite sure I get the @Raptors ring controversy? If you trade me & win without me...regardless of my time spent with you...I don’t want a ring. I don’t want to wear it...be asked if I won a championship...then have to explain it all. That’s just me🤷♂️— Leo Rautins (@LeoRautins) November 19, 2019
Raps general manager Bobby Webster told the Toronto Sun that selecting who would get a ring was difficult, saying the choice was based on "who was on the court June 13."
Jordan Lloyd getting a ring for being in this picture but not JV for averaging 13/7 with 64TS% off the bench helping propel raptors to a 23-7 start which lead to them having a better record than Philly and HCA in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/FeWGusBYO8— i. (@_NopeName) November 18, 2019
Webster could only recall one instance where a former team member who didn't participate in a winning championship game received their own ring: Golden State Warriors' Anderson Varejao in 2017, which was a "really unique circumstance."
The Raptors have made such a big point about how good their organizational culture is, and they're REALLY dropping the ball in that area with this ring decision.— Anthony Doyle (@Anthonysmdoyle) November 17, 2019
Valanciunas, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies and apparently may have been expecting one of the oversized, 640-diamond-encrusted rings said simply "it's their decision" when questioned by media on the topic yesterday.
Millennials and their need for participation awards smh ... it’s the NBA championship ring, the highest award in basketball. If someone deserved a ring, they would have been on the @raptors roster at the start of the playoffs and had their jersey number on the ring. pic.twitter.com/B8wA6kaDpR— TCM (@TCM08698426) November 18, 2019
Maybe he can buy one of the overpriced replica rings that fans are hocking online.
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