For Toronto Raptors fans across the country, it has been a pretty rough weekend. News broke early on Saturday morning that not only would Kawhi Leonard be leaving the Raptors to join the Clippers in Los Angeles, but Danny Green would also be heading to California, to play the next few NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Upon hearing the news, hearts across Canada were broken. None more so, perhaps, than that of Toronto Raptors Superfan, Nav Bhatia.
Bhatia, or ‘the superfan’ as he is known to the Toronto Raptors, is known city-wide as being probably the biggest fan of the Raptors. His love affair with the team began way back in 1995, when he bought his ticket to the Raptor’s first ever game. Since then, Bhatia has never looked back, and has attended every single Raptors home game that has been played.
As a reward for his loyalty, he has been awarded the official title of ‘Superfan’ of the Toronto Raptors, and he is also a community ambassador. It is safe to say that Bhatia is truly and completely invested in the Raptors, and this new free-agency news would have no doubt been hard for him to hear.
News broke early on Saturday morning, just before 2 AM that Kawhi Leonard would be leaving the Toronto Raptors to head back home, where he will play in Los Angeles for the Clippers. While full details of Kawhi’s contact is yet to be revealed, Danny Green confirmed on Twitter that he would also be leaving for California, to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. According to reports, Green will be signing a two-year, $30-million contract with the Lakers.
The news came as a shock to many Canadian fans, who were convinced for a number of reasons that the delayed announcements from the stars meant they would be staying to play in Toronto for another winning-season. While, for many, the dream feels like it is all coming to an end, in true Canadian style, Nav Bhatia is sending only love in the direction of the boys in California.
In a passionate and emotional post on his personal Instagram page, Bhatia wrote, “All day I've been asked what do I want to say to #kawhileonard and @greenranger14 . To both of them: you will both be missed. The heart you both played with. How you both embraced this city, this country and all the fans. The highlights you gave us that will be etched forever in our memories..that game 7 shot, that steal from lowry and following dunk, the many clutch 3's, the 18 points in game 3, the comeback defence, so many memories.”
Bhatia continued, "But most of all thank you for your contributions to our 2019 NBA Championship team. You gave this fan a 24 yr old dream that many never experience. I could never be upset with any decisions you make for yourselves and your families because of what you have given to me, to the city, to the country."
Bhatia ended the post on another high note, sending best wishes to the two men that were clearly so important to him and to his NBA season.
He wrote, "No matter where you play you will always be a part of the greatest NBA championship team of all time,” before adding, “So Kawhi and Danny when we see you next year we shall give you the standing ovation you deserve, once a Raptor always a Raptor.”
Stop it, Nav! You'll have us all crying again...