Becoming a championship team doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years for a team to build up the necessary momentum, and sometimes, players who were crucial to victory are left out of celebrations because they were traded off during the final stretch. The Toronto Raptors will not be handing out championship rings to former players Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, and CJ Miles. According to Sportsnet, the decision to snub the ex-Raptors of the honour was made following Toronto’s loss against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Bobby Webster, the team’s general manager, told the Toronto Sun the reasoning behind the controversial decision.
“It's not an easy decision,” Webster explained. “But, to be honest, I think it’s standard. I mean we did our homework, we talked to teams, and I think – I don’t remember – there was maybe one scenario where a team offered one."
"I think it was Anderson Varejao in Golden State, but I think it was a really unique circumstance. It’s obviously not a feel-good thing, but I think that’s the way the league is.”
However, it wasn’t just Webster who made the call. The report also notes that both management and players were involved in the decision-making process when deciding who would receive a ring and who would not.
“At the end of the day, it’s who was on the court on June 13th. That’s kind of how we decided it,” Webster added.
Several Raptors fans took to social media to express their frustrations with the team’s decision.
“Classless, Jonas gave them a lot of good years,” wrote one upset fan. “Why wouldn’t they? That’s horrible,” added another.
One angry fan pointed out that it was unfair that Drake was even able to get his hands on one of the rings before the former players, "This team is giving Drake a ring, and he’s never scored a point for the Raptors in his life. Do the right thing and get these guys some jewelry."
@TheNBACentral @TheTorontoSun Horrid decision making by the Raps— K🗿 (@K🗿) 1574032848.0
@TheNBACentral @TheTorontoSun I get CJ Miles and Delon Wright because they didn’t do much but Jonas Valanciunas di… https://t.co/RmHeUcdvKv— Shane Farrell (@Shane Farrell) 1574033276.0
@TheNBACentral @TheTorontoSun This team is giving Drake a ring, and he’s never scored a point for the Raptors in hi… https://t.co/71VimK5Nfl— Certaldo Lover Boy 🏡🛬 4️⃣🧃 (@Certaldo Lover Boy 🏡🛬 4️⃣🧃) 1574034557.0
@TheNBACentral @TheTorontoSun Terrible decision, they should be given since they contributed to wins necessary for the final seeding— Gustavo Andres Perez (@Gustavo Andres Perez) 1574033270.0
The decision may have come as a shock to some Raptors fans who were pining for Valanciunas to get a ring ever since Kyle Lowry first floated the idea.
Lowry reportedly texted his former teammate about his ring size shortly after the Raptors became championship.
However, it now looks like Kyle might’ve just been talking big; after all, he was reeling off a historic victory at the time.