On May 12th, 2019 Kawhi Leonard hit a miraculous jump shot as time expired at the end of regulation to win the series in game 7 of the eastern conference semi-finals vs the Philadelphia 76ers. A shot that many are now calling the greatest moment in Toronto Raptors franchise history. This commemorative frame features a courtside view of Kawhi Leonard rising above Joel Embiid, moments after the high-arching shot releases from his hand. The photo draws parallels to Jordan’s “Game 6” winner from a very similar angle and captures the moment frozen in time. You can see in the crowd all the eyes and faces in the stadium following the flight of the ball as it leaves Kawhi’s fingertips. Kawhi stares intensely as he lands and stares and watches the ball hit off the front rim and rise straight up, 3 feet above the rim. Kawhi is now squatting and seemingly trying to will the ball into the net as everyone around him holds their breath, mesmerized. The ball finally comes down from the initial bounce, landing on the same rim. It bounces across the net, bouncing off the rim on the far side, once, twice, and finally straight through the bottom of the net. The Shot. The Bounce. The Win. The game-winning shot is the first ever Game 7 series-winning basket made in NBA history. A truly defining moment in Toronto Raptors franchise history and one that Raptors fans will look back on and always remember where they were when it happened.
The Toronto Raptors went on to take down the favourite, Golden State Warriors, in front of their home crowd in game 6 to bring Larry O'Brian's trophy north of the border for the first time in the franchise's 24 year tenure. Kawhi Leonard was the Playoff MVP, while Kyle Lowry played an outstanding game 6 to help the Raptors take home the NBA Championship.