Warriors

Raptors began ring concepts before beating Warriors in 2019 NBA Finals

Raptors began ring concepts before beating Warriors in 2019 NBA Finals

The Raptors had a lot of confidence in themselves last season, despite facing the two-time defending champions in the NBA Finals. 

Peter Kanis, president of Baron Championship Rings, told reporters during halftime of the Raptors' season opener Tuesday that Toronto began making championship ring concepts before the Finals ended. Well, they put their money where their mouth is and beat the Warriors in six games. 

The Raptors received their championship rings before their 130-122 overtime win over the Pelicans, and the team has made jewelry history.

There's a 1.25-carat diamond sitting on top of the Larry O'Brien Trophy on the ring, which is the largest single diamond in any professional sports ring. The ring has 14 carats worth of diamonds and more than 650 total diamonds. Both are the most ever in a professional championship ring. 

"It's the best one I've seen as far as championship rings," Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said to reporters, via ESPN. "Have to figure out how to wear it. It's a little uncomfortable on my hands."

Oh, and of course Drake received a ring. 

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Turnt this to a organization

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[RELATED: How Kawhi, Clippers will give Warriors some Finals déjà vu]

One might say these rings are ... hotline bling. No? Either way, history has been made. 

NBA rumors: League 'angling' to cancel rest of season amid coronavirus

NBA rumors: League 'angling' to cancel rest of season amid coronavirus

As the sports world remains frozen due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA reportedly isn't optimistic it will be able to restart and finish its season.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst went on "SportsCenter" on Friday and gave an update on the league's current line of thinking and the realistic possibility that basketball won't return until next season.

"It's been a bad week," Windhorst said in regards to the feeling the season might not be salvageable. "I think there was optimism about progress a week ago, and some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happen. A big factor was what happened in China, where they halted the return of their league and one of the big reasons was they really believed that if they just tested the players' temperature all the time that it would. The Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country. They have just slammed the breaks on sports.

"The talks between the players union and the league this week -- I've talked to both sides of this issue -- and it is clear the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down. Now, they don't have to do that yet, and the way they are negotiating, they are leaving themselves an option either way. But they are not having talks about how to restart the league, they are having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down and I think there's a significant amount of pessimism right now."

The NBA reportedly had been looking at the idea of playing the playoffs in Las Vegas while keeping the players in a bubble without fans, but public health officials have poked holes in that idea.

Windhorst noted the NBA is walking a fine line in finishing this season without impacting the 2020-21 season, and the widespread availability of fast, reliable tests will be needed to finish this season.

"They do have runway here," Windhorst said. "I do think that they could go into August or September to finish this season. But I'm not sure they feel confident about that right now. A big factor is testing. We just don't have the testing. At some point, not only does there have to be a test that is quick and can tell if a player is healthy enough to enter the game, you have to know that you have the tests available so that you aren't taking them away from people who need them."

The NBA suspended its season March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell both have fully recovered from their bouts with COVID-19.

[RELATED: Kerr reminiscing about Warriors' dynastic run amid stoppage]

Not finishing the NBA season would be a tough pill to swallow for the league, its players and its fans, but as we focus on social distancing and flattening the curve, it might be the only option.

As of April 3, there were more than 270,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States and more than 7,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and NBC News reporting.

Warriors' gutty win over Celtics was banner moment for 73-win team

Warriors' gutty win over Celtics was banner moment for 73-win team

Programming note: The Warriors' 2015 win over the Boston Celtics will re-air on Saturday, April 4 at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

With Klay Thompson sidelined by a sprained right ankle and Harrison Barnes out with a sprained left ankle, the Warriors went limping into Boston with a perfect record but light on manpower and heavy on fatigue.

It was enough to give the Celtics, who had won four of their previous five games, reason for optimism on the morning of the game.

“We’re just playing good basketball right now,” Celtics forward Jae Crowder told reporters after shootaround. “I’m excited to keep it going for ourselves and our team. Like Brad [Stevens] said today, we’re just going to focus on ourselves. It comes down to us playing hard and protecting our homecourt.”

With the Celtics motivated to defend their homecourt against the defending champions and blemish their 23-0 mark, the Warriors -- playing under interim coach Luke Walton -- knew they’d have to offset those disadvantages with pride and pluck.

What they could not have known at tipoff on that December night is that these competing forces would produce perhaps the most riveting night of their 73-9 season.

A game compelling enough to be re-aired by NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday afternoon at 4.

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The Warriors were proud of their perfection and determined to protect it. They were wading, however, into the deep end of treachery, playing the final two games of a seven-game, 14-day road trip on back-to-back nights. Rarely does the NBA inflict such cruelty upon its teams.

They prevailed. It took not one but two overtimes -- with 16 ties and 22 lead changes -- but they left Boston with a 124-119 victory and their 24-0 record still intact.

“Nothing was pretty about this game the whole time,” Stephen Curry told reporters at TD Garden. “We got stops and everybody contributed ... This is a huge win for us.”

Curry played 47 minutes and submitted a game-high 38 points, along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. He had eight turnovers and shot 9-of-27 from the field, including 6-of-13 from beyond the arc.

His teammates were splendid. Draymond Green totaled 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks over 50 minutes. Andre Iguodala had 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals over 44 minutes. Centers Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli produced 14 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks over a combined 51 minutes. Shaun Livingston came up with a crucial late-game block.

Still, it was a 58-minute marathon, with the Warriors outhustling the Celtics to record a 67-51 rebounding advantage and a 10-7 edge in steals.

“Now I can admit I’m tired,” Curry said.

The win was an important moment for those Warriors.

“We will definitely cherish this because it doesn’t happen often,” Bogut said. “The record, the history, the team -- it doesn’t happen often so we will cherish it.

“Who knows? Next year you could be on a different team and nobody’s talking about you.”

Bogut was indeed on another team the following season, part of the roster shakeup in the wake of acquiring coveted free agent Kevin Durant in July 2016

But the big man had a point. Savor these moments that take you to the loftiest of places, where no team has ever gone. Enjoy the ride because it won’t last.

The Warriors had been stacking wins, one after another, for more than five weeks. The schedule was bound to take a physical toll and the winning meant mounting mental pressure. Beating the Celtics put the Warriors nine wins from the NBA’s all-time longest streak of 33 set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

[RELATED: Remembering the Warriors' five most memorable playoff moments]

It required a Curry triple to give the Warriors the lead late with 46 seconds left in regulation, followed by a crucial Iguodala 3-ball in the first OT and a critical bucket from Livingston in the second OT. Neither team could pull away.

The Warriors kept at it until they found a way to beat a very good team under adverse conditions. Not one of their other 72 victories surpassed this one for pure perseverance.