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Now we here

The GIST: By now you know that Toronto (and Canada) are on top of the basketball world after the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 114–110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Relive the best of it here.
 
The party never ends: Most Raps players spent two days celebrating in Las Vegas with global ambassador Drake and are now back in Toronto for the championship parade (!!!) that starts at 10 a.m. ET today.

  • It’s been 26 years since the last time Toronto celebrated a major sports (NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL) championship, with the Blue Jays in 1993, so this party has been a long time in the making and up to 2 million people are expected to attend. What a time to be alive.

All eyes on Kawhi:Now, the big question is whether Finals MVP and soon-to-befree agentKawhi Leonard will stay in Toronto for another season.

  • We won’t get a definitive answer until after 6 p.m. on June 30th, when NBA free agency begins and teams can offer their first born officially start negotiating for Kawhi.
     

  • Toronto has one big advantage — they can offer Kawhi more money than any other team because the NBA’s rules helps teams re-sign their players. How? Well, the Raps are allowed to sign Kawhi for a max of $38M per year, while other teams can offer only $35M. Wherever he lands (please, let it be Toronto), board man is definitely getting paid.

Losing double:The Warriors lost not one, buttwoof their best players, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, to possibly season-missing injuries during the Finals.

  • KD has now had a successful surgery on his torn Achilles, but the road to recovery is a very long one. Meanwhile, Thompson suffered a torn ACL late in Game 6 (hats off to Thompson for still hitting two free throws). We hate seeing players go down with injuries, let alone game-changing players like these guys.
     

  • Because of all of this injury talk, the Raps were praised for their relatively unheard of “load management” strategy, meaning they regularly rested their best players (namely Kawhi) during the regular season and never played him in back-to-back games. Clearly, it paid off huge in the playoffs. 

Elsewhere in the NBA:Superstar Anthony Daviswas traded by the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he’ll join LeBron James in the quest for a championship. Now that’s a powerhouse duo.

  • On the other side, the Pelicans picked up potential future all-stars Lonzo Ball (yes, the guy with the dramatic AF dad) and Brandon Ingram, as well as Josh Hart and a slew of picks. Add first-overall pick Zion Williamson to the mix and expect this team to be in next year’s postseason.

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Movin' on up

The GIST: After beating New Zealand 2–0 on Saturday in the Women’s World Cup, Canada has officially qualified for the Round of 16 (the knockout round).
 
Rounding out the round robin: Canada still has one more game to play in Group E, against the Netherlands (world ranked No. 8), who will be their biggest competition by far, on Thursday at noon ET.

  • The Netherlands is also undefeated, and the winner will finish atop their group and have an easier route in the knockout round, playing the runner-up in Group D. We’ll have more on what to expect from the Netherlands game in our pre-game GIST newsletter. Sign up here

Making her-story: American captain Carli Lloyd set a tournament record on Sunday as the first player to score in six (!!!) consecutive World Cup games. No biggie.

  • Lloyd also drew attention earlier this week when she shared a seriously heartwarming moment and words of encouragement with Thailand’s goaltender after the U.S.’s 13–0 blowout win. THESE are the stories we love to see, not the celebration controversy.

Meanwhile in rugby: Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team also found huge success (ironically, also in France) this weekend, ending their season with a bronze medal in the final tournament of the HSBC rugby sevens series and punching their ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

  • Canada finished with a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and will be looking to defend or better that in Tokyo.

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FORE!

The GIST: The U.S. Open major golf tournament in Pebble Beach, California, wrapped up on Sunday night with American Gary Woodland shooting a 13 under par to win his first major title (and the $2.25M prize that comes with it). But what’s debatably more important is that Canadian Brooke Henderson made some golf history.
 
Tell me about Brooke!: The 21-year-old golfer won the Meijer Classic on Sunday, her ninth LPGA title, to become the winningest pro golfer in Canadian history. She now has more titles than any Canadian golfer, male or female. Did we mention she’s only 21? Mind-blowing.
 
Amazing! What about the U.S. Open?: American Gary Woodland dominated the entire weekend, leading the field from Friday all the way to Sunday. This win also marks the first time that Woodland has hung on to his lead going into the final round (he was previously 0-7). We’re sure it’s nice to get that monkey off his back.

  • It’s important to note — because we must find a tie to Canada whenever we can — that Woodland’s caddie, Brennan Little, is Canadian!
     

  • Woodland just beat fellow American Brooks Koepka (pronounced KUP-KA) by three strokes. If Koepka were to have won, it would have been his third straight U.S. Open title. Close, but no cigar.

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What’s Up This Week?

Monday: The Toronto Raptors championship parade starts at 10 a.m. ET and weaves its way to city hall for a rally at 12:30 p.m. ET. Can’t make it? No sweat. Follow along with our Instagram stories.
 
Wednesday: Canada’s men’s soccer team is playing in a summer tournament of their own, the Gold Cup, featuring 16 countries from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

  • Canada won its first game 4–0 against Martinique on Saturday and play Mexico on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET. More on the tournament here.

Thursday: Canada plays its last Women’s World Cup round robin game, against the Netherlands at 12 p.m. ET. The perfect lunch-time break.

Let’s Talk: At The GIST, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve and provide more value to you. And there’s no better way to do this than talking with you, our beloved GISTer. We’re hoping that you could spare 20 minutes (we promise we’ll keep it short) of your time next Tuesday, June 25th or Friday, June 28th for us to pick your brain. We’d love to chat. You can book your call at a time that works for you here. Thanks so much for your help and hope to talk soon.

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