The newly crowned NBA champion Toronto Raptors, who won the title in Oakland, California, on Thursday night, apparently are having a good time celebrating in Las Vegas. Expected back in Toronto on Saturday, most instead are staying an additional night in Sin City.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the franchise, said the Raptors extended their trip and will return to Toronto in time for a victory parade and rally in the city on Monday, a spokesperson told TSN.
Raptors players are expected to travel the parade route in open-air, double-decker buses with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy beside them. The parade is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET and conclude with a 12:30 p.m. rally at Nathan Phillips Square.
Drake, the hip-hop superstar and Toronto native, was the unofficial emcee for the team's party late Friday night at XS Nightclub.
"Las Vegas, let's have cheers to this incredible team," Drake said during the festivities, according to the Review-Journal. "I want to give cheers to every one of my brothers!"
Toronto defeated Golden State 114-110 in Game 6 for the franchise's first NBA championship. The best-of-seven series was a smashing success for Canada all the way around.
The NBA said Friday that 56 percent of the Canadian population watched at least some part of the NBA Finals, with an average viewership of about 8 million for Game 6.
The league also said the total combined U.S. and Canadian audience for the Finals was up 11 percent over the combined viewership of the 2018 title series between Golden State and Cleveland.
Thursday's game was the most-watched NBA game in Canadian television history, a record that was toppled several times during this postseason because of the Raptors' popularity. Viewership for each of the six Finals games rank among the 10 most-watched television programs in Canada so far this year.
"Everybody who supported us during the season, all the fans in Toronto, everyone in Canada -- this is for you," Raptors forward Serge Ibaka said after the title-clinching win. "This is for Canada, baby. You should be proud."
The NBA said that online sales through the league's official portals smashed records for the day following the end of a championship series, up more than 80 percent from the previous mark (set when Cleveland beat Golden State in 2016) and were more than 100 percent over sales on the day following the Warriors' sweep of the Cavaliers last season.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.