Thursday, May 30th 2019, 7:50 am - As the whole country is trying to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay, we've got the best, albeit risky, plea bargain...a promise for good weather.
The hashtag #KawhiYouShouldStay continues to trend on Twitter as the Toronto Raptors enter into their first ever NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Some credit a large part of this year's success to the elite and dominant force in Toronto's playoff run, Kawhi Leonard.
OUR PREDICTIONS: Forecast may offer clues about Raptors' odds of winning
"He's offered the Raptors and their fans so much in just one season, now the city is trying to offer it all back," said Sportsnet's Faizal Khamisa in the ulimate pitch for #KawhiYouShouldStay:
Ever since the "blockbuster" trade that sent Kawhi to the Toronto Raptors this season, the biggest headlining question has been, will Kawhi leave in free agency? Will this NBA Final be enough to keep him? Everything from a place to live, best spots to eat and even the jewelry right from their necks, super fans across Toronto will stop at nothing to make sure the 27-year-old star forward stays in the city.
THE PROMISE OF...GOOD WEATHER
"He's just done so much for the city, he's got the team together, the amazing shot was crazy," one fan told Sportsnet, of course referencing the unforgettable and iconic Game 7 "buzzer beater" against the Philadelphia 76ers. "Toronto is just more united than ever."
Even The Weather Network's own Chris Mei made a personal and we'll say, risky plea on Thursday.
"Kawhi, I'll promise you good weather...you've got to stay."
WILL TORONTO WINTERS BE THE ONE THING THAT BREAKS KAWHI?
The energy, the fans, the support are undeniable, but when questioned (back in February) what Kawhi thought of Toronto so far, he seemed to like everything BUT the weather.
"It's just been cold," he told a mass sea of reporters. "The snow does look nice on days, but you just need a jacket to go outside. I’m not used to wearing boots and everything."
It's certainly a tough sell with Kawhi being a southern Calfornia native who has expressed a desire to play in Los Angeles. And while Canada is pretty much one of the coolest, -- literally -- as far as countries go, the weather, the wilderness and the scenery also put our nation into a TOP SPOT for quality of life, actually ranking five points higher than the United States.
"And when you play for the Raptors, you have the whole country rooting for you," said The Weather Network's East Coast reporter, Nathan Coleman. "We love the Klaw out here...and if you come out for a visit I will personally buy you a lobster (claw) dinner."
THE WEATHER HAS HELPED WITH YOUR WINS
We admit, after a long, cold, and snow-filled winter, this spring has been anything but pleasant in Toronto with 60-70 percent of the 31 days in May alone marked with rainfall. But based on our (very scientific) breakdown of home game playoff wins, the Raptors won the most games on days with double-digit highs and some rain.
Now, as we get ready for the first home game in Toronto Thursday night, we're calling for a daytime high of 23°C, a nightly low of 10°C and a 30 percent chance of rain. Based on that forecast alone, we're giving the Raptors a meteorological edge to win.
"The Raptors have been good at home games where it rains, so if we can get any precipitation, that gives us a 75% chance of winning these playoffs," says Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
WE'LL WEATHER THE STORM, FOR YOU
You better believe that rain or shine, Toronto's Jurassic Park will be filled for every game viewing. When asked in a poll question what weather woud keep fans away, an EF-5 tornado, an apocalypse, and maybe a Sharknado would be enough.
In other words, nothing, no weather, will stop our country from cheering on our team. #WeTheNorth, afterall.
COME ON KAWHI, HOW COULD YOU NOT STAY HERE?
Oliver, British Columbia - Photo credit
Lake Moraine, Alberta - Photo credit
Toronto Islands, Ontario - Photo credit
Ottawa, Ontario - Photo credit
Montreal, Quebec - Photo credit
Old Perlican, Newfoundland - Photo credit
WATCH BELOW: JURASSIC PARK HAS MULTIPLIED, HOUR-BY-HOUR GAME FORECAST, HERE
Thumbnail photo courtesy: Wikipedia/Creative Commons. Photo by Chensiyuan. This photo has been cropped for formatting purposes.