The Toronto Raptors won the NBA’s first playoff game of the year on Monday, a victory that feels especially satisfying after the reigning champions started their game off in the most wholesome ways: with adorable surprise videos made by their loved ones.
In lieu of an announcer introducing them, the team’s starting lineup were amazed instead to see the faces of their family members light up the jumbo screens above them inside Walt Disney World.
In a clip shared on the team’s social media accounts, VanVleet and Lowry are grinning from ear-to-ear after seeing their children, who they’ve not seen for weeks since entering the NBA bubble in Florida.
Fred VanVleet’s girlfriend, Shontai Neal, and their two kids, Sanaa Marie VanVleet, 2, and one-year-old Fred Jr. give a spirited introduction, with Sanaa Marie and Fred Jr. clapping enthusiastically throughout.
Kyle Lowry’s sons, Karter and Kameron, stole the show; imitating the booming voice of in-game host Mark Strong, they ended the compilation with a very well-rehearsed yell of “L-L-L-L-LOWRY!”
It earned them an overjoyed cheer from Lowry, who applauded them with the world’s biggest smile on his face.
“That got me going. Those are my babies, they’re my world,” he said later to TSN. “That’s a memory that going to last forever.”
A video posted by the official NBA Twitter account showed more reactions from the players:
Marc Gasol smiled and turned his head after watching his intro.
“That got me going. those are my babies, they’re my world. That’s a memory that going to last forever.”
Pascal Siakam laughed watching his brother bounce up and down.
OG Anunoby, known for his straight-to-business demeanour, chuckled as his brother gave a serious-toned introduction.
The video surprise was inspired by a similar heartwarming stunt pulled by the Phoenix Suns.
Given how hard it must be to work away from home for so long, the family introductions made for a well-needed morale boost for the team ― a boost that will hopefully spur them on to win us another championship!
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