CanadaTrudeau Gives Nancy Pelosi Raptors Swag While Settling NBA Finals Bet
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau collected on his NBA Finals wager with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday — and rubbed some salt in the wounds by giving her Toronto Raptors championship swag.
Trudeau and Pelosi, a Golden State Warriors fan from San Francisco, placed a friendly bet on the best-of-seven series last week when the Raptors were already up three games to one. Trudeau put bagels and beer on the line, while Pelosi wagered products from California.
If the Toronto Raptors win 2019 NBA Finals, will they visit the White House?
There’s precedent for a Canadian-based team celebrating in Washington, D.C. after taking home a title in their respective league. The Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992 and visited with President George H. W. Bush that December. "America is proud of you," Bush said when extending the invite. “It's America's pastime, and we salute whoever wins.” The Blue Jays, however, repeated as champions one year later and did not travel to the United States capital. Meanwhile, there are seven NHL teams in Canada and the last Stanley Cup champion from that group was the Montreal Canadiens in 1992-93.
Pelosi gave Trudeau a gift basket filled with the spoils — chocolate, wine, pistachios, and almonds — before a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.
“Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister, to the Raptors, they’re a great team. So great that they were able to win over a great championship team, the Golden State Warriors,” she said. “Now I’m here to settle the wager.”
Trudeau told the Speaker that “Canadians are gracious in defeat but even more gracious in victory.” He then presented her with Raptors gear and treats from , a booming Nova Scotia-based company founded by a family of former Syrian refugees who came to Canada in 2016.
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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has been given the 2019 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award. It's the second time in the star's eight-year career that he's received the honor. He was also named Finals MVP after winning the NBA championship in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs. According to The Athletic's Sam Amick, Leonard was just one vote short of a unanimous selection. Only ESPN's Hubie Brown didn't vote for the 27-year-old, choosing to vote instead for Raptors reserve guard Fred VanVleet. Entering Game 6, Leonard was averaging 29.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, two steals, and 1.2 blocks in The Finals.
“Peace By Chocolate… it sounds like an international agreement,” Pelosi said.
Trudeau is in Washington to push for the ratification of the new North American Free Trade Agreement, which requires support from Democrats in the House of Representatives who want stronger enforcement of labour and environmental rules.
The prime minister told reporters he looked forward to discussing trade and “good jobs for Canadians and Americans” with Pelosi.
Trudeau met earlier in the day with at the White House. Trump also weighed in on the Raptors’ victory, the first NBA championship for a Canadian team.
“They played phenomenal basketball. I watched a little bit of it,” Trump said.
Asked by a reporter if he planned to invite the Raptors to the White House, Trump said it was an “interesting question,” but didn’t say one way or another.
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The Prime Minister’s Office, meanwhile, says it’s planning for a Raptors visit to Ottawa in the future — an idea Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
“We are looking forward to welcoming them here,” Trudeau spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro told The Canadian Press.
However, Parliament rose for the summer Thursday. Though MPs are not expected back until after this fall’s election, Trudeau has made rumblings about this summer to to ratify the trade pact.
With files from The Canadian Press
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