Los Angeles Lakers

Danny Green explains decision to wait to receive Toronto Raptors championship ring

Danny Green will forever be remembered for his contributions to the Toronto Raptors' historic title run in 2019.

In electing to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers just weeks after hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy, Green would not be present for the Raptors' opening-night ring ceremony, as he was preparing to begin his first season in L.A.

The focus shifted to March 24, 2020, which was the date that the Raptors hosted the Lakers, meaning Green was set to return to the city - and country - he called home for one season to receive his championship ring along with Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy, who was on the Raptors staff last season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, that meeting at Scotiabank never happened.

Now, the meeting set for late March will take place in front of no fans in a neutral setting, as Toronto opens its restart schedule with a "home" game against L.A at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Green explained on his "Inside the Green Room" podcast that he was given the option to receive his championship ring in the bubble, but ultimately declined in order to have an opportunity to share the moment with Raptors fans in the future.

"Not too excited about (a bubble ring), I'd rather do it in front of the fans and the city where I played, where I spent a great year - I'm not opposed to getting my ring, but we have spoken about it."

Green added that this was part of an ongoing conversation with Raptors President Masai Ujiri and General Manager Bobby Webster, whom he lauded for their constant communication, calling the franchise's front office "top-notch."

He continued, saying "I told them me and Phil would prefer to just do it in the city when we're able to play in arenas again. They wanted to do one here - a small one - and then do another on there too, and I said it's not necessary, you guys can just hold on to it.

"I'm in no rush to get it, I'll get my ring when I get it. They all know I have the accolade - it's written down in the book, so that's more important than anything. Hopefully, we have normalcy soon, where arenas are open for next season and we can go back to travel through Toronto and have a ceremony."

During his one season as a Raptor, Green was not shy as far as immersing himself within the Toronto community as well as other parts of the country, releasing a documentary last September that chronicled the summer he spent exploring Canadian culture.

Green was also one of the stars of last season's championship parade and wants to relish another opportunity to celebrate with the Raptors faithful at Scotiabank Arena.

"For sure, it's not even about me and Phil, I think it's more for the city of Toronto to be able to celebrate with them again because any chance the city can relive those moments with certain people, certain players and for certain events, you want to give the opportunity for them to share it with you."

"And also my family and friends, too, that wanted to come up and see that game, they wanted to be there for that. They're not able to do that in this bubble, they're not able to come here and celebrate and embrace that. So, hopefully, when things get back to normal, we can allow all of those people outside of ourselves to enjoy that moment."

Green and the Lakers take on the Raptors on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet ONE.

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