Matthews: Raptors' NBA title provides 'extra motivation' for Leafs
Claus Andersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews believes the Raptors winning an NBA championship has provided some extra motivation for him and his teammates.

"I think for us as players, it’s a little extra motivation for next season, just to see what could be if we end up accomplishing that ultimate goal," Matthews said Wednesday, according to The Canadian Press.

Matthews watched on from his home in Arizona as his adopted city celebrated its first major championship since 1993. An estimated 2 million people lined the Raptors' parade route and crammed into Nathan Phillips Square on Monday.

"You just can’t imagine what it would be like," Matthews said. "It was just amazing, you saw the support (for the Raptors). People were getting out of their cars on the freeway to take in the parade ... it’s hard to put into words, really."

The Maple Leafs have taken sole possession of the NHL's longest championship drought. They were previously tied with the Blues, who entered the league in 1967 following Toronto's last Stanley Cup victory. St. Louis won the title last Wednesday.

Many Leafs players were in attendance to cheer on the Raptors during the regular season and playoffs. They also had a chance to shoot some hoops at Scotiabank Arena last year, when Matthews' skills impressed his teammates.

"(Matthews) played basketball for a couple of years in Arizona," Mitch Marner told TSN in February 2018, per NHL.com. "He was putting guys in spin cycles and stuff."

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Matthews: Raptors' NBA title provides 'extra motivation' for Leafs
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