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Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia has after being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s inaugural superfan gallery on May 15, making him one of the first fans to have received this honour.
I made a promise as a kid to my mom i would never remove my turban. Today it is in the Hall of Fame. Embrace what makes you different. It is your superpower. This is the crown I wear each day. Thank you mom. pic.twitter.com/s6cCjxbdhR
— Nav Bhatia Superfan (@superfan_nav) May 19, 2021
Hell NO! A fan shouldn't be inducted into the Hall of Fame! pic.twitter.com/Fz0b4P85Xc
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 20, 2021
“How do we define what a great fan is? You’re a Hall of Famer, how is that defined exactly?” he said. “What’s the criteria? What’s the standard?”
Smith elaborated further by questioning the determining factors when it comes to bestowing a fan with that honour - whether it’s the amount of games attended, who they interacted with or the passion displayed towards opposing teams.
Nav Bhatia is more than just a fan. He’s an ambassador for not just the franchise but the city at large. Anyone who knows him or has followed his journey wouldn’t come with this ridiculous response. https://t.co/Snm8CAn97h
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) May 20, 2021
Bhatia's commitment isn’t just to the Raptors, but to the community as well. In 2018, he established the , which is dedicated to building and resurfacing basketball courts across Canada while uniting kids of all backgrounds through the enjoyment and game of basketball.
Nav Bhatia’s response to Stephen A Smith saying he shouldn’t be in the hall of fame 👏 pic.twitter.com/scQvHJXQpZ
— Mo (@12thMo) May 20, 2021
Since attending the team’s first game in 1995, Bhatia has been synonymous with the Raptors and has never missed a home game over the franchise’s 26 years of existence. In 1999, he was dubbed the Raptors’ Superfan by two-time NBA Champion and former Raptors executive vice president Isiah Thomas, who presented Bhatia with a customized jersey that bore the title of “Superfan.”
Bhatia’s years of support and dedication paid off when the Raptors captured their first championship title in franchise history after defeating the Golden State Warriors in 2019. He was named grand marshal of the championship parade and became the first fan to receive an NBA championship ring as well.
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