When Easterhouse was overrun by gangs and baseball bats were the sporting equipment of choice, Alex McKechnie diverted around the gangland to deliver newspapers and sell ice creams so he could rise above the fray. “My goal was to play professional soccer,” he thought. Rangers his team, and his dream.

“I couldn’t get there,” he reflected. “But I was exposed to physiotherapy when I was 15 years old, and if I couldn’t be a player, I was going to be the best physiotherapist I could be. My only goal was to work in professional sport.”

Late on Thursday night, inside a boisterous locker room in Oakland, California, McKechnie was singing ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’ as the champagne drenched him from head to toe. The best in the business, once again with the best basketball club in the world, as the Toronto Raptors secured their first-ever NBA Championship by defeating the Golden State Warriors 114-110 to seal a 4-2 victory in the best-of-seven Finals series.

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Title number six for the 67-year-old, who picked up five during his previous employ at the Los Angeles Lakers where he was dragged fully into the world of hoops after establishing himself as a miracle worker to the stars in the NFL, the NHL and various strands of football before Shaquille O’Neal, one of his patients, insisted that he be hired full-time when he attended his clinic following an injury. “The Lakers contacted me and asked if I could assess it,” he recounted. “And the rest is history.”

McKechnie was poached by Toronto in 2011, spirited back to Canada which has been his home from home since speculating on a new life overseas. Primarily the Raptors director of sports science, he was also upgraded to assistant coach upon the appointment of Nick Nurse – once of Derby Rams, Birmingham Bullets, Manchester Giants and London Towers – as head coach last summer.

The sub-plot of these Finals has been the dethronement of the Warriors amid horrific injuries to their Alphas, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Not unnoticed is how Kawhi Leonard, named the Finals’ Most Valuable Player, has rebounded spectacularly from injury and remained in rude health. Credit that to McKechnie, Nurse acknowledged.

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“I'm not sure half the time I know what the hell he's doing,” he said. “I just know that I trust him a hundred percent. He's got tremendous experience. He's innovative. When he tells me guys are ready to go, I play them. When he tells me guys aren't ready to go, I don't play them.”

Nurse, a world removed from driving the team bus to places like Meadowbank, is now the first man to lead a side to both the BBL and NBA crowns. “I always say that all those jobs meant the world to me at the time,” he advised. OG Anunoby - the first UK-born claimant of an NBA title even though the forward, recovering from injury, did not play a single minute in the playoffs - with Bournemouth-born Raptors president Masai Ujiri hailed for compiling the talent. McKechnie, once again a witness to battles royale, joyous to be one of the gang.