“I think there’s no better place to start this interview than right here,” says Global News Mark Carcasole as he walks with Plant Guy pointing at a row of planters.
The night the Raptors won the NBA Championship, the now-viral sensation known as “Plant Guy” ripped a large tree-like plant and carried it around the streets of downtown Toronto calling it a “housewarming gift” for Kawhi Leonard.
WATCH: Raptors’ fan “Plant Guy” carries large plant as a “housewarming gift” for Kawhi Leonard (June 13)
“I need you to resist the temptation to pull that plant out of its planter,” said Carcasole.
“Hold me back Mark, hold me back,” said Plant Guy laughing. “Kawhi needs one.”
Plant Guy’s actual name is Kyle.
He said he didn’t want to use his last name but told Global News he was originally born and raised in Mississauga but now lives in Kelowna, B.C.
“Been a fan my whole life. This city has a million real fans the last two nights I’ve been walking around at 5 a.m.” said Kyle. “I watch every game back home. I scream at my TV. I break tables when we win. I break tables when we lose. I run out to my yard and celebrate.”
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“I’m not joking, my hand cannot handle any more table bashes from Serge dunks. It can’t,” he said.
Kyle said he drove across the country to Toronto, in his Honda Civic, as soon as the Raptors made the Finals.
“I almost didn’t make it out here… it’s a dangerous drive out here in a Civic.”
“I came out here as a fan. I pulled a tree out of the ground,” said Kyle remembering the night the video of him carrying the “Kawhi-ctus” made its round on the Internet.
The video has been viewed by millions on social media, including by Drake on his Instagram.
WATCH: Toronto Raptors celebrate during massive victory parade through downtown
Kyle said he can’t remember exactly where he ripped out the tree. He said he does recall seeing a row of about five or six black planters on the street when he ripped the plant out from its roots.
He said while celebrating, he was hoisted onto a bus where he shook the plant, getting dirt everywhere, including his own eyes. The person behind him said, “You’re getting dirt on my back. Can you just toss that thing?”
So he said, “Of course.”
“I’m not going to ruin one guy’s night for my plant. I’ll pick another one for Kawhi.”
Kyle said as soon as he passed it off to another fan to toss away, others came swooping in and shredded the plant, wanting a piece of the plant to wave in the air.
He said he also can’t recall where exactly he disposed of the plant.
Kyle did apologize for pulling out the plant during the excitement: “I hope nobody pulls out any more plants. Toronto needs as many plants as we can. We need our plants. That was my fault. That was barbaric.”
Kyle showed up to the interview in a Spurs jersey because he said he always wears a Raptors jersey and didn’t want to give away his Plant Guy persona.
When asked if he thinks Leonard will stay with the team, he had this to say:
“Whether he stays or not, thank you Kawhi. The whole city thanks you Kawhi. You hit that shot.”
Kyle said he is very, very excited for the Raptors celebration parade Monday.
“I just can’t wait for this parade… We got that championship.”