The Toronto Raptors are heading south for the iciness — a minimum of for the beginning of it.
The Raptors introduced Friday that they’d start the 2020-21 season based totally in Tampa, Fla., amid considerations in regards to the coronavirus pandemic’s have an effect on in Canada.
In a commentary, Masai Ujiri, the Raptors’ president of basketball operations, left open the possibility that the workforce may go back to Toronto one day this season. The Raptors are the one N.B.A. workforce based totally outdoor of america, and Canada has imposed strict measures about commute between the 2 nations. Circumstances of the coronavirus within the U.S. proceed to skyrocket.
“So we’ll be clear of our house and our fanatics for now,” Ujiri mentioned within the commentary. “They are saying absence makes the center develop fonder. I’m no longer certain that’s conceivable for us — we like Toronto and Canada, and we all know we have now the most productive fanatics within the N.B.A. For now, I’ll ask you to cheer for us from afar, and we’ll look ahead to the day we’re all in combination once more.”
The workforce have been looking to determine a take care of the Canadian executive in order that it will play its house video games in Toronto. However a spokesman for Patty Hajdu, Canada’s well being minister, mentioned “a choice used to be made not to permit the Raptors to play in Toronto right now” in accordance with recommendation from the federal public well being company.
“We’re going to proceed our discussion with the Raptors and look ahead to the protected go back of N.B.A. basketball someday,” Cole Davidson, the spokesman, mentioned in an electronic mail.
The N.B.A. season begins Dec. 22, with players arriving for training camps on Dec. 1.
The Raptors had been working with government officials for weeks to try to find a way to play games in Toronto this season. Ujiri even wrote an op-ed for the Toronto Star last week to make a public plea for his case. He referred to the lessons the team — and the rest of the league — had learned from playing out the remainder of last season in a bubble at Walt Disney World outside of Orlando, Fla.
“We’ve provided detailed proposals to governments about how we, and the teams that visit us, could play safely in Toronto,” he wrote.
For now, though, the Raptors will be based in the U.S.