As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, every country in the world has kept some sort of restriction on travel and crowds to control the spread of the virus. Out of the 30 teams in the NBA, 29 play in the United States of America, and only one in Canada,the Toronto Raptors who now find themselves in a peculiar situation.
After the Canadian government banned them from playing games in the country, the Toronto Raptors found themselves looking for a new home for the 2020-21 season.
NBA News: Tampa Bay emerges as the new destination for the Toronto Raptors
After intense speculation as to where the Toronto Raptors might play in the 2020-21 season, the latest news indicates that Florida's Tampa Bay is going to play host to the 2019 NBA Champions.
Multiple cities expressed their desire to host the Raptors. Louisville, Seattle, Newark, Kansas City, and many others were linked to the Toronto Raptors with Kansas City Chief's star quarterback Patrick Mahomes even tweeting inviting the Raptors to play in his city.
However, no deal materialized in this regard and the Toronto Raptors eventually decided to play in Florida as it is closer to their eastern conference rivals.
Toronto Raptors' President Masai Ujiri released a statement regarding the decision where he mentioned the Raptors organization worked alongside public health officials and different levels of government to ensure the safety of the citizens and the possibility of playing their home games in Scotiabank Arena.
However, the ultimate decision was that they will start their 2020-21 season in Tampa Bay, Florida. The decision might have been rushed as the new season is set to begin on 22nd December 2020 and time was running out to make the proper arrangement in whichever location they choose.
Considering how every country is rushing to release a vaccine, the Toronto Raptors will begin their season in Tampa Bay but might eventually move back to their home court in Toronto by the end of the season if all goes well.
The Toronto Raptors were the 2nd seed in the eastern conference in the 2019-20 season and will enter the 2020-21 72-game season with hopes to win another NBA title.
Published 21 Nov 2020, 01:19 IST