As the National Basketball Association (NBA) prepares to resume this July, the Toronto Raptors have a lot in its plate to push forward from crossing borders to asking more clarity on the season restart.
The defending champions are getting ready for a very long stay at the Disney complex however, they are left with so many unanswered questions on how the restart will work.
Furthermore, as the lone Canadian team in the NBA, they face another obstacle—crossing the U.S. border.
On May 23, the NBA already gave hints in resuming its season through a Twitter announcement and glimpses provided by Jared Dudley of the Los Angeles Lakers; this week, they have issued a memo to its teams to provide guidance on the seeding mechanics for this season’s playoffs.
Toronto on crossing the U.S. border
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said on June 9 that his team is still working through scenarios for having workouts before heading to Orlando, Florida, next month for the restart of the season.
“We haven’t really made a final decision on it on a date to reconvene, or where we’re going, or any of that kind of stuff yet,” Nurse said in a call with Toronto media reported by AP News as he adds:
“We’ve made plans on both sides of the border, just for doing it as safe as possible. It’s kind of our first and foremost priority — then maybe as quickly as possible, too.”
Last month, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf signed an order that would allow professional athletes to be exempted from rules put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the NBA hasn’t released most of the details of how things will work at Disney, Nick Nurse thinks the NBA is giving teams enough time to prepare between practice and the possibility of several scrimmages before the games.
The entire team is very aware of the protests
In addition to the U.S. border complexity, Nick Nurse told CBC that his players and staff have been in reflection since the death of George Floyd. He also added that basketball has been the last thing on the minds of his coaches and players.
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry showed his support on the Black Lives Matter protests via his Instagram account.
Even Lowry’s backcourt partner Fred VanVleet said that people are already “fed up” with the racism and discrimination that’s been going on through the years.
Also, Nick Nurse was confident that his players are doing well, particularly Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol. He also noticed that Gasol’s presence on the floor has made his frontcourt partner Serge Ibaka play a lot better.
As the NBA restarts this July, fans should be excited about the new rules the organization has put in place and hopefully gives them the same energy despite the new normal.
Featured image courtesy of wyliepoon/Flickr