As the COVID-19 pandemic roars into its tenth month, we’re all getting antsy and craving normalcy. Recent vaccine development news is very welcome, but there’s still a while to go of hunkering down.
At least some elements of usual life carry on, though perhaps in an unusual fashion. For the NBA and the Toronto Raptors, the adjusted schedule of last season has made for a truncated off season, with a December 22 start date for next season fast approaching. And so, the business of basketball whizzes right along. This week alone, the Raptors welcomed two new draftees, Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris. They also re-signed fan-favourite Fred Van Vleet – with the largest-ever contract in NBA history awarded to an undrafted player. “Steady Freddy” was right to say, “Bet on yourself!”
There is one obstacle for the Raptors in pandemic play: the Canada-U.S. border, which remains closed. Since crossing it frequently is not feasible, the Raptors will be the lone franchise to not play their home games in their home arena.