It's no surprise, COVID-19 being what it is, that the Toronto Raptors have found it necessary to find a home south of the Canada-U.S. Border at least to start the 2020-2021 season.
A statement from our President Masai Ujiri. pic.twitter.com/qrnPt5MEsA- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 20, 2020
I'm not going to lie to you, even as a Raptors fan who doesn't participate in a lot of Raptors home games, the need for that makes me a little sick to my heart. The Raptors have an exceptional fan base in their home country and we will be sad that we cannot play at the Scotiabank Arena. With that said, I'm sure most Raptors fans will tell you that we fully understand and support the movement. There are, however, a few implications to break down.
Entering the NBA Bubble in Orlando to end the 2019-20 season, home court advantage (or lack thereof) was a big topic of conversation. At least in this case, each team faced the same situation. It stands to reason that the Toronto Raptors organization will do as much as possible to make their home away from home as familiar as possible for the duration of their stay. Can't get fans from your city? It is a difficult pill to swallow. Especially since the 28 other teams could presumably have the crowd from their hometown. This of course assumes that fans are admitted to the matches. The NBA has made it clear that this is their goal.
I can only hope that the residents of Tampa embrace their temporary NBA team with some excitement. I have a mutual on Twitter Raptors which I think will be at least a little excited. It passes Florida Raptors Fanatic. That said, I don't expect to see a lot of adopted Raptors fans when we host the Miami Heat or the Orlando Magic if I'm honest. I hope against teams that establish themselves outside of Florida, even if they will have decent support. Maybe the Raptors organization will use a few tips from the NBA bubble playbook to bring virtual fans to their games.
Danny Green's 2019-20 Championship Ring
Danny Green had no qualms about expressing how much he enjoyed his time in Canada. Even though his three-point shot seemed to be going on vacation early in the Raptors playoffs, the fanbase loved him back. I'm not ashamed to admit I had a crush on him for the duration of the season. I can't fall for a Laker, so it was short lived. Sorry, not sorry.
Because of this mutual affection, Danny Green chose to wait to receive his championship ring after COVID-19 changed the end of the 2019-20 season. He reportedly received it during the Lakers' visit to Toronto in March 2020. Rather than receiving him in the bubble, he decided he would wait until he could get his ring in front of the fans who greeted him and took it. kissed. As a member of the first-ever Toronto Raptors Championship team, Green will always have a soft spot in the hearts of Raptors fans. The fact that he wanted to put his ring in front of fans added another level of affection. The question now is whether he will continue to wait if the schedule calls for the Raptors to host the Lakers before he can return to play in Toronto?
Tribute to Vince Carter
Vince Carter can make NBA history as the most influential player in the league who retired with the least fanfare. One more victim to be at the foot of the global pandemic that has changed so many norms in our lives.
Raptors fans would have loved the opportunity to give Carter the start he deserved. It's an absolutely iconic part of Raptors history and many fans want to see his number hanging from the rafters. I mean, not me but a lot. Since no one knew that the last time he would be in Toronto would be the last time, the fan base didn't get a chance to give him a loving farewell. Carter would have played his last game in Toronto on April 10, 2020. It would have been the fourth and last game of his career. Now I wonder if the epic and well-deserved tribute video will be played during a game while the Raptors are residents of Tampa Bay or if they will wait to do so in the building that helped give it the nickname. "Air Canada". It's just a little… wrong… somehow that it should be happening elsewhere, right?
Favorable tax laws
Look, we pay a ton of taxes in Ontario. Much higher than most of the rest of the country. Certainly much higher than the 0% Florida personal income tax. Raptors players and staff traveling to Florida for the start of the season will have a significantly higher take-out number than if they were playing in the 6ix. I can't imagine anyone complaining about this.
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