Toronto Raptors arrive in Florida today to start practicing for remainder of NBA season
Your reigning NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, are getting back down to work as they gear up to resume regular season play more than three months after the entire league was benched due to a pandemic.
The team announced Monday morning that "select players and staff will depart from Toronto today" for Fort Myers, Florida.
There, they'll continue individual workouts at the Alico Arena (sometimes referred to as "Dunk City") before moving operations over to Disney World in early July.
I'm dead serious: The NBA is set to resume its 2019-2020 season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at a yet-to-be-announced date sometime this summer.
The league will look different, with only 22 of the NBA's 30 teams going back to work, all of them playing exclusively in Orlando. Players will furthermore be living at Disney hotels on site for the duration of the season in an effort to minimize contact and potential contamination from the outside world.
Each of the 22 teams will play eight regular season games before an unprecedented playoffs period, and players who choose to obstain from attending the Disney complex, either for health or political reasons, will not be penalized for their actions (outside of not being paid for the games they don't play.)
Most participating teams, the Raptors included, are expected to take up roost at Disney's NBA Campus in early July.
"In keeping with NBA and team safety protocols, there will be no group workouts during this phase of return to play, and strict protocols have been designed to ensure this initial level of access will take place in a safe, controlled, and healthy way," reads a brief statement issued by the team Monday.
"Group workouts will only begin once teams have reported to the NBA Campus at Disney. There will be no in-person media availabilities during this time."
Whether or not Toronto repeats its historic 2019 championship run, it'll be nice to see the team play again, live from Disney World.
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