The Toronto Raptors: Then and Now
The Toronto Raptors celebrating their victory on June 13, 2019 (The Star).
June 13th, 2019. A day that will be engraved in Canadian history. The day the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship, bringing victory to not only their city, but their entire country.
Just a little more than a year later, fans across the country along with the team themselves are reliving the moments leading up to the grand victory, and those that followed. From Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater, Fred Vanvleet losing his tooth, and Kyle Lowry being able to lead the Raptors to a trophy after 7 whopping years with the team, the season was definitely a rollercoaster ride that all ended with their 7th victory against the Golden State Warriors.
Shortly after winning the championship, Toronto held a massive parade honouring and celebrating the team's accomplishment. It attracted around 2 million spectators, featured speeches from many of the team members, and radiated an overall happy and celebratory atmosphere.
Large crowd gathered at the Raptor's parade in Toronto (Guelph Today).
Where are the Raptors now?
One year after the festivities, the world of sports and the Raptors look extremely different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all sports leagues and competitions have been suspended for the time being. However, in the last couple of days, a decrease of cases in various parts of the world has demonstrated that the “curve” is flattening, allowing for certain institutions and events to return to a modified version of their business.
This has allowed for the NBA to resume with a selected number of teams in one the most magical places on Earth: Walt Disney World! This event will include regular-season games ahead of a possible playoff tournament between 13 Western and 9 Eastern Conference Teams. More specifically, beginning July 31, the NBA season will be resuming at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and teams will each be assigned hotels as their living quarters based on their current standing in the league.
NBA season to resume July 2020 at Walt Disney World (SB Nation).
Health regulations as the season resumes
The players are not exempt from social distancing regulations. In fact, there is a 113-page handbook created by the NBA, outlining and elaborating various health and safety protocols. The plan to execute games in the new facility includes 6 phases outlining its opening, along with rules about interactions between players, whether they are playing ping pong or poker.
While there won’t be fans or spectators at these games, they will most likely be streamed for people to watch from the comfort of their homes. The pandemic has taken many anticipated events away from individuals across the globe, whether it be their competitions, festivals or celebrations. Yet, as health measures are proving to be helpful in the elimination of the virus, people are able to once again plan and execute these events. That is, as long as guidelines are still in place to keep everyone safe, since the virus is not gone just yet!
Article contributors: Asima Hudani, Sherilyn Wen
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Deb, S., & Cacciola, S. (2020, June 17). The N.B.A. Is Coming Back. There Are 113 Pages of New
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Featured image courtesy of Josh Lewenberg via TSN.