The Toronto Raptors will play the remainder of their home games this season in Tampa due to the ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions between Canada and the United States.
The Raptors initially announced in November that Amalie Arena would serve as their home court for the first half of the 2020-21 season.
“Florida has been really welcoming to us and we’re so grateful for the hospitality we’ve found in Tampa and at Amalie — we’re living in a city of champions, and we intend to carry on the tradition of winning for our new friends and fans here,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said.
“But home is where the heart is, and our hearts are in Toronto. We think often of our fans, of our Scotiabank Arena family, and all those we are missing back home, and we can’t wait until we can all be together again.”
The Raptors boast a 12-13 record overall this season, including a 6-5 mark ‘at home’ in Tampa.
Toronto have made the playoffs in seven straight seasons and won the 2018-19 title when since-departed Kawhi Leonard was the star and guided the club past the Golden State Warriors in six games.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s plan not to play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ before home games may be short-lived as the NBA said on Wednesday all teams must play the national anthem prior to tip-off.
The Mavericks, who on Monday had a limited number of fans in their arena for the first time this season, have not played the national anthem prior to any of their 11 home games this season.
Cuban went so far as stating that he had consulted with NBA commissioner Adam Silver over his decision, only for the NBA to reiterate their stance in a later statement.