The juxtaposition is startling.
On the same day the Milwaukee Bucks announce a plan to invite fans back to Fiserv Forum, an 8-game homestand begins against a team unable to play in its home country.
As NBA teams inch closer to normal, the Toronto Raptors continue practicing in a hotel ballroom in Tampa, Florida.
As the Bucks game operations staff plans out every aspect of a home game, their counterparts with the Raptors are doing the same – displaced from their families – 1,400 miles south.
The last time the Toronto Raptors played a true home game was a year ago: February 28, 2020.
COVID-19 rules in Canada won’t allow teams from the United States to visit Scotiabank Arena. Left without a home, Toronto is posting up in Tampa, Florida until further notice.
Predictably, the Raptors struggled losing 8 of its first 10 games to begin the season. A playoff caliber team, Toronto is scuffling along at 12-15 entering a two-game mini-series against the Bucks.
Humans are creatures of habit. Familiarity is where we thrive. And the Raptors have done an outstanding job bringing “We the North” to the south.
But the fact is, the NBA’s Florida bubble experiment started August 1st…for the Raptors, the experiment continues 6 months later.