On Monday, the Toronto Raptors departed Ontario en route to Florida to get their training camp underway. With that, motion begins towards the NBA re-start.
Up until now, it’s all been talk, planning and dates set in the near and distant future. The NBA has been working to restart their suspended season for most of the month of June, but as of Monday afternoon, actual tangible things have happened to show us just how real this is. That’s right, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, on Monday the Toronto Raptors departed Ontario en route to Fort Myers, Florida, to prepare for their training camp.
In Fort Myers, the Raptors will have individual workouts as they satisfy international travel quarantine restrictions. They will not conduct group workouts until the rest of the 22 teams involved in the league’s restart gather together at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando in the early stages of July.
At this point in time the Toronto Raptors may be among a very small group of people actually traveling to Florida as the state’s COVID-19 numbers spike. Considering the lax stance the state’s government has taken with the pandemic ravaging the globe, it’s hardly a surprise that numbers are worsening by the day, and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the NBA as it looks to get back to business.
Of course, the NBA will be in as tight a bubble as can be possible once the teams and personnel gather at Disney, but there’s a long time between then and now. Over the next few days, teams will begin testing their players and the personnel expected to travel to Florida for COVID-19, so the already-complex picture is sure to take on even more challenges soon, but for now, the ball is at least finally rolling as the Raptors are in the air.