Toronto Raptors arrival in Florida, to begin preparations to restart


MIAMI — The Toronto Raptors have arrived in south-west Florida on Monday to begin preparations for the next month the reboot of the NBA season.If the Raptors return to the NBA Finals, they could be in Florida for almost four months.

The reigning NBA champions start training for the season to restart later this week at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, making the school their home base until they head north to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida, about July 7. They landed in Fort Myers, Monday afternoon, then boarded the bus to the team hotel.

Toronto’s arrival comes of Florida is dealing with a significant peak positive coronavirus test results over the last week. The Disney complex, about 2 1/2 hours drive from the Fort Myers area, is expected to play host to both the NBA and MLS, in the next month.

The Orlando Pride has withdrawn from the upcoming National women’s Soccer League tournament on Monday after six players and four staff members have been tested positive for COVID-19.

What awaits the Raptors is a different configuration that will be the case for the other 21 NBA teams that will participate in the reboot at Disney. Other teams will work at their home facilities, but as the NBA’s only team from outside of the UNITED states, the Raptors would have had some logistical difficulties in having players gather in Toronto to prepare for the trip to Disney.

Under Canadian rules, the Raptors, the players who have been in the UNITED states would have had to a quarantine of 14 days after their return to Toronto so the team decided to hold its pre-training camp in the UNITED states, It will all take place with very strict rules to keep players safe, access to training sessions strictly limited to the essential, the staff of the team.

“In agreement with the NBA and the team of security protocols, there will be no group workouts during this phase of return-to-play, and strict protocols have been designed to ensure first level of access will take place in a safe, controlled and healthy way,” the Raptors said in a team statement.

All the group workouts and the official start of training camp for the resumption of the season will take place at Disney. Volunteer training sessions have resumed this week, and on Tuesday, it is the beginning of the NBA, mandated by the coronavirus test for the players and the key members of the staff of all the 22 of Disney-bound teams.

The Raptors were 46-18 in the season he was arrested on 11 March due to the sars coronavirus pandemic. When the game resumes on the 30th of July, they will have a three-game lead over Boston in the race for the No. 2 seed in the eastern Conference playoffs.

If the Raptors were to make the NBA Finals and if the series went seven games, they could play in Florida as the end of Oct. 13, according to the league of the current proposed plan for the restart of the season. The league and the National Basketball Players Association are working this week to finalize the last details.


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