With the Canada-U.S. Border closed for non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic – complicating the league’s goal of bringing teams back to their arenas next season for its only franchise outside the United States – the Raptors reportedly had discussions about the possibility of Louisville. KFC Yum! Center serving as temporary residence.
However, according to Rick Bozich of local Fox-affiliated television station WDRB, those talks ended after Raptors players expressed reluctance to play in Kentucky’s largest city due to the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by Louisville cops in March and the social unrest that followed.
The concerns reported are in line with previous comments by the Raptors, who were candid in the Orlando NBA bubble about Taylor’s death and other racial and social justice causes that emerged over the summer. .
And, according to Bozich, it is confirmed that the Raptors will not play their 2021 season at Louisville.
The seriousness of the initial talks is unclear, with former NBA player and now Junior businessman Bridgeman – who was cited in Wednesday’s story as being involved in the Louisville talks – telling the WDRB that he had never been told it was even an option. ”
“I was stunned by the report. From everything I’ve been told, the intention of the Raptors and the NBA is for the team to play the season in Toronto. With the improvements in testing (of the novel coronavirus), I think this is their preferred option. ”
“I’ve never had a conversation with the NBA about the Raptors coming here,” Bridgeman continued.