By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
If I would have told you that in 2020, the NBA would be canceled for four months, the teams would play the rest of their games and the playoffs in a “bubble” at Disney World in Florida, and the NBA Finals would be played in October, you would have called me crazy.
If I had told you that the reasons all those things happened was because of a global pandemic, you probably would have lost your mind. But that’s exactly how the season finished for the 2019-2020 NBA season. While there was some uncertainty on how things would go down in Orlando, it turned out to be a pretty big success. There were no positive cases of COVID-19 while the teams were in there, and the NBA successfully ended its season, despite the pandemic and protests for social justice, which looked like it may put an abrupt end to it.
Even though the season ended on a high note, there are still some questions to be asked. One of those questions was when will the NBA start its next campaign? That question has been answered, as the league voted on a Dec. 22 start date for the season.
However, there still is one big question that remains unanswered. Where will the Toronto Raptors play their home games?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional sports teams based in Canada haven’t been able to play there. The Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball had to play home games in Buffalo, while Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC played in East Hartford, Connecticut. There’s still some speculation that the Raptors may still be able to play its home games in Toronto, but in all likelihood, the Raptors are going to have to find a temporary home south of the border.
There have been many cities in the mix to host the Raptors for the 2021 season. Tampa Bay, Nashville, Newark (geographically close to the other teams in Toronto’s division, being in New Jersey), Buffalo, Seattle (they’ve been itching for another team ever since the Supersonics left), and Kansas City.
Louisville was another possibility, but with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor and subsequent investigation being unpopular with the Raptors players, it would seem that Louisville is out.
Personally, I would love to see the Raptors play in Kansas City. As a Raptors fan myself, it would be pretty cool to see them play in a major city that’s relatively local. I’m not the only one who thinks so either. The mayor of Kansas City, Quinton D. Lucas, invited the Raptors to compete in KC, while Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has also shown interest in getting the Raptors to play in Kansas City temporarily.
Overall, no one knows where the Raptors will play their home games next season. With the season just around the corner, the NBA and the Raptors organization better figure it out fast. Wherever they play, I know I’ll be watching and cheering them on. But if there’s any doubt about playing in Toronto, just come to Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes said so.