How Raptors could be impacted by potential changes to 2020-21 season

The NBA Board of Governors convened Friday to discuss the still-unknown plan for next season.

The highlight of the day were the reported discussions that the league was aiming to start the 2020-21 campaign just before Christmas Day, but plenty more was discussed between the NBA’s decision-makers.

Here’s a quick look at how some of what has been put out there may impact the future of the league — and the Toronto Raptors, in particular, who are in an even more unique situation as Canada’s lone NBA team.

Impact of a near-Christmas Day start

Should the season start just before Christmas it would have wide-reaching impact on every team in the league, most notably on decisions teams need to make now.

The next big event on the NBA calendar is the NBA Draft on Nov. 18, but after that it’s a blank slate.

This includes free agency and the start of training camp and if the season were to start on Dec. 22 as reported, that would leave a very short window for free agency to get done and probably a truncated training camp.

Neither of these situations are ideal. Sometimes free agency can drag a bit as players usually wait for the big fish to set the market first before committing afterwards, not to mention the fact that this would be a pretty short turnaround on a season that lasted, essentially, a full calendar year before and guys might need more time off to rest and recover before diving back into the grind.

Still, though, it would make a lot of financial sense to start the season at the end of December, in time for the 25th. Christmas Day is historically among the NBA’s biggest days, one that usually features a five-game slate of high-profile matchups. Over the

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Black remembers PBA scoring milestone 32 years ago

Meralco coach Normal Black. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Nowadays, Norman Black is best remembered as one of the best coaches in the Philippines, but back in the 1980s he was the PBA’s best foreign player.

And it was on this day in 1988 that Black tallied his 10,000th point.

Black, who was an absolute beast during his playing days in the PBA, achieved that milestone when he scored 42 points in San Miguel’s losing effort to Añejo.

Scoring 10,000 points in a PBA career is an impressive accolade but Black reminded everyone that he had more.

“I just want to be known for being productive, being a winner, and I’m very proud of scoring 10,000 points but I think I had more than 11,000” said Black with a laugh after his Meralco Bolts turned back NLEX 101-92 in the PBA Philippine Cup.

To be precise, Black scored 11,329 points in his career.

Black, whose nickname was Mr. 100%, didn’t just rack up personal accolades as he was also a two-time champion as a player and an 11-time title winner with three of those bundled as the 1989 Grand Slam.

After his legendary stay in the PBA, Black moved on to the collegiate circuit and coached Ateneo to five straight titles from 2008 to 2012.

With his playing days way behind him, Black said that other imports may very well match his point total.

“Someone may break that record, it could be Justin Brownlee or Allen Durham,” said Black, whose highest scoring average for a season was 51.8 points back in 1981.

Reaching Black’s total, however, could be difficult for Brownlee and Durham who have totals of 3,851 and 2,512 points, respectively.


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Report: Louisville a possibility for Raptors home games in 2021

Discussions have been had about the possibility of Louisville serving as a temporary home for the Toronto Raptors during the upcoming NBA season, according to Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill.

Per Goodwill, the potential stems from former NBA player and now-businessman Junior Bridgeman having contacted the NBA to bring attention to the fact that Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center is NBA-ready.

Canada and the United States agreed to close the border for non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March, and on Monday that agreement was extended until at least Nov. 21. Due to the restrictions, Toronto-based teams such as the Blue Jays and Toronto FC have had to play their home games out-of-country, in Buffalo and East Hartford, Connecticut, respectively.

If those same restrictions continue to be implemented into the forthcoming NBA season, the Raptors, too, may be forced to play somewhere other than Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.

The league has yet to make any official decisions about the 2020-21 campaign, and is still in the process of figuring out the salary cap, the opening date for free agency and a myriad of other topics.

Commissioner Adam Silver has reiterated several times over the past few months that the league’s decisions will be necessarily be determined by the novel coronavirus.

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