Welcome back to another edition of Trash-talk Toronto Raptors! Here we will talk about everything Toronto Raptors except... basketball.
Look, I'm just going to get right into it: This column will be all about COVID-19 and its effects on both the Toronto Raptors and the NBA as a whole. Typically, I spout off some nonsensical diatribe about the week and what we're doing outside of basketball, but with the NBA in flux then I figured I'd cut to the chase.
If you have anything you'd like to share regarding basketball or outside of it then please don't hesitate to contact us on Twitter at @RaptorsRapture or @HughesWithMe. With such a weird and unprecedented future ahead of us, only working together will keep us sane amongst the solitude.
Without further ado, onto this week's edition of Trash-talk.
Where COVID-19 all began for the NBA
As most of you know, the NBA had its season suspended due to the growing concern over COVID-19. If you were watching the pregame between Utah Jazz versus Oklahoma City Thunder, there was an extreme panic when it was confirmed that Rudy Gobert had been confirmed positive for the virus. Just days prior, Gobert was seen jokingly rubbing his hands over the microphones at the interview table with reporters nearby.
Since then, obviously Gobert has been tested positive alongside Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell. Now, there isn't a way of discerning which party infected each other or if at all, technically. However, the error of Gobert's ways put him in a lot of hot water with fans and, supposedly, players alike.
Gobert then apologized for his actions.
Admittedly, I was upset with Gobert's actions prior to his diagnosis. It was silly, rash, and making light of something that clearly was not something to make light of. Merely an hour after the NBA shutdown, however, I immediately recognized that Gobert was behaving like a lot of us by effectively not realizing the dangers of this virus and its ability to spread from party to party.
In turn, Gobert made a decision, which he deeply regrets. I accept that apology and believe him when he says he just didn't realize the severity of the situation. Turns out, the NBA believed him, too.
Amid this crisis, I found it important that we are not punishing him for his actions. Now is no time to be debating Gobert, now is the time for the world to get this under control so we can resume a semblance of normalcy in the coming months.
How the Toronto Raptors were affected
The Toronto Raptors were the last team to play the Utah Jazz. If you recall, it was a tough battle -- one that saw both OG Anunoby and Rudy Gobert get ejected in the waning moments of the game.
Oh, how that seems like decades ago now.
After the league was suspended, the Toronto Raptors were told to go into self-quarantine for 14 days. As of today, the Toronto Raptors have so far shown no positive results for the virus, which is wonderful news for the team, but also the families of the team members and staff.
As a result, our goofy players are swinging into the uncertainty with open hearts. Just take a look at Rondae Hollis-Jefferson dancing life away.
Serge Ibaka, well-known for his fantastic cooking short, is constantly providing us funny clips in a new segment titled, "How Bored Are You?"
I have to fully admit, it's wild to just watch Ibaka behaving like the rest of us. Except, I'll also admit that I wish I had his dishwasher in my house.
If there's something we can learn from this it's that Ibaka is truly like the rest of us.
If Ibaka ever runs for public office and somehow it's in a place where I'm allowed to vote for him, then he'll definitely be getting support from me.
Toronto's call to respond amid the crisis
When this news broke, it so happened to be when the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets were in mid-game. A video of Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, surfaced with the breaking news.
Later on, he was interviewed courtside.
Cuban noted that he was going to try to find a way to help the staff that work in the arena so they wouldn't have to worry about their wages in a time of crisis. This essential started an outpouring of funds to the staff around the league.
All Toronto teams soon followed suit and released this statement:
Having Toronto be a leader in this category was a sign of good faith, of course. As well, it showed their dedication not only to their teams and players but to all of the people who make the Raptors a quality product.
In turn, those workers and families can breathe a sigh of relief while this is getting sorted, which I can attest is a nice notion amid the uncertainty.
What's next for the Toronto Raptors?
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted the following in recent days:
Of course, though, Wojnarowski also just confirmed that four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the virus, which further indicates that this isn't going away with just the self-isolation.
The Toronto Raptors have approximately seven more days of self-isolation, but beyond that it doesn't seem that a return to basketball is imminent. The teams have been notified that players may travel to other cities outside of their team in this time, but with certain restrictions. Surely, this is so the players can reconnect with their families and help out in those communities.
But, there is an ever-growing possibility that the season will be cut much shorter or potentially get canceled altogether. While there has been no news of a pending cancellation, the owners and commissioner, Adam Silver, are supposed to discuss options on Tuesday, March 17th. Perhaps, we will know more shortly.
What's next for the Toronto Raptors, at this time, is for everyone to continue to do what they're told during this viral outbreak. They need to stay safe, limit social interactions, and then hopefully we can help curb the rate of infection.
But, if everything continues to get worse, then it remains to be seen what will happen to all of our sports leagues. All we can do now is hope that people are following through with the instructions and that we, too, are helping -- not hindering -- to stop the virus.
As for us here at Raptors Rapture, we hope that everyone is doing their best to stay safe and support each other during this time. With all of us doing our part, we can stop this thing.
That's all for this week's edition of Trash-talk Toronto Raptors. Tune in next week as we'll have more updates on the team and the league as a whole.
Be well, everybody.