Photo: Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP
The player number 7 of the Toronto Raptors, Kyle Lowry, to his arrival in Orlando, Florida.
The Toronto Raptors have arrived in the bubble of the NBA, Thursday, when the exercises began in the facilities of Disney, in Orlando.
The defending champions have a two-hour drive from Naples, Florida, after having completed their camp in the premises of the university Florida Gulf Coast. The buses of the Raptors had been painted in the colors of the team. The slogan “Black Lives Matter” was also inscribed on the sides of the vehicle.
At the end of opening hours at the Disney resort, on Thursday, the 22 teams that will participate in the revival of the NBA had arrived at their hotel and had started their life in isolation from the rest of the world for at least a few weeks. All teams will have completed their first training session here Saturday.
“It is good to be back after four months, said Nikola Vucevic, the Orlando Magic. We are all bored of basketball.”
In addition to the Raptors, the other seven teams arrived Thursday, including the Los Angeles Lakers. The star LeBron James has complained on his Twitter account of having to leave his family behind.
“I just leave the house in the direction of the bubble. (…) It hurts to abandon the “James Gang”,” wrote James.
The Magic, the nets of Brooklyn, the Utah Jazz, the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns practiced Thursday.
The preseason matchups will begin on July 22, and then the first “real” games will be presented as of 30 July.
“It’s good to be back on the floor, said the coach by interim of the Net, Jacque Vaughn. The players have been able to keep in shape during the confinement, but I wanted to give them the opportunity to find out their feelings on the field.”
Most of the teams have had to wait two days after their arrival in Orlando before being able to organise a first training.