“Our dynamic fans would be thrilled to adopt the team as our own,” the officials said of the Raptors to Silver.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Canada instituted emergency orders mandating 14-day quarantines for everyone entering that country. While that meant the Toronto Blue Jays were forced to play their home games this year in Buffalo, the Raptors initially did not need to seek their own venue to host visiting teams in the U.S. because the NBA had all of its participating teams finish their seasons in a “bubble” near Orlando.
For the upcoming season, however, the NBA does not appear to be planning to sequester all its teams in one location, creating a potential problem for the Raptors. Lucas and his fellow politicians were happy to offer a solution, touting Kansas City’s recent successes in football, soccer and baseball as well as its “first-class arena,” culture and transportation infrastructure.
“Kansas City has plenty to offer with our wonderful food, attractions and entertainment for basketball fans of all ages,” the officials wrote in their letter to Silver.
Also very much on board with the idea of luring the 2019 NBA champions to the Paris of the Plains: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP and 2018 NFL MVP on Monday replied to a Twitter post about the possibility of the Raptors playing in Louisville by tweeting, “Bring them to KC!”
“Working on it,” Lucas told Mahomes via Twitter.
According to Louisville-based WDRB television, which cited three unidentified sources, some Raptors players expressed reluctance to play in Louisville because of the fallout from the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by police.
A spokesperson for the Raptors told the Canadian Press on Tuesday, “Our focus is on playing in Toronto.”
That might be possible if the Canadian government changes from its quarantine policy to rapid coronavirus tests at airports and border crossings, which could be under consideration, according to the Toronto Sun.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a Chiefs player and a native of Quebec, replied to Lucas’s tweet by exclaiming, “Merci monsieur! Definitely feels like home.”