With the Toronto Raptors set to join the NBA in Orlando in July, we count down the top 10 moments of their 2019-20 regular season thus far.
In honour of the Toronto Raptors‘ return to action, here’s a refresher on what has already transpired this season.
Honourable mentions go to Vince Carter‘s last game in Toronto, the Raptors dropping a franchise-high 140 points on the Washington Wizards and the team’s 24-second violation in remembrance of Kobe Bryant.
Here is part one of the top moments from the 2019-20 season.
10. Before the NBA hiatus
The last time the Raptors took the court was March 9, a Monday night in Salt Lake City (and everywhere else), to take on the Utah Jazz. Totally innocuous right? WRONG.
In what might have been the most culturally significant game of the regular season, the Raptors played the Jazz while, presumably, Utah centre Rudy Gobert was infected with COVID-19. The soon-to-be-ill Gobert even dusted it up with OG Anunoby at the end of the game, leading to both players being ejected.
Minutes before the Jazz’s next game tipped off in Oklahoma City, doctors informed officials that Gobert had indeed tested positive for COVID-19, and that the game could not be played in good conscious. Dominoes fell around the league, and after the Dallas Mavericks-Denver Nuggets game wrapped up, the NBA season was put on hold.
Then, the aftershocks. Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell also came down with the virus, and Gobert released an apology after video emerged of him touching reporters’ microphones in jest after a press conference.
Concern quickly grew for the team that just left the country, potentially bringing more than a 101-92 win back home from Utah. Miraculously, not a single Raptors player tested positive for the virus, but the team will forever be linked to this equal parts unique, equal parts devastating piece of NBA history.