Toronto Star ePaper

NBA tracks down culprit for slippery tournament courts


The Raptors are back at it Friday with the second and last in-season tournament game to be played in Toronto this season.

The excitement is certainly not building. It will take a series of increasingly unlikely results and scores almost unfathomable for Toronto to steal a wild-card spot. But there is still something unique about the event that should make the game against the Bulls at least a little special — and safer.

I’ve been told there was an issue with one of the finishes used on a very small number of new-look courts that made them slippery in some spots, but the league has addressed it and all should be good for Friday night.

It caused a bit of a ruckus here a week ago when the Raptors lost to Boston and Jaylen Brown of the Celtics and Precious Achiuwa of the Raptors voiced concerns. They were taken seriously, looked at and fixed.

The fact that it’s virtually impossible for the Raptors to advance — they’d have to finish 2-2, get some help in other games and post an astronomical points differential in their final two dates to move on — certainly puts a damper on it.

The players I spoke to even before the loss to Orlando liked the premise of the tournament, but thought the scheduling was odd. That’s got to be a top priority for the league to figure out in its debriefing because half of Toronto’s games, after opening the tournament with two losses, are basically meaningless.

They will, however, look different. And for the nostalgia buffs, take close note of both the court and the Raptors’ uniforms Friday, because it’s the last time you’ll see either of them.





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