Last night, a report came out from Yahoo Sports that the Toronto Raptors were considering Louisville as a temporary host city for the upcoming season as travel between Canada and the United States remains restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisville businessman and former NBA Players Association president Junior Bridgeman has since shot down those reports, but WDRB’s Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford are both citing sources that say conversations between the Raptors and the Yum Center did take place, but ended because players were hesitant come to Louisville due to the Breonna Taylor shooting and decision.
Two sources who asked not to be identified said Thursday that there were discussions between the Raptors and the arena. But three sources told me and WDRB Sports reporter Eric Crawford that the discussions ended after Raptors players communicated their reluctance to play in Louisville because of the shooting death of Breonna Taylor by Louisville Metro Police officers as well as the social unrest that followed.
For now, those dreaming of an NBA team in Louisville will just have to settle for Kentucky’s trip to the Yum Center on December 26.