Junior Bridgeman Rumors
Make certain you note the Raptors will not play their 2021 NBA season in downtown Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center, despite one report that the city was being pushed and considered. “I’ve never been told that it was even an option,” said Louisville businessman and former NBA Players Association president Junior Bridgeman. “I was dumbfounded by the report. From everything I’ve been told, the intention of the Raptors and the NBA is for the team to play the season in Toronto. With the improvements in (novel coronavirus) testing, I believe that is their preferred option.”
Bridgeman said that he talked to Raptors owner Larry Tannebaum, but they did not speak until after Yahoo! posted its story. “I had never even heard about it until then,” Bridgeman said. “I never knew it was even an option. I think if there was something to it, Larry would have told me.”
Junior Bridgeman said there was “absolutely no truth” to a Yahoo story linking him to speculation about a temporary move by the NBA’s Toronto Raptors to Louisville. But wondering what all the fuss was about, Bridgeman contacted Raptors’ owner Larry Tanenbaum — the two men are partners in a Canadian Coca-Cola bottling operation — to find out the facts. “I spoke to Larry,” Bridgeman said via text message Wednesday night. “They are working on getting the (Canadian) government to allow teams to come into Toronto with testing and waiving the quarantine time.”
Yet Bridgeman, Yum Center General Manager Eric Granger and NBA2LOU point man Dan Issel all said they were taken by surprise by the Yahoo! Sports story written by Vincent Goodwill citing unnamed league sources saying Louisville has been broached as a possible site, with Bridgeman in contact with the league. “There is absolutely no truth to that story,” Bridgeman said. “I’m not even sure what that story came from … “I personally know the owner of the Raptors and he would never move or sell the team. He is a true Canadian.”
One big focus for next season has been the status of the Toronto Raptors. Due to the United States’ handling of COVID-19, travel into Canada has been banned. MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays played their home games in Buffalo, and the Toronto FC of the MLS played its games in East Hartford, Connecticut. The Raptors face a similar dilemma, and league sources tell Yahoo Sports one alternate location that has been broached is Louisville, Kentucky. Former NBA player and successful businessman Junior Bridgeman has been in contact with the NBA, considering Louisville has the KFC Yum! Center that is NBA-ready.