TORONTO (AP)The Toronto Raptors will start the NBA season next month in Tampa, Florida, because of travel restrictions by the Canadian government stemming from the pandemic.
The Raptors had been looking at other sites for several weeks, including Sunrise, Florida, the home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. But with NBA training camp less than two weeks away and a season starting Dec. 22, the Raptors were pressed to make a final decision.
Instead, they will play home games at Amalie Arena, home of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
An official familiar with the Canadian government’s decision told The Associated Press there is too much COVID-19 circulating in the United States to allow for cross-border travel that is not essential.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity and not authorized to talk publicly about the matter, said there’s a chance that the decision could be reviewed next year.
The Raptors, the NBA’s lone Canadian team, and the league needed an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel.
UNDATED (AP) – De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings agreed on a max deal on the first night of free agency, agent Chris Gaston said. It’s a five-year pact that will pay Fox $163 million, and that figure could rise to nearly $200 million if Fox makes an All-NBA team or receives other league honors.
Fox’s numbers have improved in each of his three NBA seasons. He averaged 11.6 points as a rookie, then 17.3 points two seasons ago and finally 21.1 points last season for the Kings. His field goal percentage has also risen in each of the last two seasons.
Fox’s extension will kick in for the 2021-22 season and start at $28.1 million.
Free agency opened in the NBA at 6 p.m. EST. No deals can be signed until 12:01 p.m. Sunday, and many of the biggest available names – such as the Lakers’ Anthony Davis and Fred VanVleet, who has seen his star rise meteorically with the Toronto Raptors – did not make immediate decisions.
Davis is expected to remain with the Lakers; the question there is how the new deal will be structured. VanVleet is expected to command at least $80 million over the next four seasons, if not more, and Toronto has made clear that they would like to keep the undrafted guard who became a huge part of the Raptors’ run to the 2019 NBA championship.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Myles Garrett will miss one game – and possibly two – for the Cleveland Browns after the dynamic end and NFL sack leader tested positive for COVID-19.
The Browns, who are in playoff contention for the first time in years, will be without Garrett on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles after the team placed him on the COVID list.
Garrett could be in jeopardy to miss next week’s game in Jacksonville because he must be away from the team for at least 10 days and receive medical clearance before returning.
Before he tested positive, Garrett isolated at home the previous two days because he was showing symptoms. On Thursday, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he expected Garrett to return on Friday, However, when the positive test came back, the team followed league-mandated protocols and placed him on the list.
It’s a tough blow for the Browns (6-3), who have spent the week dealing with virus-related issues. The team placed starting right tackle Jack Conklin, kicker Cody Parkey and fullback Andy Janovich on the COVID list earlier.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Cyber criminals have attacked Manchester United’s systems, the English Premier League club said.
The northwest English club said it was confident ”critical systems” required for matches to be staged at Old Trafford are secure, ensuring the team can host West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
”The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimize the ongoing IT disruption,” United said in a statement. ”Although this is a sophisticated operation by organized cyber criminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this eventuality.
”Our cyber defenses identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.”
United said it was not aware of any breach of personal data from supporters.
GENEVA (AP) – Haitian soccer federation president Yves Jean-Bart was banned from the sport for life following accusations of systematic sexual abuse of female players.
The FIFA ethics committee found Jean-Bart guilty of ”having abused his position and sexually harassed and abused various female players, including minors” from 2014 until this year.
The 73-year-old official was also fined 1 million Swiss francs ($1.1 million).
Jean-Bart has denied the allegations, which involve national team players, including minors. The local Haitian judicial system so far has refused to file charges, with a judge declaring last week there is no evidence.
The accusations were first revealed by British newspaper The Guardian in April.
Haiti follows Afghanistan in having its long-time soccer leader expelled from the sport by FIFA after players in the women’s national teams alleged widespread sexual abuse.
An appeal will be filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a spokesman for Jean-Bart said in a statement.