TAMPA — When the Raptors were surveying potential temporary homes, head coach Nick Nurse reached out to several of his most veteran players and asked them where they’d prefer to play if it couldn’t be Toronto.
Nashville, Fort Lauderdale or Tampa.
One thing was clear. If they couldn’t play in Canada, they’d rather play in Florida, where they could walk outside in a T-shirt and shorts in the winter months. It has made their arrival in Tampa this week, when temperatures have been unseasonably frigid, ironic.
“It’s freezing down here right now,” Nurse joked Wednesday. “So that’s not what I expected. You come here and you think, hey, (it’s going to be warm). You go out yesterday and it’s 39 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Warmer days are ahead for the Raptors as they will spend at least the next three months in Tampa, playing their home games at Amalie Arena. The organization