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Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors

Source: Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty

Last year, the NBA was heralded worldwide for its meticulous way of handling of the coronavirus, through the use of a bubble and strict management of who entered or exited the bubble. However, for the 2020-2021 season, the league’s relaxed approach has led to an undesired increase in COVID-19 infections. And hinted that there might be some issues from before the season started, the most recent surge is being traced back to one location in particular: Toronto.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the spike of so many Toronto Raptors players getting infected “seems to have arisen from inconsistent mask-wearing from coaching staff members.” The team is woefully depleted with each new case or safety measure enacted, and this is after regulations were actually tightened leaguewide earlier this year.

To make matters worse, the personnel unavailable is not smalltime, either. Leading scorers Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have had to sit out, along with head coach Nick Nurse, in accordance with safety protocols since last Friday, when the news of a possible virus spread was originally leaked. Along with them, six more coaches and three other players, which makes for a total of 12 people altogether, are now disallowed from participating in team events until they are cleared. Guard Jalen Harris and forward Donta Hall were even called from the Raptors’ G League team to stem the thinning for now.

While it’s still unclear when any of the twelve members will be able to resume official activity, which may be well after this weekend’s All-Star break, the Raptors are currently feeling the hurt from not having some of their top guys. The Detroit Pistons, who are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 10-25 record, snapped a three-game skid against the 2019 champions last night.

And social media is not about go lightly on the Raptors for their screwup either…