Title: The Raptors embrace their move to Tampa: ‘I can’t not be excited about it’
Date: December 1, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, David Aldridge and I broke down the complicating factors in the Raptors’ move to Tampa.
Billy Knight never forgot that this involved people.
“It’s the people that makes it hard to do,” said Knight, who, as general manager, had to help oversee the 2,400-mile move of his franchise, the Vancouver Grizzlies, to Memphis, Tenn., in 2001, when the team permanently relocated from Canada to the United States.
“For us, the biggest part was coming from Canada to the United States, coming across the border,” Knight said by phone this week. “You just had the emotional part of the Canadian people you wanted to come moving, and a lot of them couldn’t come because their significant other or their families or whatever was in Canada, and they didn’t want to come to the United States. Memphis wasn’t the most desirable place in Canadians’ minds.”
There no doubt will be similar emotions roiling this week among many of the Toronto Raptors’ staff and employees.