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Toronto Temperature: NBA action is coming

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It’s time soak up the last bits of NBA tedium before the games of the summer resume in earnest. Are you ready?

2020 NBA Restart - All Access Practice
Marc Gasol having a laugh.
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Like Fred VanVleet, Tobias Harris, Marcus Smart and others, I believe it’s crucial to keep the focus on what’s important right now and that includes bringing about justice for Breonna Taylor. As our Josh Kern wrote in his Five Thoughts piece yesterday, the New York Times has a comprehensive breakdown of information if you’re looking to familiarize yourself. Sign petitions. March in her name. Demand justice. Do your part.

Now then. By the time you read the next Toronto Temperature, there will have been actual NBA action played on live television. Sure, they’ll be scrimmages, but if we’re going to have this season resume, which by all accounts it is looking like we are, then you can bet that the excitement for these games is high enough that any type of game will do.

For now though, allow me to indulge in the simpler things about the Raptors in their bubble life.

Who’s Hot

The NBA Barbershop, Fresh Looks

There’s nothing like the sheen of celebrity wearing thin as their carefully manicured personas and brands are chipped away by a global health pandemic. The place where this manifested itself most? Personal grooming! While it was enjoyable to see the upper-crust look as raggedy as the rest of us, there’s a certain special tingle that develops when the creativity of a good barber is unleashed on a high-profile athlete destined for the public eye. Presented with plenty of preceding comment, please enjoy Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in all of his newly cropped glory.

Rondae working out on a machine sporting a very fun new haircut.
Rondae is made of magic.
Toronto Raptors

Basketball is exciting, sure, but the stylistic elements of haircuts on players who haven’t been able to visit their barber in four months promises to deliver innumerable gems over the next week.

Norman Powell, Avid Fisher

After reports swirled around the NBA Bubble regarding Norm Powell’s deficiencies as a fisherman, well...

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And they said I couldn’t fish.

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OG Anunoby, Birthday Boy

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thx so much for the happy birthday wishes

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Go ahead, convince me there’s anyone in the NBA that’s funnier than OG Anunoby. I’ll wait.

Who’s Not

Dwight Howard, Anti-Vaxxer

Not to harsh the buzz of haircuts, fish and birthdays, but this nonsense right here is how the whole house of delicately balanced cards is going to come crumbling down on itself. In perhaps an unsurprising turn, Dwight Howard does not believe in vaccinations and does not think that the coronavirus is “flying through the air looking for people.” Yes, Shams reported this week that there have been no new cases in the bubble since it was established, but it only takes one person to put on their clown shoes to tear it all down.

Fancily enough, the Raptors’ first opponent (in games that count) are the Los Angeles Lakers who currently employ Howard. Would it be poetic or depressing if the Raptors were once again at ground zero for the NBA’s COVID-19 outbreak? In any case, that’s as grim as we’re going to get this week. As the title of this week’s check-in implies, now we just prepare. NBA action is indeed coming.