Trust the Process


Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri is trying to trust the process.

Not necessarily in basketball terms, but in life terms, especially when it comes to battling COVID-19.

“I’m hoping (the season can be salvaged). That’s all of our hope," Ujiri reportedly said on a conference call to reporters Wednesday. "Honestly, for now, I think (the way) we salvage the NBA season is by abiding by the rules and doing everything that we have to do as people, as a community, everything we possibly can."

Ujiri said he has spent much of the past few weeks thinking about the coronavirus pandemic.

"(I’m) basically stalking Dr. Fauci as, like, the next NBA draft pick,” he said.

He told reporters that he has not had any discussions regarding contract extension for himself or head coach Nick Nurse. Instead, he's looking at the bigger picture outside the NBA.

"This is not about the NBA, NBA players, NBA fans. It’s about the whole world," he said. "Because it affects the whole world, something is going to stall that one way or the other, if we have not played by the rules.”

If rules are followed, Ujiri — along with the entire basketball community — is hoping that the games can return and bring a sense of normalcy back to this chaotic time.

“It’s been tough, guys, I’ll be honest,” Ujiri said. “Just being away from everything you do and you do so well, it’s been tough on everybody. But this is time for us to rally, be together, be innovative and figure out a way forward. I know (last June) we brought the world together in a really special way (with the Raptors’ championship). And now I think it’s time we stick together, bring people together by saying apart."

The chances of NBA action returning to Toronto this season took a bit of a hit yesterday when Toronto mayor John Tory announced a prohibition of major city events until June 30.

Though the ban does not include private events, such as sports games, it seems unlikely that Toronto-based teams would go against the city's public rules and host a major gathering.