Raptors vs. Cavaliers game called due to wet floor

Updated: October 23, 2003, 8:36 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland -- The Toronto Raptors' preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers was canceled Thursday because of condensation on the floor, which was laid over a hockey rink.

After the teams were introduced and the anthems performed, Raptors coach Kevin O'Neill and Cavs coach Paul Silas complained to officials about the heat in the building.

The players were sent back to their locker rooms, while kids wiped the floor with towels, and the heat was turned down.

Players tried to warm up again about 45 minutes after the scheduled start, but to no avail. The Cavaliers had already left the building for their bus while fans in the arena awaited word on whether the game would be played.

"I think we all were concerned once we came out and the floor was still slippery," said Toronto's Michael Curry, who is also the president of the NBA players' association. "They did a good job of trying to make the floor better, but I think it was just too dangerous of a chance to take to go out.

"Toronto, we led the league in player-games missed last year (due to injury), so we definitely don't need to have a situation where a player gets hurt because the floor isn't adequate."

Toronto general manager Glen Grunwald addressed the angry crowd after the game, promising the Raptors would return and play within two years.

It was raining, foggy and 64 degrees during the day -- and a sellout crowd of 7,500 squeezed into Mile One Stadium, home to the St. John's Maple Leafs of the AHL.

"Obviously for the fans, it's been the talk of the city," said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Raptors. "It is very humid outside, it is very foggy, it is a warm day but lots of fog so the humidity is high."

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press