Raptors open and get rings against Zion and more schedule notes

Richard Jefferson Le Bron James

Lakers to open NBA season with Clippers and Jazz

Leonard will return to Toronto on December 11 as the Clippers visit the Raptors.

Former Toronto Raptors guard Jodie Meeks is "drawing interest" from the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

Among the most notable games on the schedule are Anthony Davis' return to New Orleans on November 27 and the return of the Lakers former young core with the Pelicans visiting L.A. on January 3.

Clippers forward Paul George returns to Oklahoma City on December 22.

US, Taliban wrap up latest round of talks in Doha
The US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014. FILE - Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad at the U.S.

- Milwaukee at Houston (8 p.m.): The three most recent Kia NBA MVP Award winners are in action as 2016-17 victor Russell Westbrook makes his Rockets debut alongside 2017-18 victor James Harden against last season's top regular-season team, led by reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The first step toward James keeping those detractors quiet will come on October 22, when the Lakers open their season against their intracity rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers.

During Monday's episode of ESPN's "Get Up!", Richard Jefferson, who played with James on the Cavaliers from 2015 to 2017, proclaimed that James will be "the best player in basketball next year, again".

11 with his Los Angeles Clippers in what will be sure to be an emotional night (though not for the ever-stoic Leonard), while Green doesn't come back to town with LeBron James and the Lakers until March 24, about a week after the runner-up Golden State Warriors make their lone Toronto appearance.

Jeffrey Epstein's manner of death 'pending further information,' coroner says
Ben Sasse, who in a statement Saturday said that there was no excuse for Epstein to be approved to be taken off of suicide watch. Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to lesser Florida state prostitution-related charges, serving 13 months in jail.

The number would surely have been higher had Kawhi stayed, but the Raptors will still appear 11 times on USA national television, including six on ESPN. The number of doubleheaders at 8 p.m./10:30 p.m. ET on the two networks has been reduced by a combined 42 percent from last season (57 in 2018-19 compared with 33 in 2019-20).

The Raptors will have 13 back-to-back games this season, one more than previous year. Seven of those back-to-backs will be consecutive road games.

The All-Star break will begin February 14, with the 2020 All-Star Game scheduled for February 16 in Chicago.

"A guy like Jayson, who, the past two ... years, has competed as a star in the league, still is considered one of those guys who may have had, quote, "a down year", but you look at the team, he had to be a little more passive, less shot selection."

Myanmar troops help in flood relief after landslide kills 51
It swept away dozens of homes in the village of The Phyu Gon, located at the foot of a mountain in Monday state's Paung township. The search for victims continued later Sunday though the rain has made the process more hard .

The Celtics provide the competition December 25 in the Raptors' first-ever Christmas home contest at noon ET. The league's 74th regular season will tip off on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019 (Wednesday, Oct. 23, PHL time), and conclude on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 (Thursday, April 16, PHL time).

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