The New Year's Eve matchup between the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers was supposed to be an emotional night for both teams in front of a sold out Scotiabank Arena.
Instead, it's being played in front of no fans with both teams missing a handful of players.
It's especially unfortunate for former Raptor Serge Ibaka, who is making his return to Toronto for the first time since he left the team in 2020.
To their credit, the Raptors honoured Ibaka with a video tribute. The rub? No one except for the media, arena employees and two teams were able to watch it.
In fact, the setting wasn't exactly ideal for an NBA game.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, who own the Raptors and the NHL's Maple Leafs among others, announced that they would not sell tickets for all events beginning on Dec. 31.
This followed the provincial government imposing a limit of 1,000 fans or 50 per cent capacity, whichever is lower, to large indoor gatherings such as sporting events due to the spread of the Omicron variant.