Raptors hang 2019 World Champions banner in Tampa arena

The Toronto Raptors 2019 World Championship banner hangs along with former Tampa Bay Lightning players Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier in the rafters at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

How do you make an arena feel like your own when it's over 2,000 kilometers away from home? Bringing a reminder of your finest memories is a good place to start.

The Toronto Raptors appear to have done just that with their home-away-from-home in Tampa Bay. Prior to tipoff of the team's final pre-season game against the Miami Heat on Friday night, photos surfaced of the Raptors' temporary arena with an unmistakable piece of decor: Toronto's 2019 World Champions banner.

"It helps," Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. "It certainly gives you a boost, just a little bit of juice or energy or whatever and that [banner] was about the second thing I noticed when I walked in. I was like, ‘Hey, the banner.’ it’s kinda cool and you get into a conversation like will they leave it here and they probably should because we’re gonna commemorate the year and all that stuff, but it’s nice to have the touches of home."

It's the latest step the team has taken to pull off a one-month miracle, creating a new home base into somewhere the team can be comfortable.

Earlier in the pre-season, footage surfaced of Masai Ujiri placing a toonie into the hardwood of the team's practice court for good luck.

Toronto's first game of the regular season takes place on Dec. 23 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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