Toronto Raptors players try sumo wrestling in Japan (VIDEO)

Oct 7 2019, 1:33 pm

The Toronto Raptors are enjoying a unique experience this preseason, beginning with a pair of games against the Houston Rockets in Japan this week.

While this is a business trip, it’s also a chance for players to experience a different culture, as Norman Powell, Stanley Johnson, and Fred VanVleet certainly did on Sunday.

The trio of Raptors players got an introduction to sumo, viewing a live demonstration and even briefly squaring off against the larger-than-life Japanese wrestlers in Tokyo.

Here’s how Johnson fared:

The cultural experience extended to other players, who tested their skill at Japanese drumming.

…while Serge Ibaka is more concerned about the food…

Raptors players were also involved in the NBA Cares program, giving some of the locals a thrill on the basketball court.

“Bringing NBA preseason games to Japan will help accelerate the growth of basketball in a country that features a thriving sports culture and one of the world’s largest economies,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a media release in March.

The Raptors play early Tuesday morning (6 am ET / 3 am PT) and again at the same time on Thursday.

They’ll take to the court at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto for the first time for a preseason game against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, October 13.

They kick off the regular season at home against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, October 22.