Megastar of American rap, Drake is celebrating his 36th birthday today. The opportunity to return to his relationship with basketball and in particular the Toronto Raptors, of which he is obviously the most famous fan.
Drake loves basketball, that’s nothing new. He often talks about it in his songs, which he calls Back to Back Where Draft Day, the link is quite easy to make. He has quite a relationship with the University of Kentucky team: he trained with them, dropped his best airball during a warm-up and even produced sneakers dedicated to the Wildcats and their coach John Calipari. And he even crashed into an evening celebration of the Heat for their 2013 championship title, arm in arm with LeBron James, after being turned away from the locker room all the same because it is not necessary to mess around.
But of course, Drake’s true basketball love is his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors. If you only learn it now, it’s because you’re ten years old and you’re just discovering the NBA, in which case welcome to you, or else you think that the N in NBA means “national”, so why are we adding another country in there. Either way, you’re missing something. because Drake, whether we like him or not, is the Spike Lee of modern times, the superfan who gets noticed in every game and it’s often very funny. Massage to Nick Nurse in the middle of a match, assumed trashtalking during the Playoffs, Drake even went so far as to recover a lock of Stephen Curry’s hair and sell it on eBay, under the nickname “DraymondShouldntWear23”, understand “Draymond should not wear the number 23.
Well, all this does not please everyone, and frankly we can understand it. Drake is the kind of guy we like to see on his team, much less on the opponent, a bit like Patrick Beverley but less defense. Still, the guy is a big fan of the Raptors, normal when you’re the official lookalike of Fred VanVleet, you see him on the courtside all the time, and you’ve had time to get used to it. Indeed, all this has been going on since 2013 and the date is not trivial.
2013 is three years before 2016 thank you, thank you, I worked hard to get there, so it’s three years before the All-Star Weekend organized in Toronto. Masai Ujiri, the GM of the Raptors, therefore wants to find a figurehead, someone capable of drawing attention to the franchise within the city and outside, to create maximum enthusiasm around the event. Who better than a native of Toronto, megastar of world rap? Drake therefore takes the post of global ambassador of the Toronto Raptors, and this for free. A mission far from being fictitious, even if voluntary, that Drake takes to heart and, obviously, succeeds well. This official position legitimizes the presence of the rapper near the floors, even on the floors themselves, and brings visibility around a franchise somewhat shunned at the time in Canada. Between the All-Star Weekend in 2016 and the title in 2019, the hype has returned to Toronto around the Raptors, and Drake is not for nothing.
—TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 14, 2019
Despite this success, the story between Drake, basketball, and Toronto does not stop at the Raptors, even if it always goes through the franchise. In January 2018, he announced, along with Masai Ujiri, a multi-million dollar program to rehabilitate basketball in Canada. It starts with concrete and concrete: one million will be invested in the restoration of basketball courts in the neighborhoods of Toronto.
“The thing I’m most proud of is the money we’re going to give to rebuild the pitches. I hope it can create a great atmosphere for anyone in the community who wants to play basketball. We can have fun there, and maybe we will discover the next generation of Canadian basketball stars. –Drake
On top of that, $2 million goes to Canada Basketball, the organization responsible for developing our favorite sport in Canada. A strong gesture from Drake and the franchise, whose recent success shows that sometimes you reap what you sow in a good way. Drake can be annoying, he can release a bad album every six months, but you can’t blame him for not being committed to his community. Tonight, the Raptors, in their black and gold jerseys designed by Drake’s OvO brand, will have the opportunity to pay him a little tribute for his birthday, during the reception of the Heat, it’s at 1:30 a.m. and we can’t wait . Already because we are going to see beautiful basketball, and also because we hope to see Drake let go on the courtside for his 36th birthday. Happy birthday, Drizzy!
36 years old and still all his teeth. Drake should again this season gratify us with his best trashtalking towards the stars of the NBA and, whether we like him or not, today we celebrate a man who matters in the Big League!