When Drake announced that he would drop two singles to celebrate the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA win last week, we had all but forgotten he was a rapper. With all his courtside antics and Warriors trash talk, we had started to think he was part of the team. And after Toronto Mayor John Tory declared June 17 ‘We The North Day’, the Raptors — and Drake — took a victory lap on a float around the city, greeting millions of fans who had filled the streets to celebrate.
As the Larry O’Brien Trophy continues to glint in the eyes of faithful Raptors fans who waited 24 years for this, we round up all the times the rapper from the 6ix got overinvolved with his favourite team on and off the court.
Moment 1: When Drake became a full-time troll
The Raptors may have won the NBA championship, but Drake won the title of ultimate troll when he showed up to Game 1 in a retro Dell Curry Raptor’s jersey — yes, that’s Steph Curry’s dad. Steph may be the Golden State Warriors’ star shooter, but Dell Curry played for the Raptors for 3 seasons (1999-2002) before retiring. Drake went to extreme lengths to get Dell’s signed jersey, as his team located a collector in America the day before the game. Once they agreed on a price, the only thing left was to get the jersey transported overnight — so, the seller hopped in a car and drive 10 hours to hand-deliver it.
Moment 2: When Drake tried to sell Steph Curry’s hair lint on eBay
Drake — who had covered up his Steph Curry and Kevin Durant tribute tattoos with an arm band — got into a heated discussion with Steph Curry courtside, picking something out of the player’s hair. Apparently, it was a piece of lint, which he proceeded to post to his Instagram later with the caption: “Steph Curry hair lint for sale on my eBay right now!!! username: DraymondShouldntWear23”
Moment 3: When Drake trolled Kevin Durant with Macaulay Culkin’s face
The Warriors’ Kevin Durant was out with an injury in Game 2, so Drake decided to wear a sweater with Macaulay Culkin’s face on it and “KEVIN?!?!?!” written on the back. This was a reference to Home Alone, in which Caulkin played a kid named Kevin who got left behind at Christmas. Culkin joined in on the fun, posting a photo of Drake in the sweater and writing: “Hey @Drake I’m right here, bro. DM me. See you at the BBQ.” The tweet was liked more than 200,000 times.
Moment 4: When the smack talk moved into the tunnel
After the Warriors equalised with the Raptors in Game 2, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were waiting for Drake in the tunnel to talk smack. Thompson said: “See you in the Bay, Aubrey. You weren’t talkin’ tonight, were ya? That was light work, too. You’re lucky I popped my hammy!” “It’s alright, it’s okay, you’ve got more games to play. Keep your head up,” added Durant, to which Drake responded: “It’s 1-1! And you squeezed that, by the way.” Oooh, burn.
Moment 5: When Barack Obama checked Drake on his antics
You know you’ve made it when even the former US president has kept up with your tomfoolery. Barack Obama rocked up to Game 2 in a much-discussed black leather jacket and crossed Drake in the tunnel, where the two shared a handshake and Obama asked the rapper: “You doing good? Did you behave yourself?” Drake just laughed in response, which we presume means “no.”
Moment 6: When Drake pulled off the most epic mic drop at the victory parade
A brave CBC presenter — who was broadcasting the Raptors parade live — threw his microphone up to Drake on a moving float. Drake, sounding pretty amused, said: “Ey, coming to you live … I don’t even know who this [presenter] is. He got on a nice plaid jacket on … We got one, with the dip!” before dropping the (ostensibly very expensive) mic into the safety of the reporter’s hands. That’s what we journalists would call an extreme sport.
Moment 7: When Drake wanted his chips with the dip
Drake birthed a meme with his over-the-top reaction to Kevin Durant’s injury in Game 5. But when the rapper gave a bizarre speech to reporters after the Raptors’ championship-clinching win, he took his memeability to a new level: “Make another meme outta this … Bringing the ‘chips to the city, I want my ‘chips with the dip, that’s all I know! I don’t want my chips plain, I want my ‘chips with the dip! So bring them dips!” The responses were epic — including one guy who showed up to the victory parade with a bowl of chips and dip and a sign that said “CHIPS WITH THE DIP.”
Moment 8: When Drake finally broke the Drake Curse
The Drake Curse is a so-called phenomenon where, after Drake throws his support behind an athlete — or, even worse, takes a photo with them — they lose a match. It happened with UFC fighter Conor McGregor, who famously lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and footballers Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng (Arsenal) and Layvin Kurzawa (Paris Saint-Germain). Some even blamed Manchester City’s shock loss to the Tottenham Hotspurs on the fact that their star striker Sergio Aguero gifted Drake a Man City jersey the night before. But it seems like Drake has reversed the curse once and for all with the Raptors big win. Congrats are in order.
Bonus moment: When Drake and Steph Curry finally made up
Drake and Steph Curry seemed to put their professional rivalry aside and resume their friendship immediately after the Raptors won the championship in Game 6. A video showed Steph in good spirits, FaceTiming Drake. “Congrats bro. Tough one. I hate seeing it,” said Curry, laughing. “I know. You played your heart out, though,” Drake replied, adding: “Tell Klay even though he called me a [expletive] the other day, it’s all good.”