10 of Drake’s Most Memorable NBA Courtside Moments
On the 2015 track "30 For 30 Freestyle," Drake emphasizes his stake in the Toronto Raptors' franchise. “I got a club in the Raptors arena," the hometown legend rhymes. "Championships, celebrations during regular seasons.”
As global ambassador of the NBA's sole Canadian franchise, Drake spends a lot of time rooting for the Toronto Raptors—not from a lofty Air Canada Centre skybox, but rather seated courtside, close enough to slap a high five to star players like DeMar DeRozen or Kyle Lowry. His level of enthusiasm for b-ball is never more apparent than when Drizzy occupies floor seats during big games.
The thing is, 6ix God—international superstar, rap virtuoso—isn't the one who appears on the baseline. Instead, it's Drake, the comically overzealous superfan who has inadvertently (?) entertained spectators with his brand of fansmanship, trolling NBA players left and right while putting on for his home squad. He's also made some pretty unforgettable moments involving a lint roller and styrofoam cup.
Drizzy might be cool with a lot of NBA players, but make no mistake, once the ball tips off, his only allies are the guys sporting Raptors jerseys and shorts. While Drizzy's sideline antics usually consist of bits of trolling, the rapper has also moonlighted as a sports commentator, using his charm and knack for one-liners to do a surprisingly effective job in the role. He's also gotten into flat-out shouting matches with players like Kendrick Perkins. More on that one later.
Unfortunately for Drake, his beloved Raptors were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday (May 7). Still, his antics live on. XXL looks back on 10 of his most memorable moments on the baseline.
Before there was 6ix God, there was burgeoning rap star Drake, still trying to prove himself. That period didn't last all that long, but in it, we got more than a few gems. One of them was seeing the rapper do the John Wall dance at a University of Kentucky versus Louisville game on Jan. 11, 2010.
Years later, when the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors met in the , Drizzy ended up trash talking Wall in front of thousands of people.
The 6ix God let off some bars from his Meek Mill diss track "Back to Back" while chilling with former ballers like Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Grant Hill. It isn't too often Drizzy does things on the spot, so appreciate this moment for what it was.
Drizzy wasn't letting anything slide during the 2016 Eastern Conference playoffs. Before he jawed at Paul George, the rapper mocked Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey after he fell out of bounds trying to keep the ball in play. In a hilarious still, Drake avoids the ball as if he's actually a Toronto Raptor and his touching the rock would determine whether the squad gets the ball back.
Right after Stuckey made the turnover, Drizzy delivered a series of obnoxious claps.
Playoff P met his match in Playoff Drizzy. On April 26, 2016, right around the time the Toronto rapper dropped off his Views LP, the Toronto Raptors were facing off against Paul George and the Indiana Pacers for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. With the Pacers down late in the game, PG prepared to shoot the ball in an attempt to tie the game. After being double teamed, though, he was left with no choice but to pass the ball to his teammate Solomon Hill. Hill made the shot, but unfortunately, the rock left his hands a fraction of a second too late and the Pacers lost the ballgame.
Afterwards, Drizzy shouted at PG and roasted him on Instagram, saying he knew the Pacers star was "scared." He later deleted the post, and after the Raptors bested the Pacers in Game 7, the two embraced each other and everything was all good.
It isn't often you get to go against the King and come out on top, but for at least a day, Drizzy, or more accurately, his hometown Toronto Raptors, did just that.
On May 23, 2016, the Raptors handed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a loss in Game 4 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, and in the midst of the game, Drizzy made sure to let LBJ have it. Unfortunately for the 6, though, Cleveland ultimately won the series 4-2.
Drake made sure to let then-Cavs guard Kyrie Irving know he was about to take an L when Game 4 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals drew to a close. Right as the outcome of the game had pretty much been determined, Drizzy gave Uncle Drew a decisive death glare before trolling him on Instagram that same day.
Drizzy's made a career out of being a master hitmaker, but if he wanted, he could probably carve out a career in broadcast journalism. Drake served up a glimpse of that possibility when he operated as a sideline reporter during the Toronto Raptors' game against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 29, 2017. With a voice seemingly created for mass media and few well-placed quips, Drake proved to be a natural.
Drizzy continued rocking his reporter hat when he interviewed Kyle Lowry after the Raptors' win over the Charlotte Hornets on Nov. 29, 2017. Stepping to the all-star guard like a seasoned vet, Drizzy asked Lowry—who'd just dropped a then-season-high 36 points in the contest—how he managed to perform at that level. Lowry attributed his success to Drizzy, who laughed before serving up more questions. The last one was about whether the way Lowry tucked in his jersey was a fashion statement. Pulitzer Prize-worthy stuff.
Drake and Kevin Durant are obviously cool—he shouts out the superstar player on the 2016 track "Weston Road Flows. But there aren't friendships out there on that hardwood. Drizzy promptly let KD know what time it was when he shouted at the 6'10" superstar after he missed an open dunk against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 13, 2018. Ultimately KD had the last laugh, though, as he drilled a jumper to seal the Golden State Warriors' win over the Toronto Raptors.
In a moment that ultimately earned him a stern warning from the NBA, Drizzy talked some serious trash to Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kendrick Perkins during Game 1 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals on May 1.