Posts Tagged ‘Drake’

Drake Handles Toronto Raptors Introductions

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Toronto Raptors have been utilizing their newly formalized relationship with hip-hop star Drake in various ways, but over the weekend they had their very first “Drake Night.” This meant things like Drake taking over the team’s Instagram account so he could show off the custom old-school Raptors suit lining on his jacket…

Drake also wore a Raptors t-shirt in his OVO Brand colors of black and gold, just in case you were wondering what the Raptors might look like if they do, in fact, change their team colors

But perhaps my favorite aspect of Drake Night was when Drake introduced the Raptors on the public address system. How often do you hear a PA guy refer to a player as “a good friend of mine?” (Then again, Drake has good reason to be friendly to Amir Johnson.)


VIDEO: Drake Intros Raptors

Toronto Raptors Considering Black And Gold Color Change?

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Toronto Raptors seem to be in the midst of a massive reboot. A few months ago, longtime sports executive Tim Lieweke was brought in to run their parent organization, MLSE. They lured former Denver Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri in to run their basketball operations, and even inked hip-hop artist Drake to serve as something of a nebulous “global ambassador.”

These are all (mostly) big moves designed to change the fabric of the organization, but these are all also mostly behind-the-scenes changes. How to you make a change that people (fans) will notice? You do it a bit more obviously. To that end, Toronto Star writer Doug Smith reports that the Raptors are considering changing their team colors. (I guess that’s “colours” for you Canadians.) As Smith writes

You know how they are working on the “re-branding” of everything to do with the HOTH, right? Maybe new colours, maybe a new logo, maybe all kinds of things different for the 2015-16 season.

Well, how about this:

Black and gold.

Now, I’m not suggesting it’s a done deal and a lot of different people and companies are coming up with a lot of different looks and styles but I was told on the weekend that black and gold is definitely something being considered.

Good? Bad? Indifferent?

My immediate reaction was, as the kids say, “meh” because it’s not a colour scheme that makes me sit up and take notice and because I don’t really see anything wrong with the way things are right now.

And I would suggest that if one of Tim Leiweke’s great plans is to have the Raptors become “Canada’s team” that going away from red and white doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

But black and gold are cliché and they are in vogue and they a radical change from the, let’s see, purple, red, white, black, camouflage, blue and I’m sure there are others that we’ve been subjected to over the years.

Perhaps it’s also worth noting that black and gold seem to be the colors of Drake’s OVO Sound record label.

Regardless, as Smith points out, if the Raptors don’t start winning games whatever they wear won’t matter that much.

What do you think? Should the Raptors switch their franchise colors to black and gold?

Toronto Raptors To Host Drake Night

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — A few months ago the Toronto Raptors named hip-hop superstar Drake as their “global ambassador.” While the title is vague, it certainly aligns the franchise with one of the most iconic music industry celebrities working today.

And yesterday the Raptors announced their plans for their first “Drake Night.” What does that mean? Well, that’s unclear thus far, other than during a game against the Brooklyn Nets on January 11, you will get a free t-shirt, and a halftime performance by Future the Prince

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(via Pitchfork)

Toronto Raptors Mascot Out For The Season

New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — This is supposed to be the dawn of a new era in Toronto, where the Raptors have a new executive running things (Tim Leiweke), a new general manager (Masai Ujiri), and a new “global ambassador” in place (Drake). This new brain trust is going to try and turn things around, to help the Raptors organization improve from their recent struggles. But alas, one key member of the Raptors organization will apparently have to sit this season out.

According to a report in the Toronto Star, the Raptors mascot, known simply as The Raptor, is out for the season after suffering a torn achilles tendon during a Raptors training camp appearance in Halifax. The organization confirmed the bad news via Twitter…

“I called him, I talked to him Friday night,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said during his postgame remarks last night. “I was disappointed. My daughter cried, you know, she was upset. He’s a good man. He’ll bounce back. He’s in good hands with the physicians. The Raptor will be back, he will be back. We need his spirit.

(via SI)

Who Is Your NBA Team’s Global Ambassador?

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — They started from the bottom, now they’re here: The Toronto Raptors recently announced a partnership with the rapper Drake, proclaiming him the team’s “Global Ambassador.” Exactly what this role entails is isn’t entirely clear, but at the press conference announcing the deal, Drake said he wants to use his star power to help franchise.

“I’m really out here with the people, I’m in touch with what they want to see,” Drake said. “I really just want excitement for this team. I want us to be one of the biggest teams in the league.”

As I see it, Drake’s most important asset he brings to this deal is his star power. Perhaps Drake can use his worldwide celebrity to help raise the international brand profile of the Raptors, and help them gain fans and lure free agents. If it works, great. If not, well, not much lost.

But what about the rest of the NBA? Shouldn’t every team have a “Global Ambassador”? Here are a couple who already exist, informally more than anything:

• Los Angeles Lakers — Jack Nicholson: One of Hollywood’s biggest stars rarely misses a game, sitting along the sideline on Tinseltown.

• New York Knicks — Spike Lee: A lifelong Knicks fan, he sits courtside and doesn’t miss a chance to let opposing players know which side he’s on.

• Brooklyn Nets — Jay-Z: He may no longer own a piece of the team, but as he has said, he’ll still be courtside at the Barclays Center.

• Philadephia 76ers — Will Smith: The Fresh Prince owns a small percentage of his hometown team.

• Memphis Grizzlies — Justin Timberlake: JT apparently has a similar deal in Memphis with his hometown squad.

• Los Angeles Clippers — Billy Crystal: He still counts, right?

Again, these are just off the top of my head. You guys know your teams and cities better than anyone, so drop us an answer down below: Who should be the “Global Ambassador” for your favorite team?

Amir Johnson Really Likes Drake

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Raptors started from the bottom, now they’re here. And earlier this week, one of the music world’s most popular artists, Drake, dropped his newest album, Nothing Was The Same. Drake, who hails from Canada, has been getting well-wishes from across the NBA for the release, such as this note from, oh, this LeBron James guy, who posted the album cover and wrote in the caption, “Congrats fam with this project. I know how much work u put into it and to see it all come together like this is incredible!! We’ll celebrate it when it goes Platinum for sure!!!”

But is anyone a bigger Drake fan than Toronto Raptors C Amir Johnson? Over a year ago, Johnson posted to Instagram a shot of his late night hoops crew working out at the Raptors training facility, a group that included not only Drake but Justin Bieber as well…

This week, to celebrate Drake’s new record release, Johnson went to two record stores in Toronto and bought every copy of the album…

And what’s a man to do with thousands of copies of Drake’s CD? How about give them away to fans who show up at the store…

Good on you, Amir.

(via FTW)