Canadian rapper Drake represents the Toronto Raptors strongly: he is the team’s global ambassador, whatever that means; he (jokingly or not) hinted at becoming a future owner; and even rubs the shoulders of head coach Nick Nurse.
But also, according to ESPN, he played a small role in helping two of the biggest players in the NBA join a league takeover, one that would see the Raptors MVP, Kawhi Leonard, depart for Los Angeles. .
After the Raptors achieved their historic championship last year, their first NBA title, the man who played a more important role than anyone in the delivery of the Larry O’Brien trophy then left Toronto in the lurch. Toronto, and much of Canada, had been consumed by the possibility of Leonard leaving the Raptors after his contract ended, which he subsequently did.
It turns out that, amid the helicopter chases and the pleas of the victory parade for Leonard to stay, the small forward was plotting his great move to Los Angeles. Also plotting a movement was the Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Soon, Leonard and George exchanged countless messages and phone calls, explaining how they had come to dominate the 2019-2020 basketball season.
And then they started using Drake’s house in California as their war room.
“I congratulated him (Leonard) for winning,” George told ESPN recently. “That’s how it started … then it came to life.” Congratulations on that mid-June victory began by phone, it seems, but things quickly went to Drake’s Hidden Hills mansion.
Communication between the three teams (Toronto, Oklahoma and LA) was made much easier because as Leonard flew back and forth between Toronto and LA for free agency meetings, Drake, Leonard’s friend, let him stay at home because Leonard’s closest residence was in San Diego
Leonard, ESPN reported, told the Clippers that he was interested, but only if they could also catch George.
For July 2, George went to the president of the Thunder, Sam Presti, and said he would like to be changed to the Clippers, even though he still had some years left on his contract. Presti, although he was obviously not enthusiastic about the idea, agreed in part because George explained his desire to return to his hometown and play with Leonard.
Soon, the Clippers pulled the trigger and exchanged two of their players plus five future first-round selections to acquire the All Stars pair.
Y fagot, the man who took Toronto to his first championship victory was gone.