From rapper to Raptor Drake becomes Global Ambassador for NBA team the Toronto Raptors. Toronto will host the 2016 All-Star Game.
“Today’s probably one of the best days of my life,” Drake said by phone from Toronto. “I got to throw on the suit and be announced as the global ambassador of the Toronto Raptors.
“I can’t wait to add everything I can.”
“Jay-Z just sent me a congratulatory email, which is very nice of him,” Drake said. “He’s the best guy in the world. One of the most important people in my life.”
Drake said his exact duties are undefined but he’s open to any role.
“I feel like I’m part of the franchise at the most exciting part of franchise history,” Drake said.
Drake said the job evolved after a chat with Tim Lieweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and general manager Masai Ujiri.
“I came into the venue one night and I guess was extremely outspoken about what I felt could change, as far as the building goes,” Drake said. “That sparked a discussion and (we) sat down and decided we had the same visions.
“It just turned from a discussion to a reality.”
Drake was part of Monday’s announcement that the NBA All-Star game is coming to Toronto in 2016. Lieweke said the team is in the process of planning a major face-lift that will include a new look and new colors.
“We have now a responsibility to grow our basketball team so that it meets the momentum of the All-Star game,” Ujiri said. “We promise you in Toronto that we’re going to bring the best basketball.”
The 26-year-old Drake grew up watching the Raptors in their early 2000s heyday when Vince Carter turned them into postseason regulars.
“I was a Vince Carter guy. I was a Damon Stoudamire guy. I was a (Tracy McGrady) guy,” Drake said. “I’ve supported the franchise through our ups and downs. More than anything, I’m a Toronto guy. I’m a city guy.
“I care about the city more than anything in the world.”