(Editor's Note: Today's article continues our 2017 NBA Playoffs basketball coverage called 40 Nights of Hate, as the next two months of our lives will be devoted to the greatest postseason basketball tournament known to mankind. Some of our arguments will be rational, many others will be irrational. To hate is to love, as the basketball gods toy with our lives like James Harden does oafish 7-footers on switched pick-and-rolls. Enjoy our 40 Nights of Hate coverage, or despise it. Either is acceptable.)
I don’t want this to come off as an anti-Drake rant. I like Drizzy – I listen to his music, I’ve watched every episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation. I dig his appeal. But his fickle yet ever-present relationship with the NBA, college basketball and sports in general irks me.
Drake is from Canada. He is the self-proclaimed “6 God.” For all intents and purposes, he is a ride-or-die Toronto Raptors fan. The team even made him its Global Brand Ambassador – the Raptors host a “Drake Night” in his honor and have a special section of the team website dedicated to him called “The Drake Zone.”
So why is it that any time other NBA teams have some success or make a run, Aubrey Drake Graham is posted up courtside at their game, sporting their team’s jersey and hugging on their team’s reporter? He was best friends with LeBron James. He has been spotted at In N’ Out with Steph and Ayesha Curry. Yet he chose to wear a Kevin Durant Warriors jersey on the first night of his Summer Sixteen tour in the Bay Area. It’s all so confusing and if I’m being honest slightly irritating.
It’s bad enough that I have to see him wearing Kentucky Wildcats gear during the college basketball season, but in the past I couldn’t even turn on an NBA game, when I felt so inclined, without seeing him high-fiving random players courtside.
As recently as last month, Raptors fans have been calling Champagne Papi out for his “Fake Love” for his hometown team.
Photo from Imgur. featured on Complex.com
Sure, he was in attendance for his own night at the Air Canada Centre but has been suspiciously absent since. To be fair, he has been on a pretty grueling schedule for his Boy Meets World tour, which began January 26. But one look at his Instagram shows love posts for UK among the performance and tour shots – Drake always makes time for Calipari.
Toronto fans and NBA fans in general are looking at this the wrong way: his absence from the games is a blessing, not something to get mad at. Let Drake sell out shows and let the players show out. We all know he will be back courtside as the NBA Playoffs progress, rooting on his BFF Curry, running Golden State practices at his house or clowning on LeBron before partying it up with the King at the club later that night.
I wrote about Drake and his NBA playoff presence last year as one of the reasons I prefer NHL playoffs to its hardwood counterpart. That article is as true today as it was this time last April when I penned it. And Drake still remains one of the main reasons I don’t tune in.
I prefer the dulcet tones of "Passionfruit" pouring from my car stereo, a faceless tune for my afternoon drive. I do not enjoy having Drake in my face and dominating my social media feed while I attempt to watch an NBA playoff game.
Some people can't even get behind his music. One of TSFJ's own, Dillon "No Class" Friday, a known contrarian, wanted to go on record as a Drizzy hater. When discussing this particular rant, Friday, who has been hating since 2010, commented: "Drake's music sucks, too."
I understand Drake’s affinity for the sport and that his friendships with players stem from his love for the game. But his bandwagon shenanigans are wearing thin.
As for this rant, well you can thank me now.
Sports writer. Avid fan, former player, once-upon-a-time coach, reluctant referee. I do digital media things with my friends. I also jinx kickers. Bay Area born & raised.