Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Toronto Raptors love Drake

The Raptors are 15th overall in average attendance, and apparently they felt that their on-court product alone wasn't enough to entice more to attend. That's where Drake comes in.

The Toronto Raptors love Drake

Drake performs at the "Made In America" music festival, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Drake performs at the "Made In America" music festival, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) CHARLES SYKES/INVISION/AP

Toronto isn’t the most popular place in the National Basketball League’s landscape. Superstars aren’t lining up to play for the Raptors, and fans aren’t kicking down the door to snag season tickets. They are televised nationally about once every 67 days, and then usually only against a marquee team. Toronto has not made a Finals appearance in its 18 years of existence (The Raptors were founded in 1995), and hasn’t had a true superstar since Vince Carter, or Chris Bosh, if you care to call him that.

Despite the fact that they currently sit at fourth in the Eastern Conference with a middling 15-15 record (which would be good enough for t-9th in the West), and have been playing better basketball as of late since trading away Rudy Gay, in the grand scheme of things the Raptors still aren’t really relevant.

That statement wasn’t mean to be overly harsh (Raptor fans), as there is always opportunity for a brighter future. The addition of a certain Canadian surefire superstar in June’s draft could certainly work to change the fate of the franchise, but as currently constructed the league’s lone Canadian club is far from a championship contender.

Logically, attendance at Raptor games isn’t record-breaking. Their attendance isn’t the worst (that distinction goes to the 76ers), but it could be better. The Raptors are 15th overall in average attendance, and apparently they felt that their on-court product alone wasn’t enough to entice more to attend.

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That’s where Drake comes in.

Drake, the Canadian child actor turned pop rapper, was named the Raptor’s ‘NBA ambassador’ a few months back (whatever that is), and the organization is apparently going to use every opportunity to take advantage of its new relationship with the pop singer rapper.

The Raptors recently announced ‘Drake Night’ for their January 11th game against the Brooklyn Nets, which entails a free Raptors x Drake t-shirt to those in attendance, and a halftime set from Drake’s DJ. Nothing like selling out to sell tickets.

Drake reportedly won’t even be in attendance himself however, so one may wonder if Drake doesn’t even want to go to his own evening then why would anyone else?

And, just in case Drake night isn’t enough, the Raptors are reportedly considering a color-scheme switch to Drake’s preferred black and gold.

Drake’s goal for the team: “I want us to be one of the biggest teams in the league.”

It is not a bad goal, it just seems that it would be better if that desired result was due to on-court activities.

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