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Raptors vs. Warriors: A battle for Drake's undying commitment

The stakes for this game are higher than usual -- sort of.

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If you've been reading the tea leaves -- or the Globe and Mail's Cathal Kelly -- you'd get the feeling that the Drake-Raptors partnership is on the wane. Kelly outlines the history of the deal in the linked piece. Drake was brought in as a PR solution to a compete-level problem, which is smart in principle -- except nobody bothered to inform Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and the rest of the Raptors about the situation.

We know what happened next: the Raptors became good, they became the dominant story, and Drake -- whose presence at games has proven to be, if nothing else, funny -- became something of a footnote. And if we've learned anything about Drake through his work and brand, it's that nobody but nobody makes him a footnote.

So that brings us to tonight. The Golden State Warriors are in town. This means the presence of Stephen Curry, league MVP, in Toronto. It also provides the sole opportunity for Toronto fans to see the Warriors travelling road show -- including Curry, former MVP Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala (plus Zaza Pachulia's massive head). And wouldn't you know it: Drake is a fan.

On paper, Drake is a Raptors fan, the team's "Ambassador," whatever that means anymore. But Drake is also a fan of number one, whoever that may be. Which means stories about him travelling with the Warriors, palling around with Steph (and Dave Chappelle), and tweets like this one:

It's a dumb thing, but it also feels like a declaration of something else. So, let's call this game as something else. It's for a win, yes, but it's also to determine just where exactly Drake's allegiances lie nowadays. It's all in good fun, but also, strangely... not.

HUGE BONUS: HQ Overtime is going down tonight as promised. Join John Gaudes with his guest Russell Peddle immediately after the Raptors/Warriors game for a live broadcast filled with thoughts on the game, analysis, and presumable Drake-related commentary. Here's how it's all going down for HQ Overtime.

Now, read the preview from Sean Woodley, a thoughtful look and everything in play in tonight's game, and then let's get to it. Join the comment thread below.