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Raptors Entertainment Update: Carroll’s got style, and Drake’s got a show

Some news items from the past week involving the Raptors and a touch of glitz/glamour.

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

As he announced on John Calipari’s podcast (wait, what), Toronto’s favourite large adult son Drake will host and produce the NBA’s first ever awards show. The extravaganza will feature the winners of the league’s various honours including MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc. It’ll be a scene. (Here’s hoping Gregg Popovich wins Coach of the Year so we can really get this thing pumping.)

Here’s the actual quote:

"In light of the ESPYs. I don't even know I'm allowed to say this yet, we'll find out but I'll say it anyway," Drake tells John Calipari around the 29 minute mark of the podcast. "I'm actually producing and hosting the first annual NBA awards this year. I get to take the reigns on it, which again the ESPYs let me do great things and I thank them a lot for that. Usually award shows sometimes are a bit restrictive but they let me do a lot at the ESPYs, so we'll expand on that concept. I love hosting, I love being in a room with iconic, legendary people that I look up to and having that pressure to make them laugh and enjoy their evening. Hopefully that will go well."

Drake-hosting news aside, isn’t it wild it took this long for the NBA to put this kind of awards show together? The league has always just announced its award winners in dribs and drabs all over the place. This, in retrospect, seems crazy. I mean, the freakin’ NHL — not exactly the most forward thinking organization on the planet — has had a celebration of its best and brightest stars for years now. They make them dress up in suits and everything. The fact that the NBA didn’t think to do this sooner is mildly amazing. This league is usually first for everything. I digress.

The main takeaway here though is that it’s safe to say Drake is a man of the league now. He’s got that Raptors Global Ambassador title, sure, but he doesn’t actually come to games anymore (unless they have his name on them). The utility of Drake’s presence has taken something of a backseat. This speaks to the team’s quality, but it also enforces the narrative of Drake being not a little bit full of himself. C’est la vie.

*****

In happier news, the crew at VICE put together this video featuring the Raptors’ swag daddy, DeMarre Carroll, as he goes about his fashion business. I can attest that when Carroll compliments your style choices, you’ve made it. (Note: he has never complimented my style choices.)

In any case, let’s end Friday on a high note and aspire to this level of style... together.