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Culture Watch: Did you know everybody loves the Raptors?

A look at the support and encouragement surrounding the Toronto Raptors organization.

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images

While the national broadcast system still refuses to put some respect on the Raptors’ name, even after completely demolishing the Cavaliers Thursday night, there was a whole lotta love surrounding the Raptors organization this week.

It’s probably fair to say that the entire GTA held their collective breath when we watched Kyle Lowry take a hard fall in overtime on Monday’s game against Brooklyn. Before confirmation that the NBA’s favourite backside would in fact be fine in the long term, a show of support came from quite an unlikely source.

Perhaps King James’ blessing for Kyle, and his acknowledgement of Toronto fans as some of the best in the league after the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, means that the possibility of seeing LeBron in a Raptors jersey isn’t that much of pipe dream.

Shout out to CP24 for ‘accidentally’ calling LeBron the Raptors power forward and speaking it into existence.

While LeBron appeared to be the only outside figure in the NBA wishing Kyle a speedy recovery, he was not without love from his own teammates. Prior to Tuesday’s game against Miami, the Raptors dedicated their game to K-Low before entering the court. Pascal Siakam sported a Bad Boys-inspired hoodie with the faces of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan and encouraged all 32 thousand of his Instagram followers and over seven thousand Twitter followers to vote the duo into the All-Star game.

DeMar entered the Air Canada Centre wearing the same sweater, but stayed true to his humble ways, sharing only a subtle photo of the graphic to his two million social media followers.

Demar DeRozan #nbavote Kyle Lowry #nbavote

A post shared by Pascal Siakam (@pskills43) on

The push to send Kyle and DeMar to their fourth All-Star game was not limited to the Raptors team however, with Marcus Stroman of the Toronto BlueJays, and the BlueJays themselves also tweeting their support.

Pascal and DeMar were not the only members of the Raptors family to show their devotion to the organization through clothing. Bebe’s bebe, 13-month-old Stella, flew in to watch her daddy play this week for the first time since early October in Hawaii. Stella attended the Raptors practice at the BioSteel Centre wearing a Helvetica list shirt with the names “Kyle & DeMar & Daddy & Drake & Stella.” The baby model (really!) could be seen on Thursday’s game practising with Lucas during pregame warm ups. While she may have only started walking this week, with a mother who stands at 6’2” and a 7-foot father, don’t be surprised if we see the tot in the dunk contest like… next year.

DeMar DeRozan’s daughters spent part of this week at the Los Angeles Zoo, but that didn’t stop their mom (and national treasure — seriously, she caught a rogue basketball while holding a baby and didn’t even flinch) Kiara Morrison, from supporting him via social media likes and statements, pleading for sports announcers to acknowledge DeMar, and giving credit where credit is due.

We agree Kiara, we agree.

In an industry where the participants are placed under a microscope, it is refreshing to see that the Raptors are able to stay family oriented. C.J. Miles’ wife Lauren even adopted Jakob Poeltl during the Raptors/Cavaliers game!

Oh, and speaking of family, Drake showed up to the Thursday game. But that most definitely had absolutely nothing at all to do with LeBron.