Kawhi Leonard is a Toronto Raptor — for at least one year. While the team’s on-court success has its part to play, we’ve decided to do our part in selling the city to the Klaw. Each week we’re talking Toronto, and letting Kawhi know what his life could be like here.
This Week In Toronto
A glance at the calendar will tell you that today is February 7th, a whole week away from Valentine’s Day. We could just leave it at that — but also, that’s a risky play. Instead, we’re getting way out ahead on this one because you don’t want to be the person who comes up short on V-Day. (I’m not alone in thinking that short form brings to mind the storming of the beaches at Normandy, right? These are the stakes!) And while I understand not everyone partakes in the (extremely commercial) day, there are ideas for that too. Come along!
To begin with, the timing for all of this couldn’t be better. February is, weather-wise, pretty brutal, which we’ve covered already in this space, but the NBA season is just now tumbling towards a well-deserved break. If you check your calendar again, you’ll notice that V-Day (charge!) falls right before All-Star weekend, which allows for the maximum of both: love and affection and all that nice stuff — but also time for things like the slam dunk contest (and there are no actual NBA games in the way).
So then what is there to do in Toronto? There are a lot of factors to weigh here. Valentine’s Day is ultimately a matter of taste, and what works for one person’s relationship may not fit at all with someone else’s. Speaking for myself, the night has usually involved a (reasonably) fancy dinner — ideas are already floating around for something like that — and sometimes chocolates or flowers (or both). Perhaps this sounds a bit typical? I know! If I wasn’t on vacation right now in a foreign land I’d probably be talking up this chocolate, cheese, and beer idea at Rorschach Brewing Co. (great name) and making reservations right now. To that end, this may be the only Kawhi Life column where I’ll actively solicit ideas from the crowd. What do you like to do to celebrate Valentine’s Day? (And, uh, let’s keep it PG.)
Before jumping straight to the comment section, we have to acknowledge that V-Day isn’t a special day for everyone. In fact, even for people in relationships, marriages, and what have you, there’s a fair bit of cynicism around the whole thing. We could go into the history of Valentine’s Day here, unpack its co-option by corporate forces, discuss the ways in which men and women both feel pressured to fall in line with so-called societal norms. We could get quite steamed about the whole thing. Or we could just join in with the next paragraph.
Not to single it out, I just really enjoy what NOW Magazine decided to do here. (Heads up on the semi-NSFW sidebar pics as part of the magazine’s body issue.) Contained within are a bunch of events in Toronto centred around, you guessed it, being anti-Valentine’s Day. You could visit Rage Room and smash stuff, or listen to people tell (allegedly) entertaining stories about bad dates at the Gladstone Hotel, or get wild at Lula Lounge’s Drag Brunch Extravaganza.
The takeaway here is, as always, Toronto has you covered. And I love it.
Should Kawhi Care?
(Much like the rest of Kawhi’s personal life, anything about his family takes on a tone of mythic legend. We know something exists, and it’s out there, but we don’t quite know many specifics. Admittedly, a cursory Google search turns up the basics here — Kawhi does indeed have a child with a long-time partner — but to be honest: we’ll just leave it at that. I don’t really want to dig into Kawhi’s personal life.
Ironically, since Kawhi will be heading to Charlotte for All-Star Game Weekend, which kick-offs on Friday (the 15th) with a morass of media day responsibilities starting early, he might now be tight on time. And man, look, I get it. V-Day planning can be tough even if you’re not spending half your time on the road. All of which is to say, one of these suggestions could help — you, me, Kawhi, Kyle Lowry, who knows!)