Former U.S. President Barack Obama got quite the welcome Sunday after he dropped by Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena to watch the Raptors and Golden State Warriors face off in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
And judging by his reception at Scotiabank Arena, Obama still carries star power. He got a standing ovation when he was introduced and shown on the video screen midway through the second quarter.
Obama stood and waved back, mouthing “thank you.”
But who was he cheering for?
During the game, Obama was seated next to NBA commissioner Adam Silver near the floor of the lower bowl. They were some of the few fans not wearing We The North jerseys. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t there for the Raptors.
Obama walked into the game with longtime friend and Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
Obama has helped with charity initiatives through Ujiri’s foundation, Giants Of Africa. And despite briefly stealing attention away from Toronto rapper Drake with his suave leather jacket entrance, the two exchanged a hug and a handshake before taking their separate seats.
But Obama also has strong connections with the Golden State Warriors, especially star player Stephen Curry. The team is also especially loyal to the former president.
Bucking tradition, last year’s NBA champs visited Obama instead of U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.
But who knows where the former president’s basketball loyalties lie.
Obama’s famously backed his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, even making a joke against the Warriors once during one of their White House visits.
Though when he was asked in 2018 which team he’d want to play for, he said the San Antonio Spurs.
We might never know. At the end of the day, maybe Obama himself doesn’t really care and was just there to enjoy a good game of basketball.
With files from The Canadian Press
Watch: Crowd gives Alessia Cara a hand with the national anthem