Many fans across Canada have jumped on the bandwagon, united around a common goal of “We The North.” But one fan has been in our collective consciousness for the whole dang ride.
Aubrey Drake Graham, aka Drake.
As the Raptors have ascended to the highest plain of basketball, the Canadian rapper, clothing mogul, and former “Degrassi” star has been there. For the highs, the lows, the memes and the trolling. He’s an honourary NBA champion. Give the boy a ring!
I personally have celebrated the NBA playoffs by wearing the closest thing I have to Raptors merchandise, which is a T-shirt with tiny little image of Drake doing the “Hotline Bling” dance. It counts!
And as we celebrate the Raptors’ historic win, let us look back on the many Drakes of the 2019 NBA playoffs. Because there are a lot, and we all need a Drake for every occasion.
For Game 5 in Toronto, the Raptors opted out of having a mid-tier Canadian celebrity sing the national anthem, and instead opened the floor to the fans to collectively sing in a heartfelt moment of Canadian unity.
And right there, in the front row was our boy Drake belting out the anthem like he was a recently single girl at a Carly Rae Jepsen concert.
This Drake is appropriate for anytime you’re too emotionally invested in a song. He’s the real-life version of Troy Bolton singing “Why am I feeling so wrong — my head’s in the game, but my heart’s in the song” in “High School Musical.”
Now just imagine it set to any song. Our top picks:
“Hero” by Enrique Iglesias
“I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys
“Torn” by Natasha Beddingfield
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Drake wants to troll the Golden State Warriors. And that trolling came to fruition immediately during Game 1, when Drake showed up in a vintage Dell Curry Raptors jersey.
Dell Curry, of course, is the father of current Golden State superstar Steph Curry. He also played for the Raptors in the ’90s. Drake knew that, and made sure everyone else knew it during Game 1.
And when Dell and Sonya Curry noticed? [Chef’s kiss] It was priceless.
This is the best kind of trolling! And any excuse to see the vintage purple jerseys is a good one!
We’ve all made this face at some point. It’s a face that says “yeah, right” or “you go ahead and think that.” It’s disbelief and smugness all wrapped up into one. And when Drake shot it at Golden State player Draymond Green following the Raptors’ iconic Game 1 victory, it was the biggest of moods.
Add it to your repertoire alongside similar expressions from Danearys Targaryean and Thor.
It’s perfect for sending to Golden State fans with the caption “You really thought you’d come back after being down three? Really?”
Good guy Drake
While some Raptors fans applauded Golden State star Kevin Durrant’s unfortunate ACL injury in Game 5 of the Finals, Drake reacted with absolute devastation.
You visibly see the rapper throwing his hands down, crying out “aww man” as Durant is helped off the court. Good guy Drake respects Durant’s status as one of the best. He wants his beloved Raptors to beat one of the best.
He even gives Durant a consoling pat on the back as he passes by! Good guy Drake knows that players are human too, and he respects that!
The best kind of Drake is a Drake who knows the Toronto Raptors just won the NBA championship.
The king of the 6ix went wild when the Raptors sealed the victory. From the stage at Jurassic Park — aka the Raptors fan zone — Drake was visibly emotional as the the final seconds ticked down.
He officially declared the end of the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty.
The Raptors even FaceTimed him from the locker room after the historic game.
And of course, he took to the streets of Toronto, top down, to celebrate.
The Toronto Raptors may be the NBA champions, but Drake is a champ in his own right too.
WATCH: How much Drake is too much Drake?