Seemingly everything the Raptors do revolves around rapper and Toronto-native Drake in some way, shape or form. This apparently even extends to when a star athlete decides to leave for another team.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne put out a profile on Clippers forward Paul George on Wednesday, and, unsurprisingly, the story includes details on how exactly both George and reigning finals MVP Kawhi Leonard ended up on LA's second fiddle for NBA basketball. The story goes as follows: George sends Leonard a congratulatory text for winning it all with the Raptors, the texting becomes more frequent, then the texts turns to phone calls and then it evolves into one-on-one conversations.
The twist? Those in-person recruiting conversations were taking place in Drake's Los Angeles home. It's not like the rapper was out of the loop though. The story makes sure to point out that Aubrey Graham allowed Leonard to stay at his home while he was taking free agent meetings in the city -- it's still hard to imagine he expected the eventual outcome in any way. All was said and done by July 1, according to Shelburne, and the plan for the two to become Clippers teammates was set in motion.
But the meetings at Drake's house didn't stop once the agreement between the two players was made. George and Leonard reportedly met another time after Leonard returned from a meeting in Toronto to keep each other updated on what was happening. Though there was a brief moment where everything looked like it was going to fall apart, the deal went through. George's emotions about the getting traded to Los Angeles really come through in the quote he gives.
"I can't explain what that feels like," George told ESPN. "As a kid, you see yourself and you envision this. I pictured my parents being able to watch me at Staples [Center]. I pictured playing in L.A. I pictured being an All-Star, a superstar. But I think the best thing is before every game when I'm introduced, 'Paul George from Palmdale, California.' I'm not playing for the Clippers. This is home. I'm playing for the home team."
And it was all partially possible thanks to the hospitality of Drake. How sweet.