During the visitor’s introduction, Raptors public address announcer Herbie Kuhn named all the members of the Clippers starting lineup and their head coach Doc Rivers, before asking for everyone to turn their attention to the jumbotron.
They then proceeded to reveal Kawhi Leonard’s tribute video and present him with his championship ring.
Drake on Kawhi Leonard Leaving Raptors for Los Angeles Clippers
Drake was recently a guest on The Rap Radar Podcast with Elliott Wilson and Brian ‘B. Dot™’ Miller and the trio discussed a variety of different topics. Obviously, the hot-button topic was Leonard leaving the Raptors and signing with the Clippers.
Drake admitted that “of course, it was painful to see him [Kawhi Leonard] go to the Clippers.”
Elliott Wilson: Did you think that they had a shot to keep him?
Drake: “You can’t fault a man for wanting to go home; that is the simplest way I can put it. But, yeah, it hurt, and I think he is the only franchise player to walk away from the team after winning the championship. And the way the NBA shaped up this year, we definitely would have been back in the Finals.”
“Obviously, LeBron [James] is a force, but I truly that team played with heart and this Raptors’ team this year has heart, and I think with Kawhi staying and one more small move. We probably could have run it back and had [a] back to back. A real back to back, so it does hurt, and you could kind of feel it in the arena the other night [December 11, 2019]. Everybody is obviously going to show him love; it was just tough to see him in a Clippers jersey.”
Leonard decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers on July 10, 2019, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The deal is for $103 million with a player option in the third year.
Drake Weighs-in on Toronto Winning a Championship
Among the other topics that Drake addressed were the Toronto Raptors winning the championship last season, his moment in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals with the Milwaukee Bucks, and Kawhi Leonard signing with the Clippers.
“I’m going, to be honest with you, I was drunk, but I have zero recollection of how I pieced that speech together. But, it was a surreal moment,” said the two-time Grammy Award Winner. “It was organic. I turned to my right, and there were 30 microphones [and] they wanted to hear me speak. That was like one of [those] things you talk about realizing how crazy something was until it has all calm down.”
“That entire playoffs, and building that connection with Kawhi obviously having been friends with Kyle [Lowry] for years and years and all the rest of the guys that have been playing their heart out on this team when we were not doing well. But, that parade, I have honestly never seen anything like that with my two eyes in my entire life.”
Drake continued to sound off on just how unbelievable the parade was and helped to set the scene a bit.
“I’ve never been sure that it was real. I was like, this is not real; I must have dislocated my knee, and I’m in the hospital on morphine or something that could wake me up. It was crazy and so much love and unity. We were all there together, and I remember I was on the bus standing next to Kawhi [Leonard]. We were going under this bridge into the Financial District, and we look up to these 50-floor skyscrapers, and every wind had 20 people looking to catch a glimpse. I have never seen anything like that,” said Drake.