Rapper Drake appears at a news conference Monday, announcing the Raptors will host the 2016 NBA all-star game and hire Drake as a team ambassador. John Rieti/CBC
rapper Drake to join the team as a global ambassador.
“I want excitement for this team. I want them to be one of the biggest teams in this league," said Drake. “Everywhere I go I preach the gospel that is the city of Toronto, I love this city with all my heart.”
The all-star game is a week-long event that brings an estimated economic impact of $100 million to the host city. It will be the first NBA all-star game to be held outside the United States.
“This is remarkable for our basketball team," said general manager Masai Ujiri. "We have a responsibility to grow our basketball team so it meets the momentum of the all-star game. This is awesome for the fans and awesome for the city.”
The Raptors also announced they plan to re-brand the team with new colours and branding, though not a new name.
“Thank you for being patient with us," said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Raptors. "Good days are coming.”
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