The NBA is bringing its A-game to Hogtown. National Basketball Association deputy commissioner Adam Silver confirmed Monday during a glitzy press conference that Toronto will host the NBA All-Star game scheduled Feb. 14 2016. “The first NBA game we played here in Toronto in 1946 against the New York Knicks so it’s only fitting that the first all-star game ever played outside the United States would also be played here in Toronto as well” Silver said. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said the game will usher in $100 million for tourism but then got a little tongue-tied calling the event the “NDP All-Star.” “I was really thrilled to learn Toronto would be hosting the 2016 NBA All-Star Game” he said. “This is absolutely fantastic news fantastic news for the City of Toronto … the NDP All-Star is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. It brings the world’s most talented players to a global audience.” Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has also recruited Drake — the Grammy-award winning local rapper who was recently announced as the Raptors’ global ambassador — to drum up excitement for Toronto’s basketball team which is undergoing an image rebranding within the next two seasons. “I just really want excitement for this team” Drake said. “I want us to be one of the biggest teams in the league. I have a lot of friends in the NBA but the opportunity to be a part of this NBA franchise at home has me more excited because it’s the team that represents where I’m from.” However Drake dodged questions from reporters when asked which players he’d like to lure to the Raptors. “My goal is to add anything I can to this team obviously it involves us building the strongest team possible so I would love nothing more than to bring a championship to Toronto” he said. A week-long festival of music film fashion and food leading up to the big game will “make Toronto the basketball capital of the world” according to MLSE.
Raptors, Drake teaming up for franchise rebranding
Toronto Sun | Sep 30