The Toronto Raptors made history Friday by winning the NBA Finals 4-2, giving Canada its first NBA title and sparking off a country-wide celebration. It may have also brought down the curtains on the long-standing joke in the sporting world involving rapper Drake, called the ‘Drake curse’
What is the Drake curse?
The ‘curse’ says that any athlete who takes a photo/selfie with Drake (or if the rapper wears a team’s colours) ahead of a crucial game/ match, they will lose.
There’s a reason the belief in the ‘curse’ has persisted. It reportedly started when the Grammy-winning rapper started supporting the Kentucky Wlidcats men’s basketball team in 2012, which despite a period of dominance before that, never won a National Championship after Drake started backing it.
Since then the rapper posed with multiple football stars, all of whom suffered an unfortunate turn of events. Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Malik Sancho saw his team slump to a crucial loss after the photo, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero missed a crucial penalty in the Champions League quarterfinal and Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa had his team slump to a historic loss in 19 years (they did win the league though).
Among the first teams to openly acknowledge ‘the curse’ with a tweet was Italian club AS Roma. The club jokingly tweeted that all its players were barred from taking photos with the rapper till the end of the season:
All Roma players banned from taking photos with Drake until the end of the season
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) April 15, 2019
On October 6, 2018, the day before his bout against Russian fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC star Conor McGregor posted a photo with the caption “The 6 God and the 12 animal!” In the photo, Drake stood next to a glaring McGregor. McGregor went on to lose.
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But then came perhaps the biggest ‘victim’. Boxer Anthony Joshua, posed with the rapper before he went for a highly publicised fight in the US, only to lose to Andy Ruiz Jr in the seventh round. What was ironic was that Joshua said he was about to ‘break the curse’.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) March 21, 2019
Drake with Toronto
However, none of this dented the rapper’s relationship with the Raptors. Drake has been the brand ambassador of the Raptors since 2013, and has been engaged in multiple verbal duels over the years with players of opposite teams. Seated courtside, the rapper is known for his over the top antics, but hasn’t seen his team make it to the NBA finals till this year.
However, despite complaints, the team has stuck by him and has a practice facility named for one of his brands, and the rapper even conducts postgame interviews with players.
‘They said I was a curse…’
The rapper was ecstatic after the victory and there were multiple videos on social media of Drake as he celebrated the Raptors’ victory outside the team’s stadium with other fans. He was also caught standing in a car with the top down and high-fiving fellow Raptors fans.
Drake is living his best life rn 😂 pic.twitter.com/fLKOxHRYTQ
— No Jumper (@nojumper) June 14, 2019
They can’t even keep Drake in the car right now 😂😂pic.twitter.com/pr9nI32lUx
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) June 14, 2019
Walking out of the arena he described the victory as a ‘poetic one’.
Drake speaking on the Raptors being the 2019 NBA Champions. pic.twitter.com/wKctbSB44N
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) June 14, 2019
Then the rapper went live from a studio for a seven-minute-long video to celebrate the team’s victory and announce that he would be releasing two new tracks the next day. And he also mentioned the end of ‘the curse’ saying,”They said I was a curse, now they’re cursing each other out.”