Drake was all in for O Canada, Lowry and Ibaka kept fans classy during Game 5

The Toronto Raptors left O Canada duties to their fans ahead of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Drake — and the rest of the boisterous, red-clad crowd inside a rabid Scotiabank Arena — didn’t disappoint. The rapper/Raptors’ global ambassador sang and swayed to the national anthem before raising his hands skyward and  jumping his fists at its conclusion Monday as Toronto looked to close out the best-of-seven title series against the Golden State Warriors.

Drake was on his feet most of the first half, cheering every Raptors’ make and Warriors’ miss. He had words for Golden State forward Draymond Green after he picked up a technical foul midway through the second quarter.

NHL all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky, former Raptors star Vince Carter, retired French soccer icon Thierry Henry were also in the building, as was Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban, who sported a custom made jacket in support of his hometown team.

The list of celebrities didn’t end there, with Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, Hollywood star Chris Tucker, Canadian actors Eugene and Dan Levy, former Raptors GM Isaiah Thomas, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux, San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas also in attendance.

Former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista got a big cheer. He was joined in the arena by Maple Leafs forwards Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner.

Canadian rapper Baka Not Nice, who’s signed to Drake’s OVO Sound music label, performed during a second-quarter timeout. 

Drake was at his seat near Toronto’s bench long before Monday’s  tip-off, sporting a sky blue jacket with a black “X” on the front before revealing a nondescript black t-shirt underneath. 

The Canadian musician shook hands and shared a brief word with Golden State forward Draymond Green — the pair jawed at each other earlier in the series — and hugged ABC sideline reporter Doris Burke.

Durant out after injury

He also appeared to offer some friendly advice to the Warriors as they took the floor before the anthems.

Drake had trolled injured Warriors star Kevin Durant in Game 2, which Golden State won 109-104 before Toronto took the next two in Oakland, Calif., to grab a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. 

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) was seen falling over Toronto Raptors centre Serge Ibaka (9) during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

The rap star’s black hoodie that night included a picture of actor Macaulay Culkin, who played Kevin McCallister in the “Home Alone” movie franchise, mouth open and holding his face above the word “Kevin?!?!?!”

But Drake was noticeably understated in his attire Monday as Durant made his series debut in Game 5 after missing the last month with a calf ailment. 

Durant appeared to re-injure his calf early in the second quarter.

The crowd initially cheered as he sat on the floor holding his leg, but Raptors centre Serge Ibaka and guard Kyle Lowry waved at the crowd to stop.

 



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