The first annual NBA Awards are coming up and finally, after months of waiting, we’ll know whether Westbrook’s triple-double average gave him the advantage over James Harden in the MVP race. And that’s all well and good, but we’re really keen on the show’s host—October’s Very Own, Drake. But how can we be sure the 6ix God will give love to his hometown? Here’s how….
Another Toronto Raptors season has come and gone. While this one ended on a rather sour note, with the re-tooled squad that many believed stood a much better chance at competing against Lebron and the seemingly-weakened Cavs getting absolutely dismantled in the second round by the defending champs, it was still an entertaining season filled with, we think, more positives than negatives. To help us celebrate our beloved Raps and everything they did accomplish this year, we’re giving out some special awards. And although it’s no longer really clear whether Drake is even officially involved with the team anymore, his spirit/essence is still woven deeply into the fabric of the franchise. The ACC is like Drake’s Overlook Hotel. He’s always been there. And he always will be. So, please, pour yourself a glass of purple bubbly, put on your best dinosaur-themed tux or evening gown (that very real thing that we know everyone has) and get ready for the world’s premiere Toronto Raptors fake awards ceremony: The Drakies.
The “Where Have You Been All My Life” Drakie Goes To…
Although he only played a few dozen games in a Raptors uniform (not counting his initial stint with the team when he was first drafted), PJ Tucker’s tenacity, leadership and endless hustle has already ingratiated him with the fanbase in a way that few others in team history have matched. Just watch this interview after the team’s emotional comeback win against the Bulls as the season was winding down. It’s like a great pro wrestling promo. Please come back, PJ!
We all love and want to hug that guy, Jack.
The “FOH 46” Drakie Goes To…
Since his now-infamous “I got us” tweet sent shortly after Chris Bosh skipped town, DeRozan has worked tirelessly each offseason to improve his game and has managed to transform himself into one of the most dynamic scorers in the league. His critics were out in force after he signed his huge offseason contract and he spent the entire year completely silencing them, averaging 27 ppg at a pretty damn efficient 48% clip. He had a few duds in the playoffs but also contributed some monster performances (and he was certainly not the cause of nor sole contributor to the team’s shaky offseason). Raptors fans are lucky to have this guy.
The “Meet Me at the Crossroads” Drakie Goes To…
It’s been quite a run with Lowry at the helm of this franchise. An unprecedented stretch of winning seasons and playoff appearances, including last year’s trip to the conference finals. But there is an unmistakeable sense right now that we may have seen the last of Lowry in a Raptor uniform. He’s the unquestioned engine of the franchise and has been the key much of the team’s successes the last few seasons, but it’s going to cost a fortune to lock him up to a longterm contract and after the way this year ended, it does certainly seem like we’ve seen the ceiling of the team in its current iteration and it’s simply not quite good enough. Whatever happens with Lowry this offseason, he’ll go down as one of the best Raptors ever. Maybe the best.
The “Gone But Never Forgotten” Drakie Goes To…
Whether he was hero or goat, and he vacillated wildly between the two poles during his time in Toronto, Terry Ross was always a delightful presence on the team. He was the key part of the midseason trade that brought Serge Ibaka into the franchise fold (and word is that he’ll be re-signing this offseason) but Terrence will forever be a Raptor in our hearts.
The “Call Of The Century” Drakie Goes To…
Devlin is a consistently great play-by-play guy, but when Jonas Valanciunas swished a three against the Cavs during one of the final games of the season, he unleashed a call that, we think, deserves to echo down the generations with some of the all-time best. It’s just tremendous.
The “No Hard Feelings But This Isn’t Really Working Out” Drakie Goes To…
Carroll really did seem like a great pickup when Masai Ujiri signed him away from the Hawks in 2015 after his breakthrough year there (specifically his impressive playoff performance in a losing effort against the Cavs). His reputation as a tough 3 and D option with boundless energy and confidence seemed like it would be a perfect fit, but he was injured and out of the rotation for a large part of his first year in TO and has never really seemed fully healthy or in any kind of rhythm since, contributing sporadically but not in the capacity that they had in mind when they brought him aboard. He’s got a hefty contract, but it’s not unmoveable in the new supercharged salary cap era; he’d probably be better off with a change of scenery and could possibly fetch back a rotational piece or draft pick that makes more sense. Even if we’ve seen the last of him, it’s hard to argue that he brought unprecedented swag to the franchise.
The “Best Norman Powell of the Year” Drakie Goes To…
Our beloved Norm had an up-and-down year, being thrust into a prominent role when Demar Derozan went down with an injury early in the season, and not really responding in the way we all hoped. He was more or less benched down the stretch of the campaign as a result, but never lost focus or hung his head. He ended up being a key adjustment and big time difference maker in the first round of the playoffs, with really an all-timer performance in game 5.
Look for Norm to have a huge 2017/18 season. Speaking of…
The “Fully Operational Secret Weapon That Will Lead Us To Championship Glory, Guaranteed” Drakie Goes To…
Did you see those highlights from the D-League champion Toronto 905’s clinching victory? Caboclo scored a career high 31 points. And remember, in 2014 he was two years away from being two years away. According to science, that means that in 2018, Bruno will be just about ready to take over the league. So, enjoy your time on top while it lasts, Lebron. Start doing some torch-passing exercises this off-season.