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When Drake’s rolling “Summer Sixteen” tour hit Oakland on Tuesday night, the hip-hop megastar and noted liberated basketball fan took the opportunity to salute the hometown team, the Golden State Warriors. But while Drizzy has both been and not been Stephen Curry with the shot (boy) over the years, he elected Tuesday to show his support for Oracle Arena’s new high-scoring, highlight-creating MVP:
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A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Sep 14, 2016 at 1:46am PDT
Yep, as he did on earlier tour stops in New York (shouts to Brandon Jennings) and Phoenix (shouts to Devin Booker), Drake took the stage for the first of his four sold-out Bay Area shows — he’ll be back at Oracle on Wednesday, and will hit the SAP Center in San Jose on Sept. 24 and 25 — rocking a crisp new No. 35 in the Dubs’ home whites, the very same one that top free-agent acquisition Kevin Durant will wear into battle alongside Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the rest of the expected-super-team Warriors this season.
Not content to simply wear the gear, though, Drake later went the extra mile — again, as he did in New York (hey, Derrick Rose) and Columbus, Ohio (hey, LeBron James) by bringing the four-time NBA scoring champion up on stage to bask in the adoration of the Bay faithful:
— Jose Gutierrez (@noitsjose) September 14, 2016
Drake's summer 16 tour hit Oracle Arena tonight. He brought KD on stage (via his friend's snap) pic.twitter.com/2i9Zm2wmOT
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 14, 2016
No, KD didn’t offer the musical boost that previous Drake guests like Rihanna, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, YG, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Eminem, J. Cole, T.I., Cam’ron and Juelz Santana have when they’ve appeared at “Summer Sixteen” shows, and no, he wasn’t quite as boisterous on stage as LeBron was when he served as Drake’s hype man on “Pop Style.” But A) LeBron had way more to celebrate after last postseason and B) Durant might just be more comfortable playing the wall, man.
“I told you, y’all was getting some big rings this year,” Drake said, suggesting he’s on board with the many observers who see the revamped Warriors as the favorites to win their second NBA title in three years (and suggesting that maybe the Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador isn’t as confident in his squad’s odds as the brand’s bosses might like).
The on-stage cameo was just the latest public display of the relationship between Durant and Drake. Two summers ago, when Durant headed north of the border to attend Drake’s OVO Fest concert, Drake enlisted his fans to let Durant see “what would happen if he came to play in Toronto,” resulting in a raucous ovation, a “KD” chant … and a $25,000 tampering fine for the Raptors after Drake’s “pitch” to a player who was still under contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oh, well. It was worth a shot, anyway.
Drake’s also one of many rappers to shout Durant out in a verse, dropping his name in “Weston Road Flows” off his most recent album, “Views” — “A lot of people just hit me up when my name is mentioned / Shout out to KD, we relate / We get the same attention / It’s raining money, Oklahoma City Thunder / The most successful rapper 35 and under.”
“When I first heard it — you know, my favorite rapper,” Durant told Rob Markman of Genius earlier this summer. “You get a shoutout in a song, you look around to see if anybody else heard it, you know? […] When I have a game, he texts me or Snapchats me, and we talk about stuff. I’m sure that when he got in the booth, he was feeling that a little bit, and he put it in there. It went together nice.”
So nice, in fact, that Durant was happy to return the favor and help Drake get a bigger pop with the Bay Area audience. We must now wait to see if Drake goes back to the Warrior well for his second Oracle outing; maybe if we all cross our fingers and focus our energies hard enough, we’ll get to see Zaza Pachulia rip the mic like it’s 2008 all over again.
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