The 2016 NBA All-Star game is coming to Toronto, and the Raptors are looking to one of the music industry’s biggest stars to help revamp the franchise in time for the festivities.
NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement Monday, marking the first time Toronto will hold the league’s annual showcase.
Canadian rap star Drake and Mayor Rob Ford were among those at the news conference. The Raptors also announced that Drake will be their “global ambassador” and have a voice in the team’s rebranding.
Tim Lieweke, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the team is in the process of planning a major face-lift that will include a new look and new colors. Drake will be heavily involved in the effort, which is expected to take the next two seasons.
The NBA All-Star game will be held in New Orleans in 2014 and in New York in 2015. Lieweke estimated that an NBA All-Star game usually generates about $100 million for the host city.
Around the league
Cavaliers • Center Andrew Bynum has resumed basketball activities but will not be medically cleared to practice when Cleveland opens training camp Tuesday. Bynum underwent bilateral arthroscopic surgery on both knees in March. General manager Chris Grant said Bynum began taking part in full-court drills two weeks ago, but no timetable has been set for his return to full-contact practices.
Kings • The Kings signed DeMarcus Cousins to a four-year maximum contract extension worth a reported $62 million Monday, saying the 23-year-old center is the foundation the franchise will build on to lead a struggling team into a new era.
Knicks • New York has picked up the option on coach Mike Woodson’s contract for the 2014-15 season. Woodson led the Knicks to a 54-28 record last season and their first Atlantic Division title since 1994.