Welcoming the NBA to the Best City in The World

2016 ASW header

2016 ASW header

“This is the best game with the best players, finally, in the best city in the world.” These were the words spoken by the ‘6god’ himself, internationally successful Toronto rapper and Global Ambassador of the Toronto Raptors, Drake, while introducing the NBA All-Star game in Toronto. This was the first NBA All star game to be held outside of the United States and the host city, Toronto, did not disappoint.

Canada is not often credited with holding a reputation of being a basketball enthusiastic nation. The city of Toronto came to life for the All-Star weekend, proving to America, that Canada, especially Toronto, is filled with great love and passion for the game. After all, basketball was created by a Canadian!

TORONTO, ON- APRIL 19 - "We The North" before the game between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets during the first play off game between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets at the Air Canada Centre April 19, 2014. David Cooper/Toronto Star

Basketball has expanded greatly throughout the country over the past few years. The Raptors have developed a strong fan base following their continued success, resulting in franchise growth. In addition, more Canadian players are being drafted to the NBA. In the 2014/2015 basketball season, Canada had 13 NBA players- setting a record for most of any non-American country. Canadians, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennet, were No.1 NBA draft picks in 2013/2014 respectively. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptor’s All-Star representatives shared their opinions on a successful All-Star weekend. “I think all the guys really got insight on how in-tune the city of Toronto and all of Canada is to basketball,” stated DeRozan. Kyle Lowry added, “Toronto, I think we put ourselves on the map a little bit around the world.”

Canada's Andrew Wiggins, left, controls the ball under pressure from Venezuela's Miguel Marriaga during a FIBA Americas Championship basketball game in Mexico City, Thursday Sept. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)