Drake Raptors Role; Kawhi Leonard Out Indefinitely; Player-Coach Beefs | Out of Bounds

Two unexpected guests and social media personalities, #DanTheMan and #NickNackPattyWhack danced their way onto the #OutofBounds set. The crew was thrown off completely, but still managed to talk sports. Drake may now have a title for his fanboy ways on the court. As Toronto’s “Global Ambassador”, he has been involved in “Welcome Toronto” campaigns, helped design OVO uniforms, and influenced a new and improved OVO themed basketball court. The crew reacts to Danilo Gallinari’s bobblehead giveaway while naming other bobbleheads in the past that were either offensive or comical. Gil also expounds on the chemistry between players and their coaches. They close with their NFL playoff picks. 

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Drake and Toronto Raptors Dramatically Expand Deal

As the so-called “Global Ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors, Drake, has worn a lot of different hats for the team over the last few years. He’s done everything from showing up at games to heckle opposing players (which, truth be told, is probably something he would have done even without the fancy title) to helping the Raptors pull off a series of successful “Drake Nights.” He’s also brought a certain visibility to the team that likely wouldn’t exist without him, and he’s even played a role in designing some new OVO uniforms the team will wear during several games this season.

Because of all these things, the Raptors have apparently decided to expand Drake’s role and give him even more responsibilities within their organization. No, he won’t be in charge of pulling off any trade deadline deals this February, and he won’t have anything to do with who the Raptors pick in the draft in June. But he will play a prominent role in the new “Welcome Toronto” campaign the team is launching this season.

The campaign is being billed as an “immersive brand experience focused on art, community, and ball,” and it will include six “Welcome Toronto” and OVO-themed home games between now and the end of the 2017-18 NBA season. During those games, the Raptors will wear their OVO jerseys and play on a brand new court made from northern maple wood and outfitted in the OVO black and gold. And Drake’s working relationship with the Raptors will go even deeper than that.

Since becoming the team’s Global Ambassador, Drake has obviously stirred up a lot of interest in basketball north of the border, and that is expected to continue now that the Raptors and OVO have teamed up to pledge $1 million over the next three years in order to refurbish basketball courts located throughout the local community. The Raptors and OVO will also donate $2 million over the next five years to Canada Basketball in order to continue to develop the sport of basketball at the grassroots level throughout the country.

The Raptors are promising more details on their latest partnership with Drake on Wednesday night.

But until then, here are the six “Welcome Toronto” games that will be played this season:

Friday, Jan. 26 vs. Jazz
Sunday, Jan. 28 vs. Lakers
Friday, Feb. 2 vs. Trail Blazers
Friday, Mar. 9 vs. Rockets
Friday, Mar. 23 vs. Nets
Friday, Apr. 6 vs. Pacers

Stay tuned for any additional details.

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Drake’s OVO Edition Raptors Jerseys Are Tearing Canada Apart

The Toronto Raptors released their exclusive line of “OVO edition” jerseys and apparel today, and fans seem to be pretty divided. The jerseys feature an OVO-inspired black and gold colorway, a chevron pattern to symbolize the six boroughs of Toronto, and the word “North” displayed within the chevron, “to represent a territory all our own,” the official Raptors account writes on Twitter. 

These new city uniforms have a lot of people talking, and while Drake and friends at OVO have nothing but love for the 6, it seems like some people just aren't into the new style.

Fans who aren't digging the jerseys mostly wanted to see a return to the original purple or red colors, or an update to the iconic raptor design. Some could agree the new design is fire, but wished that they better represented all of Canada. 

If you're feeling the new style, cop yours at Real Sports Apparrel now.

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Makonnen on His Relationship With Drake and OVO: ‘It’s All Love’

It’s no secret Makonnen’s relationship with Drake and OVO is a complicated one; however, the 28-year-old Atlanta artist insists there is no beef on his end.

“I think it’s a whole bunch of misunderstandings. Things get so blown out of proportion from other people that aren’t really there […] There really is no issue with me and Drake,” Makonnen told Rap-Up. “We just haven’t had communication so other people that are around that like to stir up shit, they sort of made it seem like we have some sort of issue with each other, but it’s like, they’re them, I’m me. It’s just a lot of miscommunication. From what I’ve heard, it’s all love. […] I don’t have anything to say. People need to ask OVO where they stand with Makonnen because they’re the ones who brought Makonnen to the world stage.”

Shortly after the release of 2014’s iLoveMakonnen EP, it was announced that the rapper/singer had signed to Drizzy’s fledging label OVO; however, less than two years after inking the deal, Makonnen announced he was no longer part of the OVO family, claiming it was his decision and that there was no bad blood.

“I cannot thank OVO, 40, Oliver, Future & Mr. Morgan, enough for all that they have done for my career. No words can express how much I appreciate Drake for being a part of the success of Tuesday,” he told Complex back in 2016. “I’m sure the haters will have something negative to say, but all in all my choice to be solely on Warner Bros Records was the right thing for me and for my best interest. Sorry there’s no beef to report, DRINK MORE WATER.”

It initially seemed their working relationship had ended amicably, but then, following the 2016 VMAs, Makonnen posted several now-deleted tweets that suggested there was some hostility: “All I have is love and respect for everyone, I was there tonight to meet and greet everyone with love, this is so weird,” one post read. “Idk what is all this about?” He then posted a message directed at Drake, writing: “I have no beef or animosity towards u, what happened just now is beyond me, I hope we can talk about this.”

Makonnen later discussed the altercation in an interview with the Fader. He claimed he was threatened during a VMA after party held at the Up&Down nightclub.

“I'm here in the middle of the floor, no security, and they coming and I just step to the side and they see me and stop and the biggest motherfucker in the game goes, woo woo woo, 'Next time I'ma fuck you up!'” he said. “[W]e have a platinum-selling record together! The guy! The leader of the crew! This a nice VMA party, bruh. This ain’t no little back alley on the southside of Atlanta.”

Though it definitely seemed like there was some degree of animosity, Makonnen now claims it was just a misunderstanding that was further complicated by rumors and lies spread online. He told Rap-Up he’s open to speaking with Drake and OVO, and that “there’s no issue or no hard feelings for anybody.”

You can check out the full exclusive interview, in which Makonnen also discusses coming out as gay and his upcoming project, at Rap-Up's website

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Here’s Why People Think Drake Is Opening a New Restaurant in Toronto (UPDATE)

UPDATED 3:21 p.m. ET: It sounds like Drake might be out here diversifying his investments. 

Images showing an advertisement for what looks like a restaurant/sports bar named Pick 6 with the OVO insignia​ over it have appeared in Toronto's financial district. Pick 6's location used to house the Houston Bar and Grill. There hasn't been an official announcement or confirmation from Drake or his camp that whatever that is opening will in fact be a restaurant. But, it does seem like it's a good guess. 

 

#working #pick6 #dukester #nuffsaid #believethat @chubbsview

A post shared by @georgecigardukes on Aug 13, 2017 at 6:32pm PDT

This wouldn't be the first time Drake has been connected to the restaurant business. Back in 2015 Drake came up with the name for chef Susur Lee’s upscale comfort food eatery Fring's in Downtown Toronto. He even DJ'ed for the opening party, which was attended by high profile guests such as Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, and his mother Jada Pinkett.  

Drake is also investing in the green tea company called MatchaBar. The company, which is partnering with Whole Foods for distribution, is having its ingredients sourced from a family farm in Nishio, Japan. Matcha is a type of green tea leaf that is finely ground into a powder and contains a decent-sized dose of caffeine. 

Shortly after these rumors started taking off, a source close to the situation confirmed to Complex that claims of a new restaurant are simply not true.

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The Drake Superfan

Think about your favorite artist for a moment. Think of the music they've given you, the concerts you've attended, the interviews you've watched, the arguments you've endured on their behalf. How much of a fan are you, really? How far would you go? 

Connor Cirillo asked himself that question for years before taking the plunge. The Rhode Island techie first encountered Drake in 2011, and the following years saw Connor's fandom grow into something of a fixation. An all-night drive to Coachella, a trove of memorabilia, and Halloween costumes all followed, but by the time we caught up with Connor, he was ready to make it permanent.

His first tattoo was going to be Drake-themed, but a large question loomed: Drake's face, or the OVO owl? “When I think in my head of what this tattoo should be, it's the face,” he said. “But if you mess up a face, it's a lot more noticeable than messing up an owl.” True. Watch how it played out above. 

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Drake Fans Think ‘Take Care 2’ Is Coming Because of This Instagram Post

Sequels are rarely a good idea. Still, that hasn't stopped nostalgic Drake fans from pointing to a single Instagram post as a sign that a sequel to one of the OVO Sound co-founder's most beloved albums is in the works.

Late Monday night, Drake shared the Instagram post at the top of this page—the one you're probably staring at right now and thinking, wow, that's it?—with the caption “Scuzzi.” The post immediately drew comparisons to the cover of Drake's 2011 sophomore album Take Care, leading some to jump (with no hesitation whatsoever) to the conclusion that a Take Care 2 was being teased.

For comparison's sake, here's the cover of the original Take Care:

drake-take-care
Image via OVO

In Monday's Instagram post, there are quite a few differences. Drake's hand placement, for one, isn't the same. The Instagram post is also missing the prominently featured Take Care candle and a number of other items on the table, including the goblet. Fans, however, have pointed to the overall tone of the photo (and Drake's hair) as plenty of reason to get nostalgically stoked, like so:

Hmmmm.

Also, to be fair, Drake has given us both Views and More Life within the span of 11 months. Relax, enjoy those albums, and let Take Care live in peace.

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Rob Stone Addresses XXXTentacion Situation: ‘It’s Only Going to Get Worse’

Most people are still struggling with how to pronounce XXXTentacion's name, let alone decipher the beef between he and Rob Stone. But after XXX got knocked out at a San Diego show, allegations have been flying about the aftermath of the brawl that took place at his show.

A concertgoer was stabbed in the ruckus following the on-stage sucker punch, and during an interview with TMZ last Thursday, XXX claimed the victim in question was his attacker, though local police disputed that premise. Rumors continued to swirl about the stabbing victim and any possible affiliation with Stone, and eventually the San Diego native saw fit to address the claims himself.

“I'm alive and well,” he said. “I didn't get stabbed, I didn't get stabbed, OK, I'm alive and well, just for all the people that was concerned about me getting stabbed. All my homies is alive and well, I don't know what the fuck that's about. But I feel bad for the person that did get stabbed.”

After establishing that the stabbing victim was not affiliated with him, Stone continued on, and seemed to send a direct message to XXX despite taking steps to make it sound like it was directed at a broader group of people. 

“This shit is just getting crazy, and it's only going to get worse,” he said. “You can not sit and talk shit about people, or talk shit to people, y'all can't do that shit. I'm talking to everybody in the world right now, I'm not talking to a specific person. You can not sit and talk shit to motherfuckers and go to their city and not expect somebody in the city to feel some type of way about that.”

It's not immediately clear when or where the video emerged from; there's no trace of it on Stone's social feeds, but addressing the stabbing rumors in particular makes it appear as though it is from some point this past weekend, following a new diss track from Stone aimed at XXX. 

As much as the on-stage knockout made for great meme fodder, let's hope things don't continue to escalate from here. It's one thing to trade shots on wax and on social media, but once someone resorts to physical violence, it's all downhill from there.

You can watch the full video below, and judge how serious the threat could be for yourself.

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Drake-Approved Rapper Dave is Putting Numbers on the Board

At the beginning of the year we highlighted Dave as one of five British rappers you should look out for in 2017, but his growth over the past 12 months is so impressive that we’re taking a deeper dive with another Numbers on the Board video. Dave has an OVO cosign and has had his song officially remixed by Drake, and he's one of the most talented to rappers to come out of the U.K. for a minute.

Get familiar and see just how crazy his growth has been in the video above. Check out another Numbers on The Board video below.

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The Best Air Jordans of 2017 (So Far)

The past few years have been a strange time for the once-mighty Jordan Brand. The company has been instrumental at nearly every defining instance of footwear culture in North America, but recent days have seen the rise of Adidas and an increased popularity in lifestyle running sneakers. The brand’s making more sneakers than ever, and making them pricier than before, so the mystique that Jordans are impossible to get has all but faded. But this new set of business challenges also brings an exciting time for consumers: Jordan Brand has been forced to try new things instead of re-releasing the same sneaker over and over and over and over…

This year has seen Jordan Brand take on big-time collaborations and ways to rejuvenate its business through storytelling and product that feels special, rather than mass-produced sneakers that are passé. As a result the company is trying special release strategies and even releasing player-edition sneakers to the public. It’s been an interesting six months to say the least. With that said, here are the best Air Jordans of the year so far. —Matt Welty

 

  • 10. Air Jordan IV “Royalty”

    Here’s a recipe for success: Take a good shoe, make it with good materials, and do it in a colorway that doesn’t suck. That’s what Jordan Brand did with the “Royalty” IV, and the results were great. It was black, white, and gold, a combination that looks good on any sneaker. There’s not much to say other than an Air Jordan IV will always be good and simple color schemes reign supreme. —​Matt Welty

     

  • 9. OVO x Jordan Trunner

    Drake’s ongoing collaboration with Jordan Brand has drawn the ire of true footwear connoisseurs, and the Xs and XIIs that he’s slapped with OVO branding are starting to feel really tired. Instead of reworking another silhouette that’s been reworked a handful of times already, Drake and Jordan Brand decided to take a surprise approach with the release of an OVO Jordan Trunner at the grand opening of Toronto’s Jordan Brand store, and it was just what the company needed to break up the monotony of its biggest partnership right now. 

    The shoe was good for several reasons. If you’re not a fan of basketball sneakers in general, it’s really, really hard to get into the faux nostalgia that helps push Jordan Brand forward. And getting a pair of running sneakers from the brand is like looking for the vegan options at a steakhouse: you’re going to be disappointed no matter what. But the Trunner is something different all together. It’s not trying to be something that Jordan Brand is not — it’s the one training shoe for the person who loves the Jumpman. The black-and-white colorblocking didn’t feel played out on the Trunner, and the OVO owl on the heel was just enough to satisfy Drake fans, especially those who have been into his Stone Island-heavy, European-inspired looks as of late. —​Matt Welty

     

  • 8. Air Jordan IV “Pure Money”

    The Air Jordan IV was always more of a technological accomplishment than a design one, as Tinker Hatfield essentially created a lighter-weight version of the Air Jordan III using the best technology available to him in 1988. Mesh inserts both cut weight and provided far better ventilation, while synthetic “wings” provided extra support. Other than that, the sole units and cut were fairly similar, while an ACG-esque spatter treatment on the midsole and “Flight” patch on the tongue did more to separate it stylistically from its predecessor.

     The somewhat busy design is perhaps best appreciated in a simple makeup, hence the all-black “Black Cat” and all-white “Pure Money” makeups. Released just in time for the start of summer, the “Pure Money” re-retro features hits of chrome on the lace loops, just enough shine to draw attention but not too much. For a 12-year-old take on a 27-year-old shoe, the “Pure Money” Air Jordan IV still shines. —Russ Bengtson

     

  • 7. Air Jordan XXX1 “Russell Westbrook PE”

    Ever since Michael Jordan retired, Jordan Brand has had to find another endorser to be the primary face of the flagship shoe. For a while it was Dwyane Wade. Now it’s Russell Westbrook, who’s been holding it down since the shrouded Air Jordan 28. As the standard bearer, he’s gotten special makeups of each, some of which have reached the marketplace—remember the WHY NOT? 28s? This year, he got the most special one of all. 

    Westbrook’s Air Jordan XXX1 PE was more of a XXX.5, the woven upper of the XXX1 paired with the sole unit of the XXX, which Westbrook preferred. It’s not often a hybrid like this gets offered at retail—it took Jordan 30 years to actually release the Jordan 1.5 that Mike wore in ‘86. Inspired by his coveted Air Jordan III PE, Westbrook’s XXX1 featured cement print on the heel/ankle area along with hits of Thunder blue and orange. The ultimate would have been to release it in a pack WITH the III, but alas, we can’t have everything. At least, not yet. Russ Bengtson


  • 6. Atmos x Air Jordan III

     Nike has started to give people what they want, and the brand’s done so in the form of letting its fans vote on which classic Air Max model they want to be brought back each year for Air Max Day. Last year people voted for Atmos’s “Elephant” Air Max 1 from 2007 to be retroed, and Nike kept its promise on making the shoe return. But the brand didn’t stop there, and also let the Japanese retailer also work on the Air Jordan III, outfitting it in a colorway similar to its “Safari” Air Max 1, the first-ever collaboration on the sneaker, which released in 2003. The sneaker was an odd choice for sure. To put it simple: The majority of those who really freak out over Air Maxes typically live in Europe, where Jordans don’t share the same popularity as they do in the States. But for those who are more inclined to basketball sneakers, the Atmos collaboration was just what they were looking for. It came with black suede, Safari print that replaced the sneaker’s typical Cement print, an icey sole, and the icing on the cake: “Nike Air” on the heel.

     It was an execution so solid that even Air Max enthusiasts were impressed with the sneaker. And they had to be, because it was only sold in a limited-edition pack with the bringback of the Air Max 1 and came with a retail price of $400. That pack now resells for an average of over $1,000. While the Air Max 1 from the duo is infinitely better than the Air Jordan III, you can’t fault Jordan Brand for trying to bring some much-needed buzz to their brand in the form of an offbeat collaboration. —Matt Welty

     

  • 5. Air Jordan IV “Do the Right Thing”

    As he tells it, Spike Lee wasn’t a huge fan of the Air Jordan IV when he first saw them in the summer of 1988. So rather than wear them himself as Mookie in 1989’s Do the Right Thing, he instead blessed Giancarlo Esposito and his character Buggin’ Out. From that, one of the iconic sneaker scenes in movie history was born—Buggin’ Out’s pristine Jordans marred by a careless pedestrian pushing a bike on a Brooklyn sidewalk. Even worse, a careless white pedestrian, in a Larry Bird jersey, no less. It’s one of the best scenes in the movie, one that effortlessly cut drama with humor, and one that firmly imprinted the importance of sneakers on celluloid. 

    For the release of the IV-inspired Fly 89 casual runner, Jordan made up a super-limited run of Do the Right Thing inspired white/cement IVs, right down to the NIKE AIR heeltab, the African-inspired wrap on the laces (something Esposito did himself to the pair he wore in the movie), the unconventional lacing, and—of course—the scuff. As movie sneakers go, these might not be as iconic as Back to the Future’s MAGs, but they’re a million times more wearable. And if the scuff bothers you as much as it did Buggin’ Out, well, Jordan provided a toothbrush to take care of that. Or try, at least. If only Martin Lawrence was around to provide commentary while you tried. —Russ Bengtson


  • 4. Just Don x Air Jordan II “Arctic Orange”

    The Air Jordan II is by no means the most popular Air Jordan sneaker, but when Don C got his hands on the silhouette, he gave it a new life. Taking a high-end luxury approach, the Just Don x Air Jordan IIs feature suede, quilted leather and leather lined insoles. The silhouette previously released in “Blue” and “Beach” colorways, so for the third installment Don C went in a completely different direction with an “Arctic Orange” colorway—which really looks more like a pale pink.

    DJ Khaled was the first person to be seen with the new Just Don IIs, as he rocked them with a pink satin suit to announce the title of his forthcoming album Grateful. Shortly after, his son and fiancee were blessed with pairs, which ramped up hype for the release of the first Just Don x Air Jordan IIs coming in youth sizes. When official released information surfaced, it was announced that the sneakers would be available from toddler to grade school with sizes extending up to 9.5, which left out most guys out of copping a pair. It’s rumored that the “Arctic Orange” Just Don x Air Jordan IIs will re-release in full men’s sizes, but for now DJ Khaled and Just Dons are the only ones with pairs. —Amir Ismael


  • 3. Air Jordan 1 “Royal”

     As long as Jordan Brand keeps putting out original Air Jordan 1 colorways, people will buy them and that was surely the case for the “Royal” colorway. Following two of 2016’s Best Air Jordans—the “Black Toe” and “Banned” Air Jordan 1s—the “Royal” 1s came as huge treat for fans of the silhouette. When the sneakers last released in 2013, they were of a much lesser quality when compared to its 2001 predecessor. Still, the shoe sold out and even resold for hundreds of dollars more than the $140 retail price. Despite using a new tumbled leather, this year’s release was a breath of fresh air. The sneakers use a true high-top construction, Nike Air branding on the tongue and insole, and are packaged unlaced with extra royal blue laces, just like in 1985. These are an absolute must-have for any Air Jordan collector. —Amir Ismael

     

  • 2. Air Jordan 1 “Satin Royal”

    A lot of purists will say that making an Air Jordan 1 in satin is sacrilegious, and they have good reason: Making a shoe completely in a delicate fabric is counterintuitive to how you design sneakers. But there was something special about the “Satin” version of the “Royal” Air Jordan 1s. 

    For starters, Jordan Brand made 700 pairs, so people were going to want them regardless. But they were also following up last year’s “Bred” version of the shoe, which now resell for upwards of $2,000 a pair. Where Jordan Brand nailed it with the “Royal” version was the rollout. Many people will tell you that “Black/Royal” is the best colorway of the Air Jordan 1, and they’re not wrong. So it’s not hard to sell folks on the sneaker, but Jordan Brand decided to only launch them at Walter’s Clothing in Atlanta and Active Athlete in Houston, two old-school, mom-and-pop sneaker shops. It’s those details that elevated these “Satin” Air Jordan 1s to one of the best sneakers that the brand has put out this year so far. Because satin sneakers are stupid, except for these. Matt Welty

     

  • 1. KAWS x Air Jordan IV

    If you call yourself a streetwear fan and you never were into KAWS, you don’t deserve to have say in what’s cool or not. Or you’re under the age of 15. The man has been at the heart of the culture for decades now, and everyone who’s had an interest in sneakers since the rise of hype culture on the Internet is familiar with his work and past collaborations. It took Jordan Brand sometime, however, to make a project happen with KAWS. And it was pretty damn solid.

    The reaction to the KAWS x Air Jordan IV, however, was mixed when it first came to light. There were many who thought it was too simple or past its prime, but the execution on the collaboration was top notch. The suede was through the roof, and KAWS’ “hands” art was stitched throughout the upper. But the most important detail on the sneaker was the replacement of the “Nike Air” on the heel with “XX Air,” a nod to KAWS’ signature style (the same artwork came on the hangtag, too). The glow-in-the-dark outsole with the KAWS hands just added to the project, although an early sample showed that the sneaker first featured the Xs on the sole. When it comes down to it, what makes this sneaker great is that Jordan Brand took one of its best sneakers and made it a bit more covetable. It’s really, really easy to fuck these sort of things up, and KAWS and Jordan didn’t do that. So everyone is a bit more grateful. Matt Welty

     

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