Best Seats in the House: a guide to the celebs and Bay Streeters who cheer on the Raptors
The high-profile spectators who’ve made Raps games the hottest ticket in Toronto sports
Half the fun of NBA fandom is peeping stars sitting courtside. Unfortunately, for a long time, Raps games were as celestial as a bag of fertilizer. No longer. Last fall, that rascally love-’em-leave-’em super-exec Tim Leiweke named Drake the organization’s global ambassador, and the wattage of home games suddenly surged. So did the fringe benefits of season’s tickets. Here, the luminaries who have sat courtside in the era of Drizzy, and the high-rolling fans who have a front-row view of all the action.
Executed an aggressive 10-second lint-roll during the playoffs against the Nets. The courtside preening was captured on camera, preserving the moment for posterity.
Came to town to discuss bringing the Buffalo Bills to the city with Larry Tanenbaum and Rogers. Was the filling in a Leiweke-Tanenbaum courtside sandwich as they watched the Raps beat the Celtics to start the season.
Despite being a New York native, wore a “Northern Uprising” snapback, askew just so, during the Raps’ playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Was pulled onto the court, possibly a few cocktails deep, during the peak of Fordgate. Yelled into the mike, “Rob Ford, now that you’ve had your come-to-Jesus moment, let’s crack-a-lack it, playa,” which didn’t make much sense to anyone.
Gleefully chucked Raps T-shirts into the crowd at halftime and hobnobbed with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade post-game.
Played it cool when Drake’s song “Draft Day,” which features a shout-out to him, played over the speakers.
Showed off his bronze medal on camera, eliciting a sustained standing O from the crowd.
Ate popcorn and canoodled.
Showed up wearing an Indiana Pacers hat (he’s from there), which he removed at staff’s gentle urging.
In town to promote the Game of Thrones Season Three DVD, Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) and Kristian Nairn (Hodor) got a taste of our long winter and watched the Raps lose by a bucket to the Bulls.
Super-fan Nav Bhatia
Sirius XM Canada, Mobilicity, Raptors founder
MLSE and Kilmer
Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman
Onex and Indigo
Difference Capital and Dragon’s Den
Round 13 Capital
Marret Asset Management