When it comes to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, even rapping icon Drake has to pay his respects.
Drake bowed down in praise as he greeted Downie by his courtside seats during halftime of the Toronto Raptors’ 115-94 playoff loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Downie, who announced in May of 2016 that he has a terminal brain tumour, drew a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd of 20,384 in attendance at Air Canada Centre earlier in the game. He stood to wave and thank the crowd as the Raptors mascot came over with a personalized team jersey with Downie’s name emblazoned on the back.
In addition to being a multiple Grammy Award-winning artist, Drake serves as a global ambassador for the Raptors and is a regular fixture in his courtside seats between the home team’s bench and the scorer’s table.
Downie approached Drake at half and the Toronto-raised rapper stopped to prostrate himself before the pair embraced in a deep hug. Downie’s name was the top trending topic on Twitter in Canada shortly after the conversation with Drake.
Toronto trails the best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference semifinal 3-0.