When I came up with this idea, I thought, "No one will take me seriously if I compare NBA teams to Drake songs."
Then I remembered I have the opportunity to write about Drake and the NBA for a living. So I did it. I combined two things I love into one article. Started.
The Warriors went from being a good team to the NBA's best team in 2014-15 (coincidentally, this song was released in July 2014). In 2015-16, they are potentially the best team of all-time. The Warriors play a 0 to 100 pace, or as Dell Curry calls it, offensive intimidation. This track is the origin of "I been Steph Curry with the shot, been cookin' with the sauce, Chef Curry with the pot." Also, Drake and Curry went to In-N-Out Burger together last month.
Wikipedia credits this 2011 song with popularizing the phrase, "YOLO." Well, Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé converts the term to NBA decisions. How else can one explain hiring Vlade Divac as general manager, tapping George Karl as head coach and putting together a roster of DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Rudy Gay? Vivek has obviously been hanging out with Drake (no, but seriously, they have) and learning his YOLO ways.
Sorry to make Lakers fans teary-eyed, but this seems like a logical tribute to Kobe Bryant. The lines, "You the f***ing best," and "I want this forever," are nostalgic, even if Drake directs them toward a love interest in the song. Drake and all other NBA fans will miss Kobe, the best Drake's generation (post-Jordan) ever had.
"The Clippers irritate," writes Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. "They infuriate. They inflame. They chafe." In other words, they've got a lot of enemies. From Chris Paul complaining to Blake Griffin flopping to DeAndre Jordan spurring the Mavericks to Doc Rivers getting himself traded to L.A., the Clippers have a lot of enemies. They are a good team, but a lot of people are tryna drain them of this energy.
This team seems like it just rents players. Since the back end of the Nash-Stoudemire-Marion Era, the Suns have brought in Hedo Türkoğlu, Josh Childress, Vince Carter, Mickaël Piétrus, Marcin Gortat, Goran Dragic (for a second stint), Jermaine O'Neal, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola, Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and Tyson Chandler. What better place than sunny Phoenix for a player to come thru while not in his prime?
Literally the first line of "HYFR" is, "All my exes live in Texas like I'm George Strait." Well, it so happens that former Blazers LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews play in San Antonio and Dallas, respectively. Meanwhile, the Blazers also lost Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Aaron Afflalo this offseason. It is time for Damian Lillard to "work with the negatives" and take control of his franchise.
Wanda Pratt (Kevin Durant's mom), you the real MVP. "You & the 6" is Drake's ode to his mother, Sandi Graham. "At least I'm always being true to what you taught me," Drake says. Durant has never shied away from being a momma's boy. Wanda is even a mentor to Russell Westbrook.
Like Drake in 2010, the Timberwolves are a young team growing up fast. Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns know way too many people now who they didn't know last year. "Man, they treat me like a legend, am I really this cold? I'm really too young to be feeling this old." The T'Wolves youngsters are performing and progressing, and Minnesota has a lot to look forward to, as Drake has proven he did five years ago.
The opening verse is, "Somewhere between psychotic and iconic, somewhere between I want it and I got it, somewhere between I'm sober and I'm lifted, somewhere between a mistress and commitment." Drake is trying to find balance. That fits the Nuggets, an incredibly average franchise: Winning percentages of .439 in 2013-14, .366 in 2014-15 and .368 at the time this post. Other teams are flashy, but they are just "drinkin' on the low."
This song is sort of Drake's attempt at a blue collar-Bruce Springsteen track. Drake constantly says he is "working the night shift," referring to his work ethic. Gordon Hayward and the Jazz are a hard-working Western Conference team much of the country does not get to see. Alec Burks was a Sixth Man of the Year frontrunner, similar to Lou Williams a year ago, before a fractured fibula put him on the sidelines.