50 Years of Toronto Basketball History | Hoops Talk Nation Podcast

It’s Canada Day here north of the border and as we celebrate my home country’s 150th birthday, I thought this would make for the perfect opportunity to share a recent interview I conducted with a good buddy of mine Lance Winn.
Lance is in the sports broadcasting business and much like myself grew up in Toronto loving the game of basketball.  It’s important to understand that in the early days of the sport, it’s popularity was nowhere what it is today.  There definitely were pockets scattered throughout the city where people gathered to play or watch and because camera phones didn’t exist, if you missed the action all you had to rely on was the stories of those who witnessed it first hand.
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 I talk to Lance about a DVD series that he produced called, “Hang Time: 50 Years of Toronto Basketball” which tells the story of these games that so many of us weren’t on hand to see for ourselves.  It reintroduces the legends and stories behind the rise of the city’s most popular sport, bringing together generations of Toronto’s basketball community to celebrate and appreciate those who paved the way for today’s successes. It was a great convo and an absolute pleasure to spend some time chatting about an era of basketball that served as a spark to a game that has captured a nation.
To order a copy of: “Hang Time: 50 Years of Toronto Basketball”

Toronto Hip Hop History with Don Carlito | Down With The Kings

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Don Carlito aka B-Kool is one of the pioneers of the Toronto hip hop scene that was part of a movement that elevated rap and hip hop culture to new heights north of the border and helped put the genre on the centre stage. This former Juno award reflects on the early days of the Toronto hip hop scene, his music and what to expect from him coming down the pipe next on this special edition of Down With The Kings!

I Am Toronto: DeMar DeRozan Re-Signs With Raptors | Hoops Talk Nation

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The news of DeMar DeRozan re-upping with the Toronto Raptors for a five year deal valued at  $139 million was refreshing to hear particularly in an NBA off season where several recognizable stars opted to uproot themselves to ply their trade elsewhere.  DeRozan was different.

He didn’t talk to any other teams and had only one meeting with the Toronto Raptors and that’s all that was needed to get the job done.

Radio sports talk host Andy McNamara of TSN 1050 Radio joins the next episode of the Hoops Talk Nation podcast to discuss the significance of the Raptors retaining an all-star caliber player like DeRozan and what the franchise does moving forward as it continues to work towards its ultimate goal of being a championship organization.

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All that plus a whole host of other NBA topics on the Hoops Talk Nation Podcast!

Click here to listen to the episode!

Nike Crown League Kicks Off in Toronto! | The Audman Media

 

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Nike Crown League fittingly kicked off in Toronto on Canada Day on Kerr Hall Gymnasium’s newly renovated court at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto.  For the second consecutive summer, the Crown provided an opportunity for the best ballers in the city to compete on a highly competitive stage.  The end goal….#ClaimRoyalty

#WeTheOthers Take Off North of the Border | The Audman Media

The Toronto Raptors wasted no time churning out freshly printed #WeTheOther swag that was handed out at Toronto’s Jurassic Park outside of the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday evening. This of course comes on the heels of the much talked about botched CBS on-line poll that referred to the Raptors as “Others”

Raptors fans immediately embraced the mishap and added this incident to the growing list of Dis-Respeck-ful events perpetrated against them from their friends south of the border. Even Toronto mayor,  John Tory joined the fray and penned this open letter to the chairman of CBS chairman Sean McManus.

For whatever its worth, CBS Sports did apologize for the oversight indicating that the poll was created before the Raptors beat Miami to advance and while the apology his nice gesture, Raps fans want them to put some RES-PECK on that!

Running The Three Man Weave on TSN!

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I was recently invited to contribute my thoughts to a weekly basketball column on TSN.com called “Three Man Weave”. The Weave examines the latest going ons in the hoops world and is ran with precision by a couple of my basketball ball brothers, Will Strickland and Duane Waston, hosts of TSN 1050’s #1On1 with Will & Duane.

With so much going on the world of hoops, the timing of my invite couldn’t have been better.

We touch on the D’Angelo Russell situation, the significance of the Raptors reaching the 50 win plateau and the Final Four selections.

Check it out here…

 

Gary Durrant Sports Agent Press Conference Announcement

Former pro basketball player, Gary Durrant, announced at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant in downtown Toronto that he will be joining Verus Management Team, a full service sports representation and management firm based in Miami, Florida. He will focus his efforts on assisting young people achieve their dreams of having a career in professional sports.

T Dot Fest 2015

The TDOt Fest 2015 was held on Sunday October 4th at Yonge & Dundas which celebrated some of Canada’s young up and coming talent making noise in the music industry today. Some of the 28 artists who rocked the mic in with their biggest hits: Multi-Platinum Canadian R&B artist Karl Wolf & his new Group BAE MuchMusic Video Award Winning Recording Artist DRU Juno Nominated Rapper and Lyricist JD Era Hip Hop Artist Gee Wunder Hip Hop Artist & Music Producer Jay Evans US Latin Billboard Chart Topper Fito Blanko!

Toronto rapper, THRUST on the History of Canadian Hip Hop!

 

As an artist coming out of the T-Dot, THRUST has held an important role as one of the early pioneers that helped cultivate and develop the culture of hip hop to where it is today. Long before Drake became a worldwide phenom, it was rappers like Thrust who were doing their part to shift this underground movement into mainstream.

“Toronto is a very special place in the history of hip. A lot of people don’t really know because we only caught the light obviously in the last 5-7 years with Drake’s movement. And before that we hit with the “Northern Touch”which was the first one that was on an international level. But before that, its been here since the late 70’s and 80’s because we’re one of those cities that’s super close to New York. Even me, all my hip hop, all my growth, all my whole thing is because I was always travelling to New York. How it started was people like me that had family in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan – we just be going there since we were kids and we kept hearing the music and we would bring it back on mixtapes.”

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Check out this interview with THRUST as he offers up some historical perspective on the birth of hip hop in Toronto as well as touch on the mega smash single, “Northern Touch” which he did in collaboration with Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall,  Rascalz and Choclair. Northern Touch goes down as one of the most important songs in the history of Canadian hip hop.

Check out the full interview below:

Down With The Kings can be heard exclusively every Wednesday night at 11pmEST on Maximum FM Hip Hop

Log on on MaximumFM.ca to check it out or download the Maximum FM app.

Drake Helps Unveil New Raptors Uniforms!

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The Toronto Raptors, in partnership with NBA 2K16, announced today four new uniforms that will be worn with the start of the 2015 preseason. In a new and unique unveil posted at www.raptors.com/uniforms, NBA 2K16 created graphics of Raptors players in game action wearing the new uniforms.

Now if were in attendance at OVO Fest (for which I was not), you would have seen Raptors Global Ambassador, Drake rocking the alternate black jersey with gold and white trim during his concert.

It was only fitting that he donned #6 to honor Toronto in the midst of a Meek Mill tirade.

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Jersey:

  • The chevrons on the side of the jersey will now point “north” to align with our slogan of “We
    The North.” The chevrons had pointed downward since being introduced as a uniform
    accent in 1999.
  • The fonts are accented with silver lining, a throwback to our past.
  • Player names on the back will now be arched rather than straight across.
  • At the waist-level hem of the jersey is an upside-down tag with our “We The North” slogan.
    It will be visible to players when they tuck in their jersey, and will serve to remind them of
    what they represent.
  • Engineered mesh finish with a subtle design to emphasize a more aerodynamic feel that
    follows the contours of the body.

Shorts:

  • The front of the waistband dons a Maple Leaf, incorporating our new look and feel with the
    symbol of our nation.
  • The shorts have a shout-out to Toronto, sometimes referred to as the “T Dot.” “T.O.” is
    stitched on the side with our new logo representing the “O.”

Images courtesy of NBA 2K16 which will be available for PlayStation®4 system and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Xbox 360; and Windows PC platforms on September 29, 2015.

Courtesy of Raptors.com