NBA Name-Drop: Drake Delivers ‘Care Package’ with LeBron on ‘5AM in Toronto’

Over the years, LeBron James and Drake have had no trouble dominating the news cycle in April, May and June, when the former’s teams (i.e. the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers) are typically competing on the court and the latter is usually busy supporting his beloved Toronto Raptors. This year, though, the NBA’s flagship star and hip-hop’s most visible mogul managed to own the week bridging July and August.

LeBron’s name came up in connection with his close friend Carmelo Anthony’s campaign to find a new team and comments from David Griffin, the New Orleans Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations, who spoke on his time as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the King’s more recent run there in a piece for Sports Illustrated. Beyond that, ‘Bron captured headlines with the announcement that he would be partnering with Drake to bring Uninterrupted, his digital platform for athletes, to Canada.

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To close out the week, the artist born Aubrey Graham dropped a compilation album called Care Package, featuring songs from that, by and large, had existed as B-sides and promotional tracks on his SoundCloud profile.

Among those chosen for this collection was 2013’s “5AM in Toronto.” The song—a defiant screed that sheds light on some of the rapper’s beefs—was released as a teaser of sorts for Drake’s third album, Nothing Was the Same

Towards the end, the Toronto native flexes on his detractors and presages his own further forthcoming success by invoking LeBron: 

N***** treat me like I've been here for 10

Some n***** been here for a couple, never been here again

I'm on my King James shit, I'm tryna win here again

A young n**** tryna win here again, man, what's up?

At the time, the two cultural icons were working to defend their titles—Drake as a Grammy winner for Take Care, Bron as an NBA champion with the Miami Heat. And while the latter did, in fact, go back-to-back with the Heat that year, Drake had to wait until 2017 to add to his Grammy collection.

The two friends, who appeared together on an episode of HBO’s The Shop, might soon get to stack their mantles even further. This past April, Drake told a crowd in London that he was working on a new album, which could become Grammy fodder if it drops before the August 31 cut-off for the 2020 awards. LeBron, meanwhile, will return to action in the fall with a revamped Lakers roster that, with All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and newly-minted champion Danny Green joining the fray, could compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year.


Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.